Breakdown Maintenance

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What is breakdown maintenance?

Definition

Breakdown maintenance is maintenance performed on equipment that has broken down and is unusable. It is based on a breakdown maintenance trigger. It may be either planned or unplanned.

Examples of breakdown maintenance

An example of planned breakdown maintenance is run-to-failure maintenance, where an organization has decided that letting a piece of equipment break down before servicing is the most cost-effective and least disruptive option.

Examples of unplanned breakdown maintenance include corrective maintenance and reactive maintenance. Corrective maintenance is performed when a breakdown occurs between scheduled preventive maintenance occurrences. Reactive maintenance is performed if a breakdown occurs because a maintenance strategy has not yet been put in place.

Advantages of breakdown maintenance

Using breakdown maintenance when it makes sense can help organizations focus on optimizing PM programs for critical equipment.

Disadvantages of breakdown maintenance

Unplanned breakdown maintenance can be more costly than preventive maintenance, because it typically causes downtime and interrupts production. It can also be difficult to find the root cause of a breakdown when no maintenance strategy is in place. Finally, breakdown maintenance can raise health and safety issues if technicians are rushing to fix a problem and taking risks to do so.

The bottom line: Breakdown maintenance can be a good thing—when it’s planned

Though the term “breakdown maintenance” sounds catastrophic, if it’s part of a planned maintenance strategy, it can often make a lot of sense for certain pieces of machinery. When breakdown maintenance is unplanned, though, it can lead to costly downtime, health and safety risks, and halted production.

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