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Is Preventive Maintenance or Predictive Maintenance Better?

Many companies with heavy machinery will need to do maintenance every now and then to make sure that their equipment is in tip-top condition. Maintenance is very essential in order to keep equipment and systems running efficiently without any breakdowns involved. Depending on the type of maintenance, it might require the replacement of an entire equipment or can even predict the failure of an equipment so that the problem can be resolved immediately.

There are mainly three types of maintenance but we will be focusing on two types of maintenance, preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. People tend to get confused when they hear of either maintenance type, it could be due to the similarity in spelling or confusion regarding the differences between the two maintenance types.

Through this article, we will clear up on any misunderstandings or confusion that you may have about these two maintenance types and help you to find out which one is more ideal for you.
What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance, or preventative maintenance (PM) is performed on the equipment as it operates normally through a regular and routine maintenance to ensure that the machinery is kept up and running, in addition to lessening the likelihood of equipment failure. Engineers will need to do careful planning and scheduling of maintenance on the machinery before an actual problem occurs, including keeping past records of servicing and inspections reports. Preventive maintenance is especially crucial for switchgear maintenance in Singapore as many major companies tend to overlook this system because of how reliable it is.

What is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance (PdM) on the other hand uses sensors to check on the condition of the equipment to predict any potential failure that might occur, followed by preventing the failure from happening by performing maintenance. An engineer will infer from the data collected through condition monitoring and compare it with analyzed historical trends to schedule and perform maintenance based on the health of the equipment.

Difference Between Preventive & Predictive Maintenance

How Is Maintenance Performed?

Similar to how a car has to be taken in for regular oil changes in order to prevent a breakdown, preventive maintenance is triggered by either meter readings, events, time and even the age of the equipment. Maintenance is done regularly based on a predetermined schedule and is performed when the machine is still operating normally. Some of these services include distribution transformer repair and power transformer overhauling.

Whereas the way predictive maintenance works is by checking the actual condition of the equipment first before scheduling any maintenance that needs to be done. Instead of doing maintenance regularly, it undergoes continuous condition monitoring to check if there is any fault or problem with the equipment.

Use of Different Maintenance Techniques

As preventive maintenance is done based on time as well as the breakdown rates of parts that are similar to one another, the engineer will typically repair or replace parts based on their expected failure dates. A preventive maintenance schedule may consist of cleaning, adjustments, inspecting and replacing electric motor spare parts, lubrication, repair, oil changes, and overhauls, either partially or completely depending on the equipment.

On the other hand, predictive maintenance is based on performance data of the machine and comprises of various advanced techniques like vibration analysis, infrared thermal imaging and oil analysis which are used to predict failures. Thermal infrared imaging can be used to check on the condition for mechanical equipment and electrical systems by scanning, visualizing, analyzing the equipment’s temperature. It allows you to see which parts of the equipment is having a “code red” and requires any repair or replacement.

Similarity Between Preventive & Predictive Maintenance

Costs & Savings

They are both cost-effective for companies and are pretty similar in terms of cost incurred, just that they happen in different areas. When considering initial investment right at the very start of maintenance, then predictive maintenance would definitely cost more because of the high cost when it comes to installation. However, it provides high returns as it reduces maintenance costs and down time. While preventive maintenance is also excellent itself in the long-run as it avoids an increase in operating costs, avoids reducing the average of throughput and most importantly, avoids

Extend Lifespan for Equipment

Though there are a couple of differences when it comes to the two maintenance types, they both have one similarity that many companies will love. Whether you choose to perform preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance on your machine, both ways will ensure that the lifespan for your equipment will be extended making the machine more long-lasting.

Which One Is for You?

Preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance are both excellent programs for maintaining and servicing your equipment. Though it would best to include a combination of both maintenance programs, they are still very different when it comes to strategies. Engage with an electrical engineering company in Singapore like Maintech Engineering & Supplies (MES) that is experienced in this field so that you’ll know which type of maintenance program is best suited for you.

MES is an established company that has many years of expertise in this line of work, additionally they provide services for both preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance.

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