Repair vs. Maintenance

It doesn’t matter whether the asset is a huge and complicated like an airplane, an intricate web of machinery like manufacturing plants, or a seemingly smooth running facility, maintenance and repair are essential to keeping it in optimal condition.

Ultimately, repair and maintenance have the same end goal: to extend the useful life of the tools, equipment, and infrastructure we use.  The methods to get there however are very different

What is Repair

The repair process restores an asset to a functional state.  The level of repair we need to perform is in direct correlation to the level of failure causing the asset malfunction.  There are two basic types of repair:

Partial Failure

Generally, the asset can still be used, but it’s not fully functional and might be dangerous.  Maintenance teams are often able to take corrective action quickly to restore equipment functionality before the identified issue causes the system to fail altogether.

Complete Failure

The asset is completely broken and can’t be utilized until it is fixed. The number of resources that will be spent on the maintenance will rely upon the root of the problem that should be tended to.

It is often expensive to replace equipment that breaks down. Some defects occur as a result of human error, accidents, and the natural wear of using a product for many years.  Many of these incidents are difficult to control.  However, making the switch to preventive maintenance can help.

What is Maintenance

Often, maintenance is used as a general term that refers to all the work we do to maintain our assets.  It can include:

  • Inspections, functional checks, and other types of routine maintenance
  • Spare parts replacements and other types of preventative maintenance
  • Installing a new asset
  • Upgrading a building with a new plumbing, or electric system
  • Cleaning existing assets
  • Installing sensors
  • Repairs

So Which is Better?

Most people in the maintenance industry would agree that it is better to focus on proactive maintenance strategies (i.e. preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance) as the money spent here will end up saving you more money later on.

No matter the amount of time and money spent on maintenance, eventually assets will stop being cost-effective. When an asset is nearing the end of its lifetime there comes a point when buying a new asset makes more sense than continuing to keep the old one alive. This is when a repair vs. replace analysis will be useful. It is just another way to reduce repair and maintenance costs by thinking ahead for the long-term. 

What Are You Waiting For?  Be Proactive Today!

Maintenance and repairs are an extremely important part of the lifecycle of many physical assets. For maintenance professionals that are looking to maximize the useful life of their equipment and infrastructure, they need to focus on routine maintenance. Repairs can’t be fully eliminated, but you can have them under control.

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