Research & Best Practices

Corrective Maintenance: What it Means for your Facility


Maintenance is, in many ways, the backbone of a successful, efficient and safe manufacturing facility. Corrective maintenance is no exception. The corrective maintenance definition is as follows: A maintenance need that is detected prior to failure and is scheduled, addressed and corrected in a just-in-time, non-emergency manner — preventing or vastly reducing downtime.

Corrective maintenance is tied to preventive and predictive maintenance in that those processes are typically when a corrective need is identified. Throughout the rest of this article, we will look at corrective maintenance benefits, corrective maintenance examples, types of corrective maintenance and the corrective maintenance process.

The benefits of corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduced downtime: By addressing maintenance issues before they lead to failure, corrective maintenance vastly reduces equipment downtime. Corrective maintenance occurs in tandem with scheduled preventive maintenance, or is scheduled after problem identification. This creates much greater control over downtime.
  • Improved safety: Equipment failure creates a dangerous working environment. The pressure of emergency maintenance tasks can be inherently dangerous, as well. By carrying out maintenance in a non-emergency fashion — without equipment failure — corrective maintenance creates a safer working environment throughout the facility.
  • Longer service life: When equipment fails due to worn components, it can lead to longer-term damage throughout the machine. Conducting corrective tasks prior to failure means that equipment is operating within spec, greatly reducing the risk of excessive wear and tear on other components.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Maintenance due to failure can lead to higher maintenance costs from emergency part ordering and off-hours personnel requirements. Corrective maintenance can be planned and accounted for, reducing costs.
  • Optimized MRO planning: With corrective maintenance as a dedicated, planned part of your maintenance practice, you are better able to account for inventory, ordering and scheduling needs.

The types of corrective maintenance

There are two types of corrective maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled. Each type is related to the way in which the maintenance need is identified, triaged and addressed. Below, we will look at each type in more depth:

  • Scheduled: Scheduled corrective maintenance occurs when a need is identified in the course of a preventive or predictive maintenance procedure, and is determined to be unnecessary to remedy immediately. The technician and maintenance manager can then schedule the required procedure for another time when it would be most effective or efficient. For example, during the next scheduled downtime or preventive maintenance cycle.
  • Unscheduled: Unscheduled corrective maintenance occurs when a component is noticed to be near failure, and it is determined that it can efficiently be replaced during the current procedure. An example of this type of maintenance is a cracked or damaged component that has not yet failed, but is in danger of doing so imminently. Since failure has not occurred, the part can be replaced with minimal extra downtime, vastly reducing the time and cost that an emergency repair would later incur.

An example of scheduled corrective maintenance would be identifying excessive wear on a bearing during a preventive maintenance check, but determining that it will not fail prior to the next scheduled cycle. With scheduled maintenance, the replacement part can be ordered or pulled in advance of the corrective procedure, eliminating extra downtime and streamlining the maintenance process. Corrective maintenance occurs most efficiently with a well-designed storeroom management strategy in place. This method includes intentional, planned repairable parts management that can ensure the right parts are always on hand and easily available when corrective maintenance is required.

Corrective maintenance is a matter of opportunity. Emergency parts ordering or weeks-long turnaround times can eliminate the benefits that a proactive, effective corrective maintenance strategy would otherwise afford. In addition, a well-constructed preventive maintenance plan can further reduce the need for corrective maintenance.

ATS offers services to meet all of these needs: preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, repairable parts management and storeroom management, helping to optimize your maintenance plan and facility operations, reduce costs, and maximize productivity. To learn more about our services, contact ATS.

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