How to Optimize Operational Costs Through Breakdown Maintenance?

How to Optimize Operational Costs Through Breakdown Maintenance?

For any organization, it is crucial to have readiness for any difficult or serious situation that occurs accidentally. Breakdown maintenance is one of those important factors required by organizations to responsibly handle accidents.

The simplest maintenance strategy for an organization, regardless of industry, is 'Breakdown Maintenance'.

What is Breakdown Maintenance?

In normal situations, assets are made to run and operate until they fail, on purpose. Whenever the failure occurs, breakdown maintenance is performed to mend the asset and return it to its operational site again. This approach is common where an equipment failure doesn't affect productivity.

But mostly, breakdown maintenance is carried out due to an unplanned accident. For instance, when an important part of machinery breaks, the maintenance is performed due to the urgent need for that machine to operate again.

Some examples of breakdown maintenance are:

  • When equipment cannot be repaired.
  • When an asset has easy-to-replace parts.
  • When the part to be repaired is a non-critical piece of equipment like hand tools.
  • When equipment that is to be maintained is disposable or replaced at the end of their lifespan.
  • Or when the assets are of short-life like batteries, high flow pumps.

What are the Types of Breakdown Maintenance?

There are two types of breakdown maintenance.

Planned Breakdown Maintenance

Planned breakdown maintenance is that when the organization is prepared in advance for any breakdown or incident. The equipment or asset runs until it fails. This is a run to failure (RTF) condition. Planned breakdown maintenance uses RTF to lower the cost of maintenance.

Planned breakdown maintenance is required to be properly controlled and documented. Workers or employees should know exactly which parts can break down and which parts need to be maintained normally through Helpdesk and Ticketing software. Without regular checks, planned breakdown maintenance cannot run effectively and is bound to fail.

Unplanned Breakdown Maintenance

Unplanned breakdown maintenance occurs when a part of equipment fails or breaks unexpectedly. This is an unplanned downtime event.

Not every organization uses planned breakdown maintenance. However, it needs resources to accomplish operations in an unplanned breakdown. It is an inevitable reality that equipment or its part will break down at one point in time during its lifecycle.

What Are the Causes of Breakdowns and How to Prevent Them?

Improper Maintenance

Not taking proper care of equipment, machines, and their parts can lead to damaging results. Actions like greasing of parts, tightening of nut bolts, or other cleaning of machines have to be done regularly. Improper maintenance leads to downtime incidents.

Therefore, regular checks and maintenance are necessary for all equipment and machines to work efficiently.

Overuse of Machines

Overrunning causes wear and tear of machines e.g. excessive heat caused by friction. Overuse of machines can cause surface dehydration, mechanical wear, abrasion, corrosion, fatigue, faster obsolescence, and accidents.

Machines have to run as per their functional conditions. They also need to be rested. It is advisable to fix the daily working hours of the machines and follow the schedule strictly.

Never Replacing Worn Parts

Not replacing worn parts of machines and equipment can be very risky and can lead to hazardous incidents. Replacement of worn parts of machinery is very important for its proper functioning and preventing accidents.

Misaligned Fasteners

Unchecked fasteners can put tension on the belt or chain, causing breakage or excessive wear. It is therefore important to replace worn parts, especially tightening pivots so they do not put pressure on the belt or chain.

Improper Storage

When items are scattered at random, they can collect dust and ingress of other elements e.g. rodents can gnaw away wires, triggering faults, and dust can interfere within electrical functions.

Weather-related Issues

Weather plays an important role in the condition of equipment and machines e.g. working of equipment in wet and muddy conditions can put a strain on them. It is necessary to use machines in proper conditions, besides taking care of them on a regular basis.

Ignoring Warning Signals

Specialized equipment and machines often have visual checks like a warning light, signaling low hydraulic pressure, