What is the right asset maintenance strategy for my organisation?

It is important that every organisation, no matter the industry, have a stringent maintenance strategy in place. For asset-intensive businesses, it is pivotal for achieving efficiency and the highest possible profits. The maintenance strategy that you implement within your business will have a crucial impact on the company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, quite a few maintenance managers have a difficult time while choosing the applicable strategy, or at worst, they completely overlook the approach altogether.

It is important to have an Enterprise Asset Management software (EAM) in place while implementing a strategy to track your work and schedule. The three basic types of maintenance strategies are Preventive, Reactive and Predictive. Choose the one that works best for the assets applicable.

Don’t wait until an asset component fails to take the necessary action to repair or replace it. All assets require periodic maintenance to continue running at maximum efficiency, which is why it is important that you find the appropriate balance of maintenance approaches to minimise the asset downtime and repair costs while ensuring a safe environment for your workers.

Reactive Maintenance
In terms of asset management reactive maintenance is also known as the “run-to-failure” strategy. Reactive maintenance is when you decide to take action after an asset fails. This strategy may appear to be a less expensive option in the short term, as you would on be spending the money when an asset breaks down, however, it proves to be a more costly exercise in the long run.

Why? When employing only reactive maintenance, the lifecycle of the asset is shortened. As a result the asset may also break down more frequently. When a business is in reactive maintenance mode, most of your common maintenance activities are driven by unforeseen issues.

Preventative Maintenance
The preventative maintenance strategy aims at conducting asset maintenance before any failure occurs. Preventive maintenance is usually conducted via a time-based or meter count based approach which is carried out at predetermined periodic intervals to reduce risk of failure or performance degradation of assets.

The objective of preventive maintenance is to minimise unplanned downtime and reduce repair costs. However, it is important to remember that preventive maintenance may not always prevent asset failure, though it does greatly reduce the risk.

Predictive Maintenance
The predictive maintenance strategy is a condition-based approach to maintenance. This course of action focuses on evaluating the condition of the components of an asset to determine whether they need to be serviced instead of servicing the whole asset on a fixed schedule.

This would be best suited to larger, more costly, and the most complex assets within an organisation. Combined with preventative maintenance would give the best results overall.

Choosing your asset maintenance strategy
When you optimise the maintenance strategy of your organisation in conjunction with Enterprise Asset Management, your business will reap a number of benefits, some of which include:

  • extended asset life
  • reduced downtime and asset failure
  • improved health and safety
  • minimised repair costs

The first step is to assess the current maintenance strategy to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Once assessed, assign a maintenance strategy to each asset in your business based on its level of criticality.

Assets with a high consequence of failure are considered as highly critical assets. You must monitor the condition of these assets continuously with an appropriate predictive maintenance plan to protect them and predict their applicable failures.

Assets of low to mid-level criticality should be monitored with the preventative maintenance strategy.

Reactive maintenance should only be used for assets that are not considered essential. Only use reactive maintenance if the consequence of failure is so insignificant that it is obviously more cost effective to allow the asset to fail rather than spend valuable maintenance time performing predictive or preventative maintenance tasks.

For a business with a large range of different assets you can opt to use a combination of all the three maintenance strategies for optimal results. Mainpac allows you to document the condition of the assets using EAM as it will enable you to identify opportunities for improvement and increase efficiency. Mainpac would love to assist your business if you are looking to implement an Enterprise Asset Management system within your organisation and our team will assist you to understand how you can optimise your maintenance strategies.