Preventive vs. Predictive Maintenance: What Are the Differences?

About 76% of industries worldwide use preventive maintenance strategies, while 41% use predictive. The question is, why is there such a huge gap between the two? Well, the answer hinges on the differences between the two.

That said, there is so much more to both maintenance strategies. For you to choose the right one, you need to understand these differences.

We have compiled a comprehensive guide on preventive vs. predictive maintenance. Keep reading to understand all the differences.

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance detects faults before they become serious enough to stop the machine. Preventive maintenance programs generally include scheduled inspection. They also include other procedures such as cleaning, lubrication, adjustment, testing, and replacements.

The inspections should indicate machine conditions before costly stoppages or failures. Preventive efforts often involve more than machine maintenance. For example, preventive measures for a car may include regular oil changes.

It may involve tire rotation and an inspection of the belts, hoses, and brake pads. You could go the extra mile and check fluid levels, and replace air filters every so often. With the right predictive maintenance tips, your equipment will be in great condition.

What Is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance predicts impending equipment deterioration or failure by analyzing present equipment conditions. It does not indicate faults when noted but is done while the machine is running. Predictive efforts often involve more sophisticated instrumentation than simple preventive measurements.

The goal of predictive maintenance is to establish a proper replacement schedule. This is usually for parts that are wearing out faster than they should be. An example of predictive maintenance is the use of sensors that detect vibration.

When excessive vibration occurs, it may indicate a problem with the bearings or gears. This would mean that an equipment failure is imminent.

The Difference Between Predictive and Preventive Maintenance

Now that you understand what each of them represents, let’s look at the differences. So, preventive vs. predictive, which one should you opt for?

The Costs

Preventive maintenance is typically less expensive than predictive maintenance. You see, the goal of preventive measures is to detect and fix a problem before it happens. Let’s say you plan to perform preventative maintenance on your washing machine.

You can do this by cleaning out the overflow valve whenever the water level reaches high. You can do preventive maintenance while the washer is not in use. This means that no water will go down the drain.

It would be less messy than what would occur if you had to clean up after locating a leak or spill. Predictive measures involve replacing parts before they fail. It involves following a certain schedule and you may have to replace parts that may still be useful.

Predictive Maintenance Is More Time-Consuming

Predictive maintenance is more time-consuming than preventive measures. The thing is, predictive efforts often rely heavily on sensors and other instrumentation. These must be installed at specific points of a system for them to operate well.

You should factor installation time into your predictive maintenance schedule. Factor in additional time required for data analysis.

This process could take weeks if not months. Alternatively, you may want to consider reliability centered maintenance. You may find this to be a better balance between the two.

Predictive Maintenance Can Be Performed While the Machine is Operating

You can’t say the same about preventive maintenance. With predictive measures, there is no need to take a machine out of operation for inspection.

On the other hand, the system or equipment must be off for preventive maintenance. This often requires an interruption in productivity. This means you may reduce downtime costs by implementing predictive actions.

Preventive Maintenance Is More Frequent

Preventive maintenance needs to be more frequent than predictive maintenance. It’s designed to avoid breakdowns at the earliest possible time. It hinges on resolving problems before they become major failures.

In turn, it saves money in production losses and prevents unexpected downtime. Preventive measures can be taken any number of times during a machine’s lifetime.

Predictive measures are quite different. You see, they are performed after an extended period of wear on certain parts or components. Preventive maintenance on a car may include changing out brake pads often.

Predictive measures would rely on data collected from sensors located within your vehicle. You would only replace your brake pads after a predetermined number of miles driven.

Inspection Requirements Differ Greatly

To perform preventive maintenance, you need to take the machine apart. This will give you access to internal components and measure factors. You check specific items during a visual examination by a trained technician.

As with any job, experience with similar equipment matters greatly for successful maintenance. In contrast, predictive maintenance is quite different. You need a data analytics professional.

They’ll install proper analytic measures to predict maintenance schedules. Of course, you still need technicians to replace components when the time comes.

The Maintenance Approach

These two approaches differ when addressing machine problems that have already arisen. While preventive measures solve existing problems, predictive measures anticipate impending issues.

Preventive maintenance seeks to eliminate possible causes of trouble. The goal is to prevent the occurrence of faults or failures.

Predictive maintenance analyzes historical data to identify trends and patterns. This helps determine future failures.

Frequency of Inspection/Task Duration Differ

The frequency of inspection carried out during preventive and predictive differs significantly. Inspections for preventive purposes are more regular and frequent.

There’s one key difference between these two types of inspections. You see, specific intervals are predetermined during predictive tasks. In contrast, preventive work schedules usually depend on the equipment in question.

Preventive vs. Predictive Maintenance Guide

Preventive vs. predictive maintenance, which one should you go for? This depends on the equipment in question and what they’re used for. Preventive maintenance may work better for certain industries as compared to predictive maintenance.

Still, go through these differences and see which one would work best for you.

Now that you understand the differences, how about you head over to our blog for more valuable posts?

By Malik