When we talk about industrial maintenance, we must always be clear about the types of maintenance we can use. One of the first types of maintenance that was developed throughout the history of maintenance is preventive maintenance, which was the successor to corrective maintenance.

In the beginning, those in charge of the maintenance of the companies only attended the machines when they presented failures that did not allow to continue producing products or services in a normal way. Nowadays it is of vital importance to do preventive maintenance to our equipment; because it is a way to avoid failures and losses in the normal production of the companies.

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preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance at an industrial level; by definition, it is the maintenance that helps prevent the failure of a company’s machines or assets. This maintenance is characterized because it is done in a programmed way through frequencies established in maintenance plans of the machines.

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Unlike corrective maintenance, this type of maintenance is done to equipment in working condition. It is not necessary to wait until the equipment fails, in order to apply preventive maintenance to it.

Normally, preventive maintenance is planned and programmed by the maintenance engineers, who have to agree with the production area the availability of the machines, to be intervened.


Maintenance planning and scheduling are processes that can be complex depending on the tools available to the maintenance engineer.

In some companies, depending on the number of equipment, there are engineers exclusively for the planning and programming of maintenance. The maintenance planning and programming engineers are responsible for the maintenance plans of all equipment. In addition, they are the ones who must modify, add or remove activities to the maintenance plans of each of the machines.


The planning process is usually supported by specialized maintenance software, which is called CMMS. In such software you can find the history of all the maintenance interventions that the machines have and also enter the maintenance plans of all the equipment.

The maintenance planner must have updated all the resources needed to make the preventive interventions to the machines. When we refer to resources, we talk about the spare parts, tools, tasks to be performed and the necessary time.

Once the maintenance plans are updated, it is necessary to have the software up to date to know which jobs are pending and which have been done. In addition, the software must have updated the control variable of each of the equipments; if not, mistakes can be made in the requests of materials to the warehouse.

This process is one of the most strategic in the maintenance department because it is responsible for activating processes in areas of warehouse and purchasing.


Maintenance scheduling is closely linked to the planning process. It is necessary that the maintenance programmer agrees with the production area the intervention of the machines according to the production schedule.

In addition to the above, the maintenance scheduler must make the schedule of shifts of the technicians needed according to the maintenance planning and production scheduling.

All scheduled maintenance activities must be approved by the production area; once the activities are finished, the equipment must be delivered to the production area by the maintenance supervisor.

The processes exposed in this way, in many small companies are carried out by the same engineer; who is in charge of planning, programming and supervising the maintenance works.


Machine manufacturers always establish a maintenance plan for their machines, which must be executed according to the value of a variable. This variable should be measured and controlled by the maintenance department, in order to plan preventive or predictive activities.

For example, in the maintenance of vehicles is controlled through the mileage. In the production machines are controlled through the hours of operation or number of product produced.

The control variables are regularly recorded in the maintenance software. An error in the registration of these variables can have costly effects for the company, because they can delay or advance preventive work.


These are some advantages that we can find in preventive maintenance:

  • It is programmed: Preventive maintenance being controlled through the variables and a maintenance plan, you can schedule the stop of the machine without affecting the production schedule.
  • Availability of Spare Parts: Same as the previous point; the needs of spare parts can be calculated and the purchase can be requested with a determined time. Helping to avoid last-minute purchases.
  • Availability of technicians: The planning of preventive interventions, has included the programming of shifts of the technicians, therefore it helps to improve shifts and workload of the technical personnel.
  • Decreases corrective maintenance: When preventive maintenance is executed according to a adjusted maintenance plan; corrective maintenance should decrease. This is because it helps prevent unplanned failures.
  • Generates savings: Just by decreasing corrective maintenance, a great economic benefit is obtained. The lost time of the machines will be diminished; lowering costs of production and maintenance, in consequence, it will improve the productivity of the company.


There are few disadvantages to be found in preventive maintenance, however, there are. If it is not recorded or there are errors in the control variable, you can drastically change the schedule of preventive activities. These errors can advance or delay preventive interventions, generating over costs in exchange for spare parts before time or delays that would lead to corrective work.

Having a maintenance plan that is not in accordance with the machines is a disadvantage for preventive maintenance; since a mismatch in frequencies will cause the machine to be intervened without the need or never to be checked for a certain element that is important for the operation.

To avoid this type of problems it is necessary to be very strict and rigorous with the management of the data coming from the machines; this will allow to make frequent adjustments to the maintenance plans and improve the availability of the machines.

In conclusion, we can say that preventive maintenance is vital to have good productivity in companies; and as the saying goes, it is better to prevent than to regret.

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