The 5 types of industrial maintenance

5 types of maintenance with ermeo

There are 5 types of industrial maintenance: curative maintenance, corrective maintenance, predictive maintenance, systematic preventive maintenance and conditional preventive maintenance. 

Find the definition of each type of industrial maintenance in this article, with their advantages and disadvantages.

Before diving into the heart of the matter, discover how ENGIE Axima optimised its HVAC equipment maintenance thanks to the Ermeo web and mobile solution.

1. Responding to a problem with corrective or remedial maintenance

What is corrective and curative maintenance?

When a part or piece of equipment malfunctions, it is either repaired or the defective part is replaced. This is the type of response provided by corrective and curative maintenance. The two approaches are similar, but there are differences. In both cases, the objective of the technical intervention is to remedy a malfunction, anomaly or non-conformity, so as to restore the equipment to normal operation. This objective may be achieved by repair in the case of corrective maintenance, or by complete or partial replacement in the case of curative maintenance.

Advantages and disadvantages of corrective and curative maintenance

Remedial and corrective maintenance have in common that they are carried out after the occurrence of a fault or anomaly identified during aninspection. In other words, they are not suitable for critical equipment on which the company's activity depends. However, both types of maintenance can be considered for non-priority equipment which, if it fails, will not prevent the company from operating normally.

Corrective and remedial maintenance strategies require rigorous monitoring of anomalies and non-conformities.

ermeo anomaly management
Reporting an anomaly on Ermeo

Curative or corrective maintenance is also used for lower value equipment where regular maintenance is too expensive compared to the original value. Curative and corrective maintenance are indeed less expensive than other solutions for maintaining equipment and resources.

However, this type of approach requires a responsive maintenance service that intervenes quickly, as soon as the problem is identified. For this reason, it is generally not advisable to use corrective or remedial maintenance for high priority or expensive equipment, as late repair can have a negative impact both on the life of the equipment itself and on the business. On machines or equipment with a high priority for the company, the repair costs can be very high. It is therefore better to choose another maintenance strategy, among those discussed below.

2. Anticipating problems: systematic and condition-based preventive maintenance

What is systematic preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance aims, as the name suggests, to prevent malfunctions by regularly servicing equipment and solving minor problems before they become major problems that can affect the business. Preventive maintenance is based on a maintenance programme, or maintenance planThis is based on a number of parameters, including the age and degree of wear of the equipment. For example, when equipment is new, the best maintenance is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. This is what is done as a matter of course during manufacturer's servicing of cars. Industrial equipment can be treated in the same way.

Different parameters can be taken into account to define a preventive maintenance programme, depending on the equipment. For example, business air conditioners can be serviced each year in the spring, before they are turned on during hot weather. Similarly, a heating system may benefit from preventive maintenance before it is switched on in the autumn.

A preventive maintenance programme can therefore be based on the calendar, but it can also take into account the operating conditions. This is typically the case for production machines. For example, you may decide to carry out preventive maintenance on a hydraulic press after a certain number of operating cycles. The maintenance programme then consists of a list of points to be inspected.

maintenance range on ermeo
The maintenance range on Ermeo


Advantages and disadvantages of systematic preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance helps to avoid many problems. It is therefore suitable for equipment that is critical to the operation of the company. Since preventive maintenance is scheduled according to a predetermined timetable, the company usually has the necessary parts available. Similarly, the presence of personnel required for preventive maintenance can be included in the maintenance round schedulesThe work flow of the teams can also be planned in such a way as to ensure that they are able to carry out their work in a timely manner. The work flow of the teams can also be better planned, as it is known in advance when the equipment will be unavailable for preventive maintenance.

The main disadvantage of this type of maintenance is an exaggeration of preventive measures, which leads to over-maintenance. It is a pity to replace fan belts that could still be used, because of the fear of a breakdown before the next scheduled maintenance. Furthermore, every time a technician works on a machine and dismantles its mechanisms, the risk of accidental damage is increased. Even a routine operation on a motor can lead to a tool being forgotten in the mechanism!

Conditional preventive maintenance

Conditional preventive maintenance is a variant of systematic preventive maintenance. The condition refers to the state of the equipment. Instead of structuring maintenance interventions according to the schedule, machines are monitored continuously for signs of future problems. Monitoring a motor, for example, may take the form of a temperature check every 3 hours, or at some other rate. It is of course possible to install a sensor that reads the temperature and triggers an alarm when the temperature is below or above the set limits.

There are obviously other parameters that can be monitored as part of conditional preventive maintenance: vibration, speed, power, humidity, etc.

Conditional maintenance is carried out while the equipment is in operation, thus saving on downtime. Instead of shutting down the equipment to inspect it, it can be left running, with the sensors. The company can also save on maintenance costs, as it does not have to schedule as many inspections. Tasks are only performed when they are needed.

But conditional preventive maintenance does not only have advantages. Among the disadvantages is the cost, since equipment is needed to monitor critical functions. In addition, the company must train its technicians to calibrate the sensors.

3. Predictive maintenance as a solution to maintenance problems and breakdowns?

What is predictive maintenance?

In many ways, predictive maintenance is similar to condition-based preventive maintenance. But the data is analysed to generate predictions about future failures. Let's take the example of the motor mentioned above. With condition monitoring, you have a motor that usually runs at a temperature of x degrees. As soon as it exceeds x + y, you know that maintenance is required and the teams can intervene.

With the predictive maintenance system, the engine never has a chance to reach x + y, because the constant stream of data is now closely examined by the software. It analyses it, runs it through complex algorithms, looking for clues. So your engine may be within the temperature parameters, but the software still triggers maintenance after interpreting the data and finding clues that something bad is about to happen.

Advantages and disadvantages of predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance has the advantage of automated detection. The advantages are those of conditional preventive maintenance, but problems are detected even earlier. The disadvantage is the cost to the company. It needs sensors, but also sophisticated analysis software. The staff also need to be trained extensively. This is a heavy investment, but it pays off in the long run.

4. How to optimise your maintenance strategy?

To facilitate the implementation of a maintenance strategy that is fully adapted to the needs of your equipment and infrastructure, you can use a solution for the digitalisation of operational processes such as Ermeo and its connected operator platform. You can collect your field data on a tablet or smartphone, control your interventions and resources more easily, and integrate your maintenance software such as your CMMS. 

Would you like to know more about Ermeo? Do not hesitate to contact our customer service and ask for a demonstration.

Morgane NERET Head of Marketing