What is Preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance or preventative maintenance ( PM ) has the following meanings:

  • The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.

  • The work carried out on equipment in order to avoid its breakdown or malfunction. It is a regular and routine action taken on equipment in order to prevent its breakdown.

  • Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments, parts replacement, and cleaning, performed specifically to prevent faults from occurring.

Preventive maintenance

The main goal behind PM is for the equipment to make it from one planned service to the next planned service without any failures caused by fatigue, neglect, or normal wear (preventable items).

This may be by preventing the failure before it actually occurs which Planned Maintenance and Condition Based Maintenance help to achieve. It is designed to preserve and restore equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they actually fail.

Maintenance activities include partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication, minor adjustments, and so on. In addition, workers can record equipment deterioration so they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure.

The ideal machine maintenance program would prevent any unnecessary and costly repairs. Machine maintenance for various equipment and facilities is quite nuanced. For instance, maintaining certain equipment may include a “preventive maintenance checklist” which includes small checks which can significantly extend service life.

Furthermore, other considerations such as weather and equipment are taken into account; for instance, in the case of HVAC systems, maintenance is often performed before the hottest time of the year.