10 common industrial maintenance mistakes

Industrial maintenance plays a pivotal role in ensuring the reliability, safety, and performance of industrial equipment. Its objective? To maintain or restore an asset to an optimal safety condition, for a specific function. It is categorized into two types: preventive, which aims to anticipate breakdowns to extend the equipment lifecycle […]

Industrial Maintenance is essential to ensure the reliability, safety, and performance of industrial equipment. 10 Common Industrial Maintenance Mistakes

Its mission? To sustain or restore an asset to a state or under conditions that optimize safety for a specific function. It is divided into two categories: preventive, which anticipates breakdowns to extend the life cycle of machinery, and corrective, which comes into play after incidents to repair or replace damaged parts.

This sector represents a significant strategic challenge for businesses. It helps to reduce costs, enhance quality, meet environmental standards, and satisfy customers. However, poor management of industrial maintenance can lead to costly mistakes, resulting in negative impacts on production, safety, and profitability. In this article, we will explore 10 common errors and suggest maintenance strategies to avoid them.

Diagnostic Errors and Their Consequences


Let’s delve into two frequent missteps that can jeopardize the accuracy of diagnostics in industrial maintenance. We’ll also discuss how predictive technology can be crucial in preventing them.


Mistake 1: Making an Incorrect Diagnosis

diagnostic-errors-and-their-consequences-360x163 An inaccurate diagnosis can occur when the cause of a failure or wear is wrongly attributed to equipment. This situation can stem from several factors: a lack of knowledge, a misinterpretation of data, confusion between symptoms and actual causes, or overlooking environmental factors. The repercussions of an incorrect diagnosis are significant, potentially leading to extended down times, unnecessary or ineffective repairs, worsening failures, or loss of customer trust.

Mistake 2: Overlooking Warning Signs

Failure to recognize or downplay the importance of signals indicating an imminent malfunction is another critical error. This mistake can result from inadequate monitoring, poor quality data, lack of proper alerts, or underestimating risks. The consequences of ignoring these warning signs can be catastrophic: unexpected outages, major malfunctions, jeopardized safety, or loss of competitive edge.

How to Avoid Them? Use Predictive Technology

Predictive technology emerges as an effective solution to avoid the pitfalls of incorrect diagnostics in industrial maintenance. It relies on data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other advanced data processing methods to forecast potential equipment failures. The benefits of using predictive technology include the ability to detect early warning signals, pinpoint true causes, forecast maintenance needs, optimize interventions, and enhance equipment performance. Hence, predictive technology proves to be a valuable ally for industrial maintenance, contributing to cost reduction, improved equipment availability, quality assurance, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Industrial Maintenance Industrial Maintenance Mob

Errors in Planning and Executing Maintenance Operations

Planning and executing maintenance operations errors

In this section, we’ll examine four common mistakes affecting the planning and execution of maintenance operations. To mitigate these, there are solutions for optimizing maintenance management, such as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). This software supports the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) strategy, which aims at production optimization. We’ll also detail effective strategies to prevent these mistakes through advanced management and ongoing training.

Mistake 3: Insufficient Planning

Insufficient planning is characterized by a lack of clear definition regarding goals, resources, timelines, procedures, and responsibilities. Multiple factors can cause this: poor communication, inaccurate needs assessment, absence of suitable tools, or unpredictability. The consequences? Last-minute work, time pressure, interruptions, unscheduled interventions, and a loss of effectiveness and productivity.

Mistake 4: Poor Task Prioritization

Improper task prioritization stems from an inability to order operations based on importance, urgency, impact, and feasibility. Various reasons can lead to this: insufficient criteria, confusion of priorities, pressure from external demands, or neglecting risks. The risks? Quality deterioration, additional costs, non-compliance with standards, and customer dissatisfaction.

Mistake 5: Lacking Documentation and Follow-up

Failing to document and follow up on maintenance activities can be problematic, characterized by the absence of consistent recording, updating, sharing, and analyzing maintenance information. This may result from a lack of time, oversight, poor organization, or suitable tools. Herein, deploying a CMMS emerges as an essential solution for efficiently recording and tracking all interventions. The consequences of neglecting documentation and follow-up? Loss of traceability, difficulty in assessment, repetition of errors, and delays in TPM initiatives for continuous improvement.

