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In technical parlance, preventive maintenance is defined as the servicing of equipment, machines, and facilities that are operating in a satisfactory condition by detecting and correcting incipient failures before their occurrence. It is also carried out on equipment that are displaying symptoms of some minor defects before they eventually give rise to system failure. The primary goal of PM is to avoid or ameliorate the aftermath of this failure. The activities carried out under PM include regular oiling and lubrication of machine parts, oil changes, replacing worn parts, etc. The maintenance personnel also keep track of deterioration of machine parts so they know when to replace them.

There are two types of preventive maintenance:
  • Planned:
    This type of PM is done on a scheduled and timely basis, and is aimed at keeping track of the condition of machine parts. A good example of planned PM is regular vehicle servicing.
  • Condition Based:
    This type of PM is carried out when there is any minor defect in the equipment. The main goal of condition-based PM is to prevent these minor defects from causing system failure. It mostly results into replacing parts of the equipment.
Importance of Preventive Maintenance

Following are the benefits of carrying out preventive maintenance on equipment and machines:
  • It increases the life of the machine by ensuring that minor defects do not give rise to failure in the future. This also reduces the need for replacing the machine, thus saving a lot of capital.
  • As it keeps the equipment in a healthy condition, its efficiency and speed increases. Increased efficiency also results into lowering power expenses.
  • It increases the uptime of the machine, resulting in more productivity.
  • It allows running the machines at higher capacities for a longer period of time, increasing productivity.
  • In order to ensure operator safety, it is imperative to maintain the machines at the highest standards. Regular PM prevents any problems that might harm the operator, thus saving a lot of money on insurance.
  • In case of a major system failure, there might not be labor or equipment available to fix the problem. This might result in a lot of machine and labor hours to be wasted, which translates into monetary losses. PM ensures that there is no sudden breakdown of the machine, avoiding all these problems altogether.
  • This procedure generally takes lesser time than emergency repairs and replacements. Also, by going for a planned PM, you can make sure that the machine is in prime condition when you most need it.
  • This procedure costs a lot less as compared to emergency repairs and replacements.
So, as said earlier, it is a good idea to not wait for a servicing till any machine completely breaks down. You can talk to your service provider to ascertain what the correct frequency of preventive maintenance should be, be it for your vehicle or for the machines in a workshop.