In every company, machines or assets within its operation often face failures, which can be resolved through corrective maintenance. However, in order to prevent these failures from recurring, maintenance managers and engineers must prioritize the execution of preventive maintenance plans. If these plans are not effectively executed, unscheduled stops in operation can become more frequent. In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of corrective maintenance.
CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE DEFINITION
Corrective maintenance refers to the repair of unexpected failures in a company’s machines, devices or assets. These sudden failures can significantly impact a company’s availability, reliability and productivity.
In most cases, corrective maintenance is requested directly by the production area. Although maintenance technicians may also discover issues during routine preventive inspections.
However, this type of maintenance can result in cost overruns as it is unscheduled and requires immediate attention from the maintenance department.
ADVANTAGES OF CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE
Despite the negative impact of sudden machine failures on a company, corrective maintenance can have its own advantages. Some of the benefits of corrective maintenance include:
- Improved preventive maintenance: If a machine experiences a constant and repetitive failure, it needs to be inspected more frequently. This information can be used to enhance the maintenance plan.
- Inventory optimization: By keeping track of corrective maintenance activities, it is possible to gather data on times between failures and spare parts used. Such parts can be included in inventory requests, avoiding last-minute purchases.
- Direct intervention of pending jobs: Corrective maintenance can provide an opportunity to perform pending work on the equipment that is critical to the production process.
- Warranty requests to manufacturers: Corrective maintenance can help identify quality issues with the machine or its parts, allowing formal claims to be made to the manufacturer.
- Improved purchasing management: By using data from corrective maintenance, parts purchases can be planned in advance, leading to better negotiations and prices.
DISADVANTAGES OF CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE
Corrective maintenance is a type of maintenance that is usually avoided by managers, administrators, engineers, and maintenance technicians. There are several disadvantages of corrective maintenance:
- Production loss: Imminent equipment failure can lead to the equipment being unable to provide its intended service and requiring corrective intervention, leading to non-fulfillment of the production planned for that equipment.
- Increased labor costs: Both maintenance technicians and equipment operators incur additional labor costs when equipment fails. When a machine fails, maintenance technicians must be assigned to attend to the urgency, which may lead to overtime in some cases.
- Delay in maintenance plans: In many companies, maintenance technicians are in short supply, and if they are required to perform corrective work, preventive work may be delayed, as corrective maintenance takes priority.
- Increased costs of spare parts: The spare parts needed for corrective maintenance are not usually stocked in the warehouse, resulting in urgent purchases. Often, due to the need to attend to the urgency, spare parts are purchased without proper analysis at a higher cost.
- Increased stress in the maintenance department: There is more stress in the maintenance department since the work affects production directly. Corrective maintenance downtime is unscheduled, and the machine needs to be operational as soon as possible.
WHAT TYPES OF COMPANIES BENEFIT FROM CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE?
The costs associated with corrective maintenance are clear as it leads to unplanned machine stops, causing production delays and additional expenses. Nevertheless, for some industries and companies, corrective maintenance proves to be the most profitable option.
Corrective maintenance is a suitable choice for companies that frequently replace their machines or equipment due to the nature of their business.
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These companies strive to achieve high production within a specific time frame, making it difficult to allocate resources and manpower to establish maintenance plans, predictive maintenance, or tactics like RCM or TPM.
Since the maintenance performed between failures is negligible, it is a convenient approach from an operational standpoint. This eliminates the need for planned time for preventive activities during production.
Such companies should build infrastructure and acquire expertise to handle complex maintenance situations and failures promptly. In this type of company, reactive maintenance is often preferable.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Preventive and corrective maintenance are two of the most common types of maintenance used globally. However, many individuals often confuse the two.
Preventive maintenance is planned and scheduled maintenance, with the primary goal of preventing potential equipment failures. In contrast, corrective maintenance occurs when equipment fails and must be repaired at that moment.
The costs of corrective maintenance are typically higher compared to preventive maintenance, as the latter allows for budgeting of spare parts, time, and labor, providing significant advantages for both the maintenance and production departments.
Preventive maintenance is executed on a schedule, unlike corrective maintenance, which can occur at any time. This type of maintenance is planned with the production department to avoid any impact on production plans, unlike corrective maintenance.
CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE EXAMPLES
Corrective maintenance is crucial to fix equipment failures that can impact their normal functioning. It involves repairing or replacing faulty parts to restore the equipment to its intended operation. Here are some examples of corrective maintenance:
- Repairing forklift forks: If the forks are not functioning properly, the forklift cannot perform its designated task.
- Fixing a centrifugal pump shaft: The pump cannot transmit fluid properly without a functioning shaft.
- Welding a car radiator: The cooling system is vital for vehicle operation, and without it, the engine and other parts can sustain severe damage.
- Replacing split sprockets on a gear motor: All the sprockets in reduction systems must be in perfect condition to function correctly.
There are numerous other examples of corrective maintenance, and it is necessary after an equipment failure that affects its operation.