Quick-fix job or full-scale care?

It’s that age-old dilemma of doing a thorough repair and extending the life of the machine or just getting it operating again as quickly as possible. We explore the pros and cons.

You know that feeling when your machine is not working quite right and you know you need to make a decision: Do I get someone to look at the machinery now while it’s still running, or do I hope for the best and deal with it later?

There are many different ways to maintain equipment and facilities, and two of the most common approaches are known as reactive and proactive maintenance. The strategy that works for you will depend on several factors, such as how critical each piece of equipment is to the overall running of your business, how expensive the repair bill could be, your budget, the lifespan of the machine and so on.

Pros and Cons

So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Reactive maintenance can be less expensive than proactive maintenance, since it only addresses problems as they arise. There’s also less time involved (typically) as you are not spending time on preventative measures. Also, there may be less disruption to your operations as you are only addressing issues as they come up. But the major disadvantage of reactive maintenance is that it’s a high-risk strategy. You don’t know when things will go wrong and when they do go wrong, you have no idea how much it will cost to fix. Your business could be significantly impacted due to the extensive downtime needed to repair the problem and the cost involved.

Proactive maintenance, on the other hand, can help you avoid these major problems before they occur. By regularly checking and servicing equipment, you can also prolong the life of your equipment and help you avoid the costly downtime (lost production costs). Yes, there may be a slight overall increase in cost, but this is outweighed by the fact that you are much less likely to have downtime, which can be hugely costly to your business. It’s also likely to be considered the safer option as hazards are less likely to occur, and you could be saving on your energy consumption due to regularly greased and oiled moving components or regularly cleaned filters. You can also schedule in the maintenance times so that it works with your business operation. Studies show that preventative-heavy businesses save an average of 12 to 18 percent on costs.

The best approach for your business will likely depend on several factors. Ultimately, it’s essential to work with a maintenance partner, like BTS Engineering, that can help you develop a customised plan that meets your specific needs.