Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance, CMMS

Preventive and Predictive Maintenance (and Why They Matter)

Keith Barr
By Keith Barr
16 Mar 19

Ever try to meet your daily quota when one of your machines is out of commission for unexpected maintenance? It probably wasn’t a “fun” day.

For a factory to meet production goals, manufacturing equipment must be available.

It’s that simple.

What’s not simple is equipment complexity and finding available resources to keep the equipment running. There is one certainty in manufacturing: machines break down. And it’s up to the maintenance department to fix them. However, if a factory practices only reactive maintenance, maintenance technicians will always be reactive and never gain the upper hand.

Reactive maintenance is also expensive because no planning process exists to accrue cost savings; that’s why many factories utilize ongoing Preventive Maintenance (also known as "PM"). However, some factory maintenance teams also practice Predictive Maintenance.

This post will share the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance, and discuss the advantages of each.


What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is when factory maintenance teams inspect equipment to identify failures before they occur, based on specific triggers. Machines can have hundreds of parts, so preventive maintenance typically focuses on parts that have limited lifespans or are critical to product quality and throughput.

There are typically two kinds of triggers that start preventive maintenance operations:

  1. Usage-Based Preventive Maintenance – inspect and replace parts based on production cycles.

  2. Time-Based Preventive Maintenance – i.e., the number of hours a part has been in use.

Either of these specific triggers helps maintenance teams stay ahead of basic repairs, thus preventing major stoppages. But what is the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance?


What Is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive Maintenance is similar to Preventive Maintenance, in that it tries to proactively prevent major shutdowns. But instead, predictive maintenance relies on system-generated data to trigger repair notifications. Under predictive maintenance, teams perform maintenance when sensors, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications indicate that a part or component is failing or has reached a standard where failure is imminent. So in other words, predictive maintenance is based on real-time component conditions; this is different from time and usage-based preventive maintenance, where you base repairs or replacements on predetermined component life expectation standards.

With predictive maintenance, you have more control over your maintenance and rely on much less guesswork. Factories need a combination of preventive and predictive maintenance. 


What Do Preventive and Predictive Maintenance Mean to Factories?

Preventive maintenance is important to manufacturing because it’s a best-practice that reduces the likelihood of production disruptions that impact supply chain logistics, costs, and ROI. It also reduces total maintenance costs. Unfortunately, the deployment of preventive maintenance can be challenging if maintenance teams are caught up in the cycle of endless reactive maintenance issues.

What can you do about that? Let’s look:


How To Evolve Your Factory Maintenance with Preventive and Predictive Maintenance 

The decision to implement preventive and predictive maintenance is largely by what type of maintenance system you are currently using. If you’re stuck on a system that keeps you guessing, you need to break the cycle. So at this point, you may wonder how you escape the waste generated by reactive maintenance. You’re not alone.

Every day, large and small manufacturing maintenance teams across all verticals have the same issues:

  • Manual maintenance systems don’t work because they are paper or spreadsheet-based, capture limited data, and never create a culture of continuous improvement.

  • As factories are increasingly embracing Industry 4.0, manual maintenance processes are falling behind.

  • Maintenance functions in MES and ERP systems are not user-friendly and require system experts to enter and extract data.

  • Standards CMMS systems are frequently hard to use, do not show real-time data, and have no information on spares. Even worse, they do not help Maintenance integrate with Production or facilitate problem-solving.

The solution to these is to move toward a system that’s user-friendly, built for the factory floor, and has enough robust data to make it possible to conduct maintenance proactively. Easier said than done, right Consider Leading2Lean’s CloudDISPATCH software. It successfully breaks these paradigms by providing maintenance departments a user-friendly tool built for the factory floor.

Here’s how it works: With CloudDISPATCH, line operators can generate real-time digital dispatches for maintenance. Upon receipt, the maintenance technician can see the abnormality details, the machine repair history, spares availability, and access to procedures and manuals – all in one digital solution. And most importantly, CloudDISPATCH easily integrates with sensors and PLCs to capture IoT data so you can perform best-in-class preventive and predictive maintenance processes.



Predictive and Preventative maintenance aren’t out of reach. They’re an industry best-practice that you should adopt, as they’ll boost your logistics, lower your costs, and improve your revenue. And a solution like CloudDISPATCH makes that easier than ever.

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