Proactive Maintenance Examples, Types and Strategies [+checklist]

Published on:
October 11, 2023
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When it comes to mastering maintenance, the key is to balance proactive maintenance budgets to minimize the financial impact, frequency and duration of reactive maintenance events.

In this article, we discuss proactive maintenance, its types, examples, and tips for preparing a budget for your facility.

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If you are looking to learn more about maintenance management, visit our guide on Work Order Management.

What is proactive maintenance?

Benefits of Proactive Maintenance
Benefits of Proactive Maintenance

Proactive maintenance, also known as preventive maintenance, aims to recognize the fundamental cause of equipment failures and rectify them before they cause major issues.

Proactive maintenance can be contrasted with reactive maintenance in that proactive occurs before a breakdown whereas reactive is to correct the cause of the breakdown. In most cases, reactive maintenance caries a higher cost and operational impact to facilities. 

However, some proactive maintenance can be expensive, so managers need to find the balance between maintaining a healthy asset inventory and balancing the budget.

To accomplish this balance, managers should develop a proactive maintenance strategy, consisting of processes that will help you find any hidden inefficiencies, improve asset reliability and workplace safety. Let's look at a few different types of proactive maintenance.

3 Types of Proactive Maintenance

3 Types of Proactive Maintenance
3 Types of Proactive Maintenance

👷🏽 Time-Based Maintenance

Time Based maintenance is regularly scheduled maintenance to prevent unexpected failures in the future. Each asset type has distinct preventive maintenance protocol to be conducted at regularly scheduled time cadences.

For example, a boiler in a hotel may have monthly, quarterly and annual preventive maintenance processes to ensure reliable operations. Through time-based preventive maintenance, engineers can enhance the asset efficiency and decrease down-time risk for business operations. 

Assets tend to become less efficient and effective over time, especially when they are not taken care of properly. For example, the engine health in a car is largely influenced by the frequency of oil changes.

Engines with proper lubrication deliver better fuel efficiency and are more reliable for the driver.

Just as with the car, performing preventive maintenance will help you save energy, increase the asset life,  and reduce unplanned downtime. 

🔧 Condition-based Maintenance

Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is when technicians monitor condition of equipment to decide what maintenance is needed. This can be done manually or through sensor devices to collect real-time measurements on equipment pieces. CBM data isn't necessarily predictive, but can be used to make value based decisions on maintenance needs.

In addition, condition based maintenance is used to correct issues that are not yet causing functional risk, but are aesthetically or otherwise unappealing. Examples such as dents and paint chipping can be corrected with condition-based maintenance.

Other examples of condition-based maintenance include:

  • Vibration analysis
  • Infrared thermography
  • Oil analysis
  • Ultrasonic analysis
  • Pressure testing

📈 Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance uses data analysis tools to detect irregularities in your operations and defects in your process so you can fix them before they become a problem. It uses real-time and historical data from various parts to predict any possible issues.

The overall goal of predictive maintenance is to minimize unnecessary upkeep so that budget can be focused on when downtime is imminent.  

Predictive maintenance is difficult to achieve in the current environment due to lack of consistent data points. New equipment may come with built-in health monitoring that helps managers succeed in predictive maintenance.

With the emergence of Internet of Things (IOT) technology, predictive maintenance will become more implementable and relevant. By connecting hardware monitors to existing equipment, managers can collect regular performance readings and artificial intelligence can provide insights into when and where to conduct maintenance.

The future is bright for maintenance processes due to predictive technologies.

Proactive Maintenance vs Reactive Maintenance

Proactive Maintenance vs Reactive Maintenance
Proactive Maintenance vs Reactive Maintenance

Example of Proactive Maintenance in the Hospitality Industry

Hotels constantly have guests checking in and out, and the buzzing lobby filled with guests also brings the responsibility of ensuring hotel maintenance meets guests' expectations. Most think maintenance is expensive, but they can cut overall expenses by safeguarding hotel assets such as supplies and equipment. Here are the top areas to focus on for your hotel:

🌡️ Heating and cooling systems

Routine checks and maintenance of the hotel's chiller and boiler systems are essential for guests' comfort. Dirty or worn-out filters, HVAC leaks, and blocked heat ducts can mess up your hotel's budget with last-minute repairs.

💡Lighting and Electrical Systems

Electrical issues can cause sudden power outages causing inconvenience to your guests and staff. Consistently checking plugs, wires, and circuit breakers can prevent major last-minute electrical problems. 

🪠Plumbing and water supply

Water issues can make a deep hole in your pocket. Avoid it by consistently checking rusty pipes, cracked tiles, toilet malfunctions, and water damage to ceilings and floors. Ensure there are unclogged drains, sinks and tubs are leak-free. 

⏰Alarms and Safety Equipment

Guest safety should be your priority. Ensure everything works properly, including sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Locks on the door to the washrooms, bedrooms, conference rooms, and other hotel areas. 

4 Proactive Maintenance Budgeting Tips

The allocation of maintenance budget is not the same for every business and must be personalized to the condition of assets. When creating a maintenance budget for the first time, there are a few elements you need to consider.

🚨 Set aside the budget for emergencies

Proactive maintenance can help you avoid downtime and keep your assets healthy.

So you must allocate a considerable portion of your budget for proactive work. While it can look like a hefty expenditure for a moment, it will benefit you in the long run. But there will inevitably be instances where you'll need reactive maintenance, which tends to be more expensive and time-sensitive.

To avoid exceeding your budget, set aside a portion for such emergencies. A study by Stanford University found the cumulative cost of maintaining and operating its assets rose as the buildings aged. 

For this reason, the reactive maintenance budget amount should depend upon your overall equipment age, usage and breakdown history. This amount should increase over time as the likelihood of failure increases.

📚 Analyze spending from last 3 years

The best way to understand future maintenance costs is to take a look back at your budgets from past 3 years. How much of the overall budget was allocated to maintenance? Was there any money left over at the end of the year? Were there issues that could have been prevented with a more comprehensive maintenance protocol? Answering questions like these will help you to anticipate your future expenses and learn from past mistakes.

❄️ Take seasonal maintenance needs into account

Each season comes with unique needs, so you must keep seasonal factors in mind while preparing the budget. If you are located in areas with harsh winters—you need to set aside a portion for snow and ice removal, heating system equipment, and any power losses. You also need to consider the risk of increased costs due to tightened technician and parts supply in high issue months.

Plan the required summer and winter measures before the seasons arrive. Use the mild spring and fall months to execute preventive maintenance. Make sure to plan for any emergencies during such extensive seasons.

💸 Identify and budget for hidden costs

Hidden or underground costs are easily overlooked, and you might not expect them. So if you ignore such costs you can expect your budget to fall off easily. For example, you may need to pay for software licenses, or the invoices can come with additional processing fees. Another example is supply chain bottlenecks and inflation costs. Without factoring this into your maintenance budget, you will likely be under predicting costs.

Free Checklists to Standardize Proactive Maintenance

Gone are the days when you used to keep a physical record of every process and update them from scratch now and then. With digital checklists, you can create your custom lists, record their usage and analytics across teams. Equipment failure can lead to unplanned downtime and affect your organization's productivity. Prevent this by creating a proactive maintenance checklist.

According to Plant Engineering 74% of CMMS users believe that this tool improves productivity, while 58% consider it cost-effective in general. Furthermore, 57% of users see its ease of use as an advantage.

Preventive Maintenance Checklists include all tasks your staff need to complete, so they know the exact process they need to follow regarding maintenance. Checklists make it easier for technicians to understand everything, and they complete tasks faster and track asset condition over time.

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