What is corrective maintenance?
Corrective maintenance is defined as any maintenance performed to return equipment to proper working order. Depending on the context of its use it may refer to maintenance due to a breakdown, or maintenance identified through a condition monitoring program.
When is corrective maintenance suitable?
Corrective maintenance performed due to a breakdown could fall under one of two categories: Planned or unplanned.
Planned corrective maintenance
Planned corrective maintenance likely the result of a run-to-failure maintenance plan. In this case, the maintenance team has decided that certain equipment will be serviced when it breaks down. An example would be planning to replace a lightbulb once it burns out.
Unplanned corrective maintenance
Unplanned corrective maintenance is usually the result of an unexpected breakdown.
An example here would be a piece of machinery breaking down due to a replacement part failing after being replaced during a routine PM. Corrective maintenance will need to be performed to get the machinery back in working order.
Advantages of corrective maintenance
When corrective maintenance is planned as part of a maintenance strategy, it allows those responsible for reliability to focus on other endeavors until a breakdown or condition trigger occurs.
Disadvantages of corrective maintenance
When corrective maintenance is unplanned, it can cause many disadvantages. If the cost of downtime in a given facility is very high, technicians will be racing against the clock to complete corrective maintenance, which could mean that work is carried out improperly or unsafely. It can also cause backlog if the maintenance team has to address corrective repairs rather than their usual planned PMs.
The bottom line: Corrective maintenance can be a benefit or a burden
It’s important to look at corrective maintenance within the context of your organization’s own reliability practices. If your goal is to reduce unplanned corrective maintenance, you will want to harness data with the use of a CMMS to schedule maintenance that will keep equipment running smoothly, avoiding costly breakdowns.