What is preventive maintenance? Objectives, challenges and functioning

Preventive maintenance as a proactive approach to maintain equipment before faults occur, reducing downtime and costs, and extending equipment life. It contrasts with corrective maintenance and includes various methods like predetermined, condition-based, and predictive maintenance.

Unlike corrective maintenance, which focuses on resolving faults as they occur, preventive maintenance enables organizations to anticipate their maintenance operations. Interventions based on certain criteria or at a specific frequency ensure smoother operation, with limited interruptions.  Businesses, which are often under pressure to increase the automation of their maintenance processes, whether due to economic conditions or regulatory imperatives, are well advised to opt for preventive maintenance to maximize the performance of their equipment and ensure optimum maintenance management.

Preventive maintenance is maintenance carried out before faults occur, on a regular or conditional basis, depending on the equipment concerned. This kind of industrial maintenance comes in a variety of forms, to meet every need.

In this article, we’ll help you better understand what preventive maintenance is and how it can help improve your company’s maintenance operations.

What is preventive maintenance?

Objectives and challenges

Suivre ses KPIs maintenance avec la GMAO (1) Preventive maintenance involves proactively servicing your production equipment to limit the risk of equipment breakdown or failure.

Also known as planned maintenance, this type of maintenance involves scheduling regular servicing of all your company’s production equipment. The maintenance team will take care to minimize the risk of machine failure, thus avoiding downtime at inappropriate times.

Maintenance teams practicing preventive maintenance generally use a computer-aided maintenance management system (CMMS) to plan and manage their maintenance plans, optimize processes and reduce downtime of production machines.

Appropriate and well-implemented preventive maintenance leads to better performance, but that’s not all! There are many benefits, such as

  • Fewer production downtimes, thanks to timely maintenance and repair of machines
  • Improved equipment and employee safety, thanks to more accurate machine monitoring and a high level of information
  • Extended equipment service life, avoiding repeated faults
  • Long-term savings, both in terms of spare parts and human and organizational resources

Upstream intervention on equipment has a virtuous effect on all levels. For both the organization and its employees, preventive maintenance saves precious time and contributes to the quality of working conditions. Greater  


What’s the difference between preventive and corrective maintenance?

The main difference between preventive and corrective maintenance lies in maintenance planning: whereas preventive maintenance involves maintaining the equipment before it breaks down, corrective maintenance involves using the equipment until it breaks down. In other words, the maintenance work will only be carried out after the equipment has failed.

Most companies that use a corrective maintenance system do so because it is generally less difficult to implement. A preventive maintenance system involves planning and optimizing the maintenance schedule for your equipment, which requires an investment of time and money. However, these companies fail to take into account all the advantages of a preventive maintenance system, which generally make preventive maintenance cheaper and more effective than corrective maintenance.


Disadvantages of corrective maintenance

Relying on corrective maintenance means you have no control over the production of your machines. Imagine, for example, that you have a very important order to fulfill, and you suddenly encounter a technical problem with one of your most critical machines. The maintenance team discovers that a part has to be replaced, and that it won’t be available for another week. At this point, your production capacity is limited to 50 %, and there’s nothing to do but wait for the spare part to arrive.

Now you can no longer deliver your important order on time, which will lead to customer dissatisfaction and jeopardize the continuation of your contract.

With a preventive maintenance system, your maintenance team will proactively carry out inspections and maintenance work to avoid this type of situation. This means carrying out maintenance work to prevent faults, and ordering spare parts in advance so that they are available before they are urgently needed. In this way, you can control the timing of maintenance work to minimize disruption to your production levels.


What are the types of preventive maintenance?

The predetermined maintenance

The predetermined maintenance is carried out at regular intervals. In other words, maintenance is carried out when a predetermined period of time has elapsed, regardless of the actual state of the equipment. In general, this type of maintenance is used for equipment subject to regulations requiring frequent maintenance. It’s also the most common type of maintenance for machines whose failure would be very costly or cause a lot of problems for the company.

For example, commercial passenger aircraft are subject to a strict system of predetermined maintenance. This means that aircraft, whatever their actual condition, have to be serviced every few months or years. As you can imagine, an unexpected aircraft fault could be catastrophic, which is why airline regulations require them to carry out this type of preventive maintenance. Passengers can travel safely, and airlines avoid the delays and irregular operations that would be caused by an unexpected failure on one of their aircraft.


The condition-based maintenance

The condition-based maintenance programs and carries out maintenance work only when the condition of the production equipment requires it. In other words, maintenance is only carried out when the condition of the production equipment has deteriorated sufficiently to justify it. These conditions may vary depending on the equipment being serviced, but may include parameters such as its power consumption, number of cycles, or even a visual assessment. To achieve this, it is necessary to measure these parameters continuously or at regular intervals.

This type of maintenance aims to reduce the redundancy of the predetermined maintenance, as it takes into account the current state of production equipment to determine whether or not maintenance is necessary. As a result, this preventive maintenance system is more common in companies seeking to optimize their maintenance processes in order to reduce costs as much as possible.


The predictive maintenance

The predictive maintenance uses past information to determine the right time to carry out the maintenance on a machine. This information may come directly from the manufacturer of the production machine, or from internal information gathered by the company’s maintenance team. The most advanced preventive maintenance systems use the Internet of Things (IoT) to predict the ideal time to carry out maintenance tasks.

As with condition-based maintenance, implementing predictive maintenance requires constant or frequent monitoring of the condition of your assets. A CMMS will help you track parameters relevant to predictive maintenance, and gather information on faults and maintenance of production equipment. This will give your company’s maintenance team a clearer idea of when maintenance is required on their equipment, and enable them to optimize their maintenance tasks.

Preventive Maintenance Mob Preventive Maintenance


What are the benefits ?

Reducing failures and breakdowns

One of the main reasons for using preventive maintenance is to reduce the occurrence of machine failures and breakdowns. By scheduling and carrying out maintenance before a problem occurs, you ensure that your equipment is in the best possible condition and operating correctly.

By taking advantage of scheduled maintenance to add lubricant, replace small parts and change components showing signs of excessive wear, you can prevent unexpected failures and breakdowns. All these small interventions carried out during scheduled maintenance considerably reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns during normal machine operation.

Maximizing equipment lifespan: a key objective.

Another major advantage of preventive maintenance is that it helps to extend equipment lifespan. This is because preventive maintenance corrects potential faults and defects in your equipment before they become a major concern. Your equipment will therefore be operating in optimal conditions most of the time, rather than with worn parts, helping to extend the lifespan of your assets.

If you’ve ever bought a car from a dealer, you know that regular maintenance is one of the best ways to extend its lifespan. Even if your car doesn’t have any problems, taking it to the garage once every six months to change the oil, rotate the tires, check the fluids and detect any possible problems ensures that your car is running in ideal conditions. This concept also applies to your assets, whose lifespan you can extend with preventive maintenance.

Improving worker safety 

As you know, the aim of preventive maintenance is to avoid unexpected failures and breakdowns. This can be critical for your employees, especially if you have manned production equipment. By reducing the frequency of unexpected breakdowns, you can significantly improve the safety of your company’s workers. You can be sure that the machines your maintenance technicians work with are regularly maintained, and that they won’t be subject to unexpected failures.


How to implement a maintenance plan?

What is a preventive maintenance plan?

Preventive Maintenance A preventive maintenance plan is much more than just a maintenance plan; it’s a comprehensive plan to optimize the maintenance of your equipment and avoid breakdowns. A preventive maintenance plan also involves training your employees to implement best practices, in order to reduce the likelihood of asset failures and breakdowns.

 In an ideal world, we could work with peace of mind, knowing that none of our equipment would suffer from failures or breakdowns. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t quite work like that, and we inevitably have to deal with faulty or broken-down equipment. That’s why implementing a preventive maintenance plan is one of the best ways to save money, reduce downtime and boost your company’s productivity.

No matter how many pieces of equipment you need to maintain, a preventive maintenance plan will help you stay up-to-date on the maintenance work required, and prioritize it.

Implementing the maintenance plan

To implement an effective preventive maintenance plan, you must

  1. List all the equipment you need to maintain
  2. Define priorities and critical equipment
  3. Identify the maintenance tasks required to keep your equipment in good condition
  4. Determine maintenance frequency
  5. Establish a maintenance schedule
  6. Implement the plan in collaboration with the maintenance team
  7. Analyze results and optimize the process

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are an essential tool for ensuring the reliability of any preventive maintenance strategy. As a central, reliable database, the software provides a 360° view of fleets of all sizes. It also facilitates team coordination and information, records the history of interventions and simplifies spare parts inventory management.

More generally, the automation capability offered by CMMS is a major asset for organizations, as it represents an important step towards a more digital and intelligent Industry 4.0. Beyond its centralization functions, CMMS can indeed provide highly detailed quantified reports and provide long-term support for predictive and preventive maintenance strategies.

Success Story: Implementation of a maintenance plan by SCPR

The crushing and prefabrication company SCPR has successfully implemented a preventive maintenance system in collaboration with DIMO Maint. With 10 different production sites and a decentralized maintenance team, the company was looking for a maintenance software solution capable of reducing the redundancies and inefficiencies of its complex organization.

Thanks to its collaboration with DIMO Maint, SCPR has been able to create a uniform preventive maintenance plan that enables it to manage:

  • 450 pieces of equipment
  • 2,300 components
  • 11,700 items
  • 1,000 product lines

SCPR can now check the status of spare parts stocks at any time, regardless of their location, as well as scheduled maintenance tasks to avoid unexpected failures and faults.


Contact us to find out what CMMS can do for you.



What are the most important indicators ?

Preventive Maintenance Important preventive maintenance indicators depend on the type of industry concerned. But here are the most important ones:

  • Downtime: downtime is the period during which your equipment is unable to produce due to a lack of maintenance.
  • Maintenance backlog: this is the total number of outstanding maintenance tasks.
  • Mean time between failures: this parameter calculates the frequency with which your equipment tends to break down.
  • Mean time to repair: this parameter measures the time required for an asset to be repaired after a failure.
  • Performance: the performance of each asset is an important parameter in any maintenance plan.

It’s also important to bear in mind that your company’s priorities may change. For example, if machine downtime is crucial to your business during the high season, your company could take advantage of a period of low sales to reduce maintenance backlogs.


The challenges of implementing preventive maintenance

The main obstacles to implementing preventive maintenance are high costs and the complexity of scheduling maintenance tasks. Without a dedicated CMMS for preventive maintenance, the task of preventing the failure of any production equipment would be far too time-consuming and costly.

Here are some recommendations you can implement to achieve maximum efficiency in preventive maintenance:

·       Involve the entire team

Taking care of your equipment doesn’t just depend on your maintenance team. Don’t forget to train everyone in your company in best practices for machine use.

·       Evaluate your processes

Even if your current plan is working well, it’s likely that it could be even better. Don’t forget to regularly analyze your maintenance indicators to identify potential areas for improvement.

● Use the latest technologies

Cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence offer us great perspectives for improving our processes, and we need to keep a close eye on them.


Emerging trends

One of the most time-consuming tasks in preventive maintenance is constantly monitoring the condition of production equipment. Whereas this task used to be carried out manually, it is becoming increasingly common to integrate emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to take on this type of task. If you use this new technology properly, you can save significant time.


How can our CMMS facilitate the implementation of preventive maintenance?

The main features of CMMS to facilitate preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance software offers a number of essential features:

Data collection: CMMS automates the process of collecting data, such as the condition of production equipment parts, number of cycles and productivity efficiency.

The use of collected data: the collected information will be used to create the ideal maintenance plan for your company.

● Data analysis: by generating reports and graphs containing valuable information, you’ll be able to control the performance of your equipment and make the right decisions.


Success story: how the Bénéteau Group improved its efficiency and productivity with DIMO Maint CMMS

By implementing DIMO Maint CMMS, the Bénéteau Group has consolidated maintenance at its 28 production sites and reduced equipment downtime. The group implemented a 24-hour production cycle, supported by an effective preventive maintenance plan. The group implemented a 24-hour production cycle, supported by an effective preventive maintenance plan.



Although its deployment requires a certain amount of preparation, the benefits of preventive maintenance are already well established. In addition to reducing maintenance costs, preventive monitoring brings reliability and safety to your entire production process. By using maintenance software, the transition to preventive maintenance comes with complete visibility over your equipment.

Would you like to receive a free demo of our solutions and find out how to maximize the life of your equipment?

Contact us to find out what CMMS can do for you.




  1. What’s the difference between preventive and corrective maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is proactive and planned in order to avoid faults and extend equipment life. Corrective maintenance, on the other hand, intervenes after a breakdown to repair the equipment.

  1. How does preventive maintenance contribute to workplace safety?

Preventive maintenance reduces the risk of accidents by ensuring that equipment functions properly. For instance, regular inspections can detect potential problems on a machine before they cause an incident.

  1. What are the financial benefits of preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance helps avoid the high costs associated with unexpected breakdowns, such as production downtime, emergency maintenance and early equipment replacement. This leads to substantial savings in the long term.

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