17 May, 2022 | Posted by Colm McDonnell

Planned Maintenance versus Reactive Maintenance in Facilities Management

In facilities and workplace management, one of the biggest responsibilities is maintaining the hard and soft infrastructure that you are in charge of, ensuring that they are kept to an acceptable standard.

They are two types of maintenance in facilities and workplace management, planned maintenance and reactive maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at both and how they differ from one another.

Planned Maintenance

What is planned maintenance? According to the software company, Hippo CMMS, planned maintenance is a proactive approach to maintenance that focuses on minimising the downtime and costs associated with breakdowns.

The process starts by identifying a maintenance challenge you want to address, such as reducing downtime or increasing the lifespan of your assets and equipment. You can then anticipate, schedule, and document the various tasks that help you reach your goal.

Planned maintenance requires regular inspections to ensure that whatever it is you are monitoring is not showing signs of possible future breakdown.

This is a process of conducting regular maintenance of your assets and equipment to prevent unexpected equipment failures and reduce costly downtime. It can be useful for assets with statutory requirements, high replacement costs, or assets that play critical roles in your operations.

Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance, as the name might suggest, occurs in reaction to a mechanical failure. While it might sound counter-intuitive, reactive maintenance, sometimes called run-to-failure maintenance, is a legitimate and often used maintenance technique, though it does come with its disadvantages.

Reactive maintenance requires less time and less money as a technique as it doesn’t require the heavy, constant monitoring that planned maintenance does.

However, it does require quick reaction time for the inevitable breakdown that will come at some stage in the lifespan of the asset.

Reactive maintenance is therefore more suitable for certain types of assets. Single-use assets, assets without statutory requirements, non-critical assets, assets with a low financial value or assets with short lifespans.

With this kind of assets, it is more cost-effective to employ a reactive maintenance strategy than a planned maintenance strategy.

In Summary

There are two types of maintenance in facilities and workplace management.

Planned maintenance requires constant inspection and feedback to predict and get ahead of a breakdown to minimise downtime and/or elongate the lifespan of an asset. It is best suited for assets with high financial value or assets that are integral to the process of your company.

Reactive maintenance is a quicker, short-term maintenance strategy, sometimes referred to as run-to-failure maintenance. It requires less frequent monitoring, often reacting once a breakdown has occurred. It works best for assets that are cheap to replace, have shorter lifespans, or are not critical to the operations of the company.

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