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Preventive maintenance is a schedule of planned maintenance actions aimed at the prevention of breakdowns and failures. The primary goal of preventive maintenance is to prevent the failure of equipment before it actually occurs. It is designed to preserve and enhance equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they actually fail. Preventive maintenance activities include equipment checks, partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication and so on. In addition, technicians can record equipment deterioration so they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure. Recent technological advances in tools for inspection and diagnosis have enabled even more accurate and effective equipment maintenance. The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failure before it occurs.
There are multiple misconceptions about preventive maintenance. One such misconception is that Preventative Maintenance is unduly costly. This logic dictates that it would cost more for regularly scheduled downtime and maintenance than it would normally cost to operate equipment until repair is absolutely necessary. This may be true for some components; however, one should compare not only the costs but the long-term benefits and savings associated with preventive maintenance. Without preventive maintenance, for example, costs for lost production time from unscheduled equipment breakdown will be incurred. Also, preventive maintenance will result in savings due to an increase of effective system service life.
Long-term benefits of preventive maintenance include:
Long-term effects and cost comparisons usually favor preventive maintenance over performing maintenance actions only when the system fails.