What is Run-To-Failure Maintenance?
Run-To-Failure Maintenance is a method of maintaining equipment by determining how much use it can handle before it breaks down, and then running it until that point.
Typically, run-to-failure is used with cheap and easy to fix assets or assets that are not impactful to core business operations. This could be lightbulbs, faucets, or even vending machines and vacuum cleaners. The cost of upkeep isn't worth it to the business because it will not extend the useful life of the asset and is not worth the time or attention.
The idea behind Run-To-Failure Maintenance is to save money by not maintaining or replacing parts until they fail. This way, you avoid having to pay for unnecessary replacements and repairs. But there are some downsides to this method as well.
Is Run-To-Failure Maintenance Right for My Business?
Run-to-failure should be used on assets that are inexpensive, do not pose safety risks and are not necessary for daily business operations. To minimize risk associated with time offline, create a reactive maintenance plan that helps you take action once a failure occurs.
Run-To-Failure Maintenance is ideal for small businesses with limited resources who need to maximize their return on investment while keeping their operating costs low. It also works well for large companies with huge fleets of vehicles or machines that need regular upkeep in order to stay on top.
Possible Cons of Run-To-Failure Maintenance
Cost: With Run-To-Failure Maintenance, you may spend less money initially because you replace the equipment before it breaks down. However, if you do not replace the equipment as soon as it is broken, then you will spend more money repairing or replacing it later on.
Availability: If your company relies on having certain machines working at certain times (for example, if your business makes products that need a specific machine to run), then you may not be able to afford to have those machines offline while they are being repaired or replaced.
Reputation: If your customers see that there are constant issues with their equipment and they receive poor service because of these issues (or worse yet — if they find out that these problems have been going on for months), then they might stop buying from you altogether.