Industrial Maintenance Approaches


Also known as "fix-after-fail", reactive maintenance can be a cost-effective approach for machines that are:

  • Small and easy to repair or replace
  • Non-critical and inconsequential
  • Unlikely to fail or redundant

For all others, only fixing machines after failure can cause the highest life cycle costs due to:

  • Unexpected downtime
  • Complex and compounding failures
  • Extensive spare parts inventory
  • Having repair staff available on short notice


Preventative Maintenance, or PM, are planned activities performed on an predetermined interval, such as number of operating hours. Generally speaking, PM is an improvement from reactive maintenance. However, since most equipment failures have a high degree of randomness with respect to time, PM schedules rarely catch all failures, and often result in service being performed on machines that are otherwise healthy. PM is best suited for components that have a high correlation between age and functional reliability, such as:

  • Abrasive, erosive, or corrosive wear
  • Material properties change due to fatigue, embrittlement, or similar


Predictive maintenance (PdM) uses non-intrusive testing techniques to assess a machine asset's condition.

  • Vibration Analysis
  • Infrared/Thermal
  • Oil Analysis
  • Ultrasonic
  • Electrical

PdM can be "route-based" with scheduled measurement by operations staff OR accomplished via installed sensors, which is also known as Condition Monitoring. Installed sensors allow for remote 24/7/365 vibration monitoring - the ultimate in safe, consistent and reliable monitoring of key machinery.