What is the Difference Between Preventive and Corrective Maintenance?

preventive and corrective maintenance

Your power plant’s equipment needs regular maintenance in more ways than one. Maintenance managers spend a great deal of time implementing different strategies to integrate into their critical maintenance plans to prevent problems from occurring. However, there’s not just one right way to maintain your machines; preventive and corrective maintenance both serve a purpose.

What is preventive maintenance? 

Preventive maintenance is regularly scheduled inspections, tests, repairs, and replacements of critical equipment. Conducting preventive maintenance increases equipment efficiency, reduces premature failures, and prolongs the life of the equipment. Regularly scheduled preventive plant maintenance is an effective solution to prevent most potential hazards. To put it another way, preventive maintenance takes a more proactive approach. The objective of scheduled maintenance inspections is to reduce or eliminate equipment breakdowns on the power plant floor by performing scheduled shutdowns. Scheduled preventive maintenance shutdowns can help minimize unexpected downtime and the severity of unplanned outages.

What is corrective maintenance?

Corrective maintenance, also known as crisis management, is needed for power plant equipment issues that occur when there are noticeable concerns regarding the functionality or condition of the equipment. While preventive maintenance is scheduled to help prevent equipment from breaking down during production, these things happen. That is when corrective maintenance comes into play. This type of maintenance can be subdivided into three types:

Remedial maintenance

Remedial maintenance is the process of eliminating the source of failure without interrupting production. In this case, corrective maintenance would be carried out by taking the item out of production, replacing it with reconditioned items, or shifting its workload to the redundant item.

Deferred Maintenance

The corrective maintenance process is not initiated immediately after a failure but is delayed to affect production adversely.

Shutdown corrective maintenance

Set corrective maintenance activities performed when the equipment is shut down completely to fix when it has broken down.

Corrective maintenance aims to maximize the effectiveness of all critical plant systems, eliminate breakdowns, eliminate unnecessary repairs, and minimize deviations from the optimum operation.

What is the difference between the two?

Pros of Preventive Maintenance: 

Preventive maintenance is ultimately about reliability. If you keep your plants’ equipment in good shape, it’s less likely to break down, and you’ll have less downtime in the end. 

Cons of Preventive Maintenance:

Preventive maintenance isn’t the most suitable option for every piece of equipment. When it comes to older or less critical assets, preventive maintenance can cost more than it’s worth.

Pros of Corrective Maintenance:

Correctional maintenance has many advantages, such as the increase in the performance of all critical plant systems, the decrease of breakdowns and unnecessary repairs with little to no planning, and low operational expenses.

Cons of Corrective Maintenance: 

The main disadvantage of corrective maintenance is that action does not occur until the equipment decreases performance. Some corrective maintenance can cause interruptions by its unpredictability.

Preventive Maintenance Advantages and Disadvantages

Area Advantages Disadvantages
Downtime Less downtown in between shutdowns Planning for shutdowns for preventive maintenance can be intensive
Labor Fewer breakdowns More labor-intensive
Equipment Less equipment downtime Upfront costs – keeping equipment well-maintained requires investment
Safety Fewer interruptions High labor payroll

Corrective Maintenance Advantages and Disadvantages

Area Advantages Disadvantages
Downtime Minimal planning Unpredictable 
Labor Usually easy-to-understand and easy-to-perform process. Increased cost of labor maintenance
Equipment It saves money and time as it is only required to restore assets when a failure occurs. Paused operations
Safety Safety at work and OSHA compliance improved Rushed maintenance can lead to unsafe work environments

Next Steps:

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