What Is the Difference Between Unplanned and Unscheduled Maintenance?

What Is the Difference Between Unplanned and Unscheduled Maintenance?

Unplanned maintenance and unscheduled maintenance are two remarkably similar terms, and that is why they are often used interchangeably. In this blog, we will explore what exactly unplanned maintenance and unscheduled maintenance are!

Despite their names sounding so similar, there are some major differences. So, what are the major differences between them? Let's begin!

What Is Unplanned Maintenance?

Unplanned maintenance is that maintenance that occurs unexpectedly. This maintenance is employed when an asset breakdown occurs unexpectedly. Unplanned maintenance is often referred to as reactive maintenance or emergency maintenance.

It can also be time-consuming as there is no proper strategy, and the maintenance team will have to figure out what the issue is! Unplanned maintenance is expensive due to overtime, call-outs, & spare parts required, which might need to be purchased.

What Is Unscheduled Maintenance?

Unscheduled maintenance occurs when asset maintenance was planned but a slot for maintenance was not allocated. In simple words, the time, day, and date are not fixed for maintenance.

Here is an example of unscheduled maintenance: with the help of data, you found that a vehicle needs maintenance after every 2000-km ride.

Now you know that maintenance will be scheduled for the vehicle after 2000-km, but the first condition is that the vehicle needs to complete 2000-km after only that maintenance will be scheduled & performed. So, there is uncertainty.

What Are the Several Types of Unplanned Maintenance?

Several types of unplanned maintenance exist, which we have discussed below:

1. Reactive Maintenance

It is conducted when an unexpected asset breakdown occurs, and repairs are undertaken.

Reactive maintenance is performed as a reaction; therefore, it can increase downtime, and repairing can be a time-consuming process.

The maintenance team will have to first figure out what the issue is and what actions can be taken to resolve the issue.

2. Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance gets the asset working again after it stops working properly.

Maintenance for corrective measures ranges from fixing a minor defect that is causing an asset to run slowly, to repairs on a machine that has broken down.

This type of maintenance addresses unforeseen issues that have not been anticipated or scheduled.

What Are the Types of Unscheduled Maintenance?

Below we have discussed several types of unscheduled maintenance:

1. Improvement Maintenance

Improvement maintenance is when the maintenance team discovers another issue while performing maintenance. It can be a minor issue or a major issue.

However, this maintenance is beneficial as maintenance is not scheduled, and maintenance is given to assets. It increases asset life as maintenance is done on time.

2. Emergency Maintenance

Emergency breakdown is also a type of unscheduled maintenance in which suddenly an asset fails and now needs to be restored. In this case, an asset has priority and dependency, thus the asset needs to be brought back into running condition as soon as possible.

For instance, if the asset is not in running condition, then the business operation will be slowed. As a result, there will be a delay in production, which can lead to customer disappointment & loss. That is why this maintenance is also called emergency maintenance & breakdown maintenance.


Unplanned maintenance & unscheduled maintenance can only be used when assets' productive life is over or giving maintenance is not feasible.

If an organization is asset-intensive, then this organization cannot rely on these maintenance techniques.

We know unplanned maintenance or unscheduled maintenance is not good for business. It only leads to increased expenses, chaos in operation & hindrance in productivity. Therefore, investing in automated software is essential to avoid these issues.

You can easily avoid issues with automated maintenance applications such as CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software). CMMS software provides a systematic approach to proper, efficient & effective asset management.

It not only schedules maintenance but also keeps track of each asset maintenance. Another benefit of this software is that it comes with cloud technology. It means that all your data will be secured.

Moreover, you will get detailed accurate reports which will help you in making informed decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of scheduling maintenance?

‍There are several benefits of scheduling maintenance:

1. It eliminates unpredictability.

2. Saving maintenance expenses.

3. Increasing asset life.

4. Boosting asset performance.

5. Avoiding sudden asset failure.

What are the advantages of CMMS software?

‍CMMS software schedules maintenance & creates a list of all your assets and provides maintenance to each asset. It also allows you to schedule maintenance in advance & sends you alerts & notifications before maintenance so that maintenance takes place on schedule. It provides several other advantages such as recording the cost of maintenance in each maintenance work order. Detailed maintenance reports assist in making strategic business decisions. Avoiding sudden breakdowns because this software emphasizes preventive maintenance.

Why is preventive maintenance the best feature of CMMS software?

‍One of the main reasons preventive maintenance is best is because it helps take care of assets proactively. It eliminates the unplanned maintenance & unscheduled maintenance factor it ensures asset maintenance is planned and scheduled with the help of data assistance. Preventive maintenance is one of the most required & demanded features of organizations. According to Allied Market Research, “The global predictive maintenance market size was valued at $4,331.56 million in 2019, and is projected to reach $31,965.49 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 28.8% from 2020 to 2027.”

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