Mistake 6: Overlooking Team Training and Expertise

Overlooking team training and expertise means failing to develop, coach, value, and enhance the skills of maintenance technicians. This omission could be due to budget constraints, no training policy, ignorance of actual needs, or lack of recognition. The impacts? Declining motivation, increased turnover, reduced performance, and a loss of competitiveness.

How to Prevent Them? Implement Management Strategies and Ongoing Training

Preventing mistakes during the planning and execution of maintenance tasks is critical, and adopting management strategies and ongoing training is key. At the heart of these strategies is the need to:

  • Establish a maintenance policy that is both clear and aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.
  • Employ proper tools for planning, documenting, tracking, and assessing operations.
  • Set clear criteria for task prioritization and develop reliable performance indicators.
  • Actively involve all internal and external stakeholders in these processes, encouraging effective communication.
  • Invest in ongoing training, coaching, acknowledgment, and skill development of maintenance technicians.

Adopting these strategies will lead to resource optimization, significant quality improvement, a considerable reduction in costs, compliance with standards, and increased customer satisfaction.

Mistakes Related to Preventive Maintenance and Equipment

In this section, we will address four common mistakes that can affect the quality of preventive maintenance and industrial equipment upkeep. We will also discuss strategies to avoid them by adopting an effective preventive maintenance program.

Mistake 7: Neglecting Preventive Maintenance

Omitting regular inspections, adjustments, cleanings, lubrications, replacements, or tests on industrial equipment equates to a lack of preventive maintenance. This issue may arise for several reasons: lack of time, budget, qualified staff, appropriate tools, or planning. The consequences of such neglect can be severe, including premature equipment wear, unexpected failures, performance loss, increased energy consumption, or compliance violations.

Mistake 8: Incorrect Use of Equipment

Disregarding procedures for operating, handling, storing, transporting, or protecting equipment, either through misuse or negligence, can lead to serious consequences. This can be due to a lack of training, awareness, supervision, motivation, or discipline. Damaging effects include material deterioration and contamination, breakage, injuries, and even sanctions.

Mistake 9: Underestimating the Importance of Cleaning and Lubrication

Failing to emphasize the necessity of cleaning and lubrication can severely impact the functioning of industrial equipment. This problem may stem from ignorance, negligence, ineffective routines, short-term savings, or carelessness. The consequences include dirt accumulation, corrosion, increased friction and overheating, and accelerated machinery wear.

Mistake 10: Ignoring Modernization and Technological Updates

Not taking advantage of technological innovations and sector advancements can lead to a plethora of issues for industrial equipment. This could result from a lack of technological monitoring, vision, means, skills, or adaptability. The consequences can be disastrous, such as obsolescence, competitive disadvantage, increased vulnerability, compatibility issues, or market exclusion.

How to Avoid Them? Adopt a Strong Preventive Maintenance Program

A solid preventive maintenance program is key in averting mistakes in maintenance. A fundamental component of this program is employing a preventive maintenance software, such as a CMMS solution, which effectively supports TPM principles. Such solutions help coordinate and automate preventive maintenance activities. More than just a plan, this program acts as a comprehensive roadmap, outlining standardized procedures for each type of equipment and detailing the roles of each participant in the maintenance process. This ensures consistent and systematic operations every time, thus guaranteeing the safety and reliability of the equipment fleet.


In summary, this article explored 10 frequent mistakes in industrial maintenance, as well as strategic advice to avoid them. These errors, which touch upon diagnostics, planning, execution, upkeep, and equipment, can significantly affect production, quality, safety, profitability, and customer satisfaction. To circumvent them, embracing predictive technology, implementing management strategies and ongoing training, and adopting a robust preventive maintenance program are crucial. These approaches seek to enhance the efficiency of your maintenance operations, extend the lifespan of your equipment, minimize costs, and boost your market competitiveness. Want to learn more? Don’t hesitate and contact us right away.

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