Approaches to Maintenance 131

Approaches to Maintenance provides an introduction to common manufacturing maintenance strategies, including reactive, corrective, predictive, preventive, reliability-centered, and total productive maintenance. This class describes the advantages and disadvantages of each method, the benefits of planned downtime, and the importance of a customized maintenance approach.

Having a targeted, well-designed maintenance plan reduces costly machine breakdowns and production downtime. With this class, manufacturers will learn about the benefits, limitations, and goals of popular maintenance approaches, making them better equipped to support and improve their facility's method.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 19

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • What is Maintenance?
  • The Importance of Maintenance
  • Reactive Maintenance
  • Corrective Maintenance
  • Disadvantages of RM and CM
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • The Limitations of PM
  • Maintenance Review
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • PdM Techniques
  • Maintenance Review
  • Reliability-Centered Maintenance
  • Elements of RCM
  • Elements of RCM In Action
  • Total Productive Maintenance
  • The Benefits of TPM
  • Maintenance Review
  • The Benefits of Planned Downtime
  • Selecting a Maintenance Approach
  • Define maintenance.
  • Describe the importance of maintenance.
  • Define reactive maintenance.
  • Define corrective maintenance.
  • Describe the disadvantages of RM and CM.
  • Define preventive maintenance.
  • Describe the limitations of a PM approach.
  • Define predictive and condition-based maintenance.
  • Describe PdM techniques.
  • Define reliability-centered maintenance.
  • Describe the reliability-centered maintenance approach.
  • Describe the reliability-centered maintenance approach.
  • Define total production maintenance.
  • Describe the benefits of a TPM system.
  • Describe the significance of planned downtime on maintenance.
  • Describe factors involved in selecting a maintenance approach.
Vocabulary Term

autonomous maintenance

A maintenance technique in which tasks are performed by the machine operator rather than maintenance staff. Autonomous maintenance is a element of total productive maintenance.

baseline reading

Initial data collected while a machine is in working order. Baseline readings are compared to future readings in order to detect machine problems.

computerized maintenance management system

CMMS. A type of management software that performs functions to support operations and maintenance programs. Facility personnel can use CMMS to track and monitor the time and costs associated with maintenance.

condition-based maintenance

CBM. A type of predictive maintenance which depends on continuous or periodic monitoring to both anticipate failures and alert machine operators to potential problems. CBM is a type of predictive maintenance.

corrective maintenance

CM. The practice of performing maintenance on a machine after a problem becomes apparent but before the machine fails. CM corrects problems before reactive maintenance is necessary.


A period of time when production stops, often due to mechanical failure or maintenance needs. Downtime can be planned or unplanned.

lean manufacturing

An approach to manufacturing that seeks to improve quality, reduce cost, and eliminate waste. Total productive maintenance is a maintenance approach used in lean manufacturing.


Any activity that contributes to the care and upkeep of machines or equipment. Maintenance approaches can involve monitoring equipment for problems or fixing a machine after it breaks down.

maintenance planner

A person who schedules and coordinates maintenance activities. Companies with large maintenance departments often hire maintenance planners.

overall equipment effectiveness

OEE. A lean metric that measures how effectively equipment is being used. Overall equipment effectiveness is determined by multiplying the percentage of an equipment's availability, quality, and performance together.

planned downtime

A scheduled stop in production which is often used for machine maintenance. Planned downtime is preferable to unplanned downtime, which is usually caused by machine failure.

predictive maintenance

PdM. A maintenance approach that tests and monitors each machine individually in order to predict failures. In PdM, periodic readings are compared to baseline readings in order to identify problems.

preventive maintenance

PM. The practice of performing standard maintenance functions on a scheduled basis in order to prevent breakdowns. PM tasks are usually determined by the age of the equipment.

reactive maintenance

RM. The practice of performing immediate maintenance on a machine only after it becomes damaged or problematic. RM is not a cost-effective long term maintenance approach.

reliability-centered maintenance

RCM. A maintenance approach that identifes the maintenance requirements for each machine based on the needs of the work environment. RCM prioritizes some machines over others.


A maintenance policy that allows equipment to run until it breaks down, at which point reactive maintenance may be performed. Run-to-failure is typically used for low-priority machines.

total productive maintenance

TPM. A comprehensive maintenance approach that gives continuous attention to equipment in order to reduce waste. TPM encourages employee participation and incorporates lean manufacturing principles.

unplanned downtime

An unexpected stop in production due to maintenance, mechanical failure, or other processing problems. Unplanned downtime can lead to safety problems and production losses.

vibration analysis

A maintenance technique that measures levels of machine vibration in order to determine if the machine is functioning properly. Increases in vibration usually indicate a problem.