Simply put, proactive maintenance is a strategy for maintaining equipment that fixes problems before they become issues that result in the scenarios manufacturers don’t want: machinery breakdown, unplanned maintenance, equipment downtime, increased cost, and lost productivity. An example of proactive maintenance is regularly lubricating a machine or checking pipework for signs of corrosion.
One of the most important examples of proactive maintenance is predictive maintenance, which uses a network of condition monitoring sensors and sometimes AI or machine learning to predict machinery failure before it happens. This enables engineers to carry out planned maintenance works before a fault becomes critical and causes the breakdown of the machine. Predictive maintenance is thus a means of providing an early warning system about faults. Preventative maintenance is a more traditional approach to proactive maintenance, whereby machinery is maintained according to a strict schedule which may be determined by its manufacturer, or by the level of usage of the machine.
The most futuristic proactive maintenance approach is prescriptive maintenance, in which a machine uses sensors and analytics to diagnose faults itself and give engineers plans on how to deal with any problems.
So you’ll see that the reactive and proactive maintenance approaches are very different types of maintenance: the latter means waiting for machinery to fail – and then having to fix it. That not only entails the cost of repair, but can also disrupt production, putting further pressure on finances. In this guide, we explain how a proactive maintenance approach works, look at some of the technology involved, and discuss the difference between predictive and preventative maintenance. Let’s get started.