WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE?

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In every company the machines or assets within its operation present failures; such failures are solved by means of corrective maintenance.

In order for these failures to be non-recurrent; maintenance managers and engineers must focus their efforts on the execution of preventive maintenance through maintenance plans. When these preventive maintenance plans are not executed or are not effective; there start to be more unscheduled stops of the operation. In this post we´ll talk about corrective maintenance advantages and disadvantages.

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CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE DEFINITION

By definition, corrective maintenance is the correction of sudden failures that occur in machines, devices or assets of a company. Sudden machine failures directly affect the availability, reliability and productivity of a company.

Corrective maintenance is done through direct request from the production area in most cases; but it can also be reported or found by the maintenance technicians themselves during their routine preventive inspections.

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corrective maintenance

All of the above is reflected in cost overruns; because corrective maintenance is not scheduled, it requires immediate attention from the maintenance department.

ADVANTAGES OF CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE

Looking at the above scenario it would seem catastrophic to have corrective maintenance in a company. But you can have certain advantages of corrective maintenance. Some of the advantages we can name from corrective maintenance are:

  • Improvement of preventive maintenance: We can improve the maintenance plan of a machine. When a machine has a constant and repetitive failure in one of its elements or parts, that element must be inspected more frequently. This revision or change of elements must be included in the maintenance plan.
  • Inventory improvement: Making a constant follow-up of the corrective activities of the machines; statistics can be generated; which will give us data of times between failures and used spare parts. Such parts can be included in the requests of spare parts for inventory and will not have to be purchased in an emergency.
  • Direct intervention of pending jobs: Corrective maintenance can be the perfect excuse for intervention of pending work that the equipment has. In many cases, due to their critical nature in the production process, some equipment is not regularly intervened for maintenance; but when these fail suddenly, it is used to carry out pending work.
  • Warranty requests to manufacturers of equipment or its parts: Another advantage that can be obtained from corrective maintenance is to be able to make claims to the manufacturer of the machine; for imminent failures in quality of manufacture. When a failure occurs it is pertinent to apply techniques to find the initial causes of the failure; and thus be able to make a formal claim to the manufacturer.
  • Improvement in purchasing management: If the information resulting from the corrective maintenance is used as it should be, it is possible to program in time the purchase of the necessary parts, which will have repercussions in better negotiations and therefore better prices.

DISADVANTAGES OF CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE

Corrective maintenance is the kind of maintenance that managers, administrators, engineers and maintenance technicians regularly don’t want to see happen. These are some of the disadvantages of corrective maintenance:

  • Loss of production: When an imminent failure occurs in a piece of equipment; it can no longer provide the service for which it was designed and must be intervened correctively. Therefore, it cannot comply with the production planned for such equipment.
  • Over cost of labor: There is an over-cost of labor for both maintenance technicians and equipment operators. When a machine fails, maintenance technicians must be assigned to attend to the urgency, which implies overtime in some cases.
  • Delay in maintenance plans: In many companies, maintenance technicians are scarce and if they are destined to do corrective work, preventive work is relegated, because corrective maintenance is attended to immediately.
  • Over cost in purchases of spare parts: The spare parts that are regularly used in corrective maintenance are not in the warehouse stock. This implies making urgent purchases and in many occasions, due to the need to attend to the urgency, the spare parts are bought without the due analysis and at a higher value.
  • Greater stress in the maintenance area: A greater stress is generated in the maintenance area; because the works affect directly the production. The stop time of the corrective maintenance is an unscheduled time; and it is necessary to leave the machine in operation in the shortest time possible.

IN WHAT TYPE OF COMPANIES IS CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE PROFITABLE?

The over costs of corrective maintenance are evident; since the stops of the machines are not programmed; which delays the production of the companies. In spite of the above, there are companies or industries in which corrective maintenance is the most profitable option.

corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance is a good option for those companies or organizations that do not stay long with their assets or machines. Also in those where their business area changes constantly; and therefore the machines they use are changed regularly.

These companies try to generate a high production in a determined range of time, therefore; it affects them directly to destine time to manpower and resources in establishing maintenance plans, programmed stops, predictive or tactical maintenance as the RCM or TPM.

The maintenance that is carried out between failures is null; therefore, from the operational point of view, it is something comfortable. This allows the production not to destine programmed time for preventive activities.

This type of company must create an infrastructure and learn skills that allow them to react quickly to failures and complex maintenance situations. In this type of company, it is better to wait and react to what happens.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

Preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance are two of the most commonly used types of maintenance worldwide. However, many people fail to distinguish between these two types of maintenance.

Preventive maintenance as its main feature is that it is planned and scheduled maintenance. Unlike corrective maintenance which is the maintenance that is executed at the right time that the equipment fails.

The costs of corrective maintenance are higher because they are not planned; compared to preventive maintenance. In preventive maintenance, spare parts, time and labor can be budgeted, which is a great advantage for both the maintenance department and the production department.

Preventive maintenance is work that is done with an established period of time totally contrary to the corrective one that can occur at any time. Preventive maintenance is planned with the production area and the machine stop does not affect the production plans, unlike corrective maintenance.

CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE EXAMPLES

Failures that totally affect the normal functioning of an equipment, are an emergency and therefore a corrective work must be done to correct them as soon as possible. Some examples of corrective maintenance are:

  • The repair of forks of a forklift. If the forks are not functioning properly the forklift cannot perform the work for which it is designed.
  • Repairing a centrifugal pump shaft. Without the shaft a centrifugal pump cannot transmit fluid properly.
  • Welding a car radiator. The cooling system is a very important system in vehicles, without it, cars can have more severe damage to the engine and other parts.
  • Changing split sprockets on a gear motor. In reduction systems, it is necessary that all the sprockets are in perfect condition, in order to do their job correctly.

There can be many more examples of corrective maintenance, after an equipment failure affects its operation, there will be corrective maintenance to be performed.

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