What is maintenance?
Wikipedia says maintenance is the functional checks, servicing, repair or replacement of devices, equipment, components, infrastructure and utilities. We will come back to this later as it is important.
What does maintenance mean to you? I’m guessing here but maintenance is something you must have to either comply with local regulations or is to increase the serviceable life of your refrigeration equipment, buildings, components, and utilities. I will call these assets.
Now that we have that sorted what are the levels of maintenance?
First, we have Reactive Maintenance. This is the replacement and repair of assets as and when they fail. There are many terms for this like Break-Fix and Service Repair. An example of this would be running a commercial air conditioning system until the air filter was so blocked the system shut down and then change the filter to re-establish operation. This system has the lowest ongoing cost but has the biggest impact on equipment deterioration and therefore life expectancy. It is also the most disruptive to operation and performance with costly assets replacement required more regularly and repairs can be time-consuming.
Next level is Preventative Maintenance. This is the most common of all maintenances. This is performing pre-determined activities at a specified frequency. These are driven by normal practice, manufacturers requirements, Health and safety, System sustainability, and compliance. An example of this is the servicing of your motor vehicle which is based on manufacturers recommendations with regard to either distance travelled or time expired. Industrial equipment maintenance is often based on hours of service where commercial equipment is mostly based on time-frequency. Failures still happen here but are less common as with reactive maintenance. Generally, the equipment has a longer life expectancy and is more reliable.
And finally, Predictive Maintenance. This is reliability driven and components are replaced regularly before they fail. Condition and performance monitoring are used to gauge performance against baseline data to predict components failure and schedule replacement. These maintenance plans are primarily used for assets that are critical and would be extremely costly if they fail.
Preventative and predictive maintenance have the same goals, prolonging equipment life and reducing the incidence of failure but they do things very differently. Where preventative caries out a specific task on a date or time bases. Predictive maintenance uses constant monitoring, baseline information, and analytics to predict when key components need to be repaired or replaced.
This is why it is very important to have the correct maintenance strategy to determine your level of risk versus investment. For the correct maintenance strategy for your equipment and your budget call Thermo Tech on 0800-177777.