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What Is Planned Maintenance?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth

Planned maintenance is a maintenance philosophy in which businesses plan and schedule their repair work, ensuring that all employees know when they need to repair or fix equipment. This can be planned in many ways, but it normally depends on how long the equipment has been running and similar factors. With planned maintenance, it normally is easier to buy equipment and to predict such purchases in the future, and it may be easier for employees to perform their work. At the same time, this maintenance method can be more expensive and less reliable than other methods.

When a business has equipment that will need regular repair, the business normally decides on a maintenance philosophy that will best suit the business’s needs or preferences. With planned maintenance, all maintenance is planned in advance. This means all maintenance employees will be aware of when they have to fix equipment, making it easier to schedule workers in this regard.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

How long a business waits to repair equipment with planned maintenance depends on several factors. The business can decide to fix equipment after it has been used for a certain amount of hours, distance — for cars — or other factors relevant to the state of the equipment. To ensure that repairs are truly needed, the employees sent to fix the equipment normally are experts in the field, and they can determine whether the equipment needs maintenance or if it can safely run for a while longer.

Some of the advantages of planned maintenance include ease of purchasing tools and parts for equipment, and no need for programs or instruments to check the current state of equipment. Along with making it easier to buy parts, the business normally will know how much it has to spend beforehand, so financial forecasts will be more accurate. Another advantage is that unneeded repairs can be largely eliminated to save money.

There also are some disadvantages to using planned maintenance that other maintenance philosophies better cover. While avoiding unnecessary repairs can reduce costs, the costs may increase if the business needs to order many parts on a consistent basis. Reliability also can be a problem, because equipment can break or be severely damaged between the maintenance cycles, causing repair costs to skyrocket. These disadvantages mean that planned maintenance usually is chosen as a maintenance plan when accurate work or production forecasts and avoiding expensive scanning instruments are the business’s main priorities.

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