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Choosing the Right Maintenance Strategy for your Business

The optimal maintenance program is essential for equipment-intensive industries. These industries rely on their equipment to manufacture, mine, transport, or store their commodities. When their machinery is out of commission, operations halt and revenues freeze while expenses continue to pile up. Because of this, choosing the best maintenance program is essential for a successful business strategy, and modern businesses have a choice to make between traditional or predictive maintenance. 

Traditional Maintenance 

Traditional maintenance strategies are straightforward. They consist of regularly scheduled maintenance and reactive maintenance as needed. This means that when components wear down or break the equipment is removed from the production cycle until it is fixed. 

Predictive Maintenance 

Predictive maintenance is a proactive approach and focuses on anticipating problems and predicting equipment failures before they occur. The initial implementation of this strategy is intensive; it requires the installation of sensors and software to analyze the equipment’s performance and detect anomalies that might be signs of impending component failure. However, once this approach is in place, it can be highly effective at reducing equipment downtime and avoiding further damage caused by a single component’s failure.

Considering the Costs of Traditional and Predictive Maintenance

At a glance, predictive maintenance sounds clearly superior to traditional maintenance strategies. Predictive maintenance strategies, when properly implemented, can drastically reduce equipment downtime and the expenses associated with fixing your machinery. However, when you consider the cost of implementing a predictive maintenance plan, the choice between traditional and predictive maintenance becomes less clear. 

Predictive maintenance strategies can be costly to implement. The upfront costs are high, and the monitoring and sustentation of your predictive maintenance program are additional costs that will need to be accounted for. Because of this, predictive maintenance is not a financially sound investment for all businesses. Predictive maintenance provides the most value to businesses that experience substantial losses when equipment is down or instances where equipment failure becomes a safety concern. 

It is also important to note that additional options are available to companies who might not see a return on their investment with a comprehensive predictive maintenance program. Companies seeking alternative maintenance solutions can also consider options like condition-based maintenance or advanced troubleshooting. They serve as a practical “middle-ground” between traditional and predictive maintenance. 

McKinsey & Company has offered additional insight for businesses looking to implement predictive maintenance. They highlight the importance of integrating your predictive maintenance strategy with your digital work management system. Digital work management systems like FieldAware provide businesses with the platform they need to coordinate, track, and control the field service project lifecycle, all while housing all past and future project information. FieldAware is a valuable asset for businesses utilizing both traditional and predictive maintenance programs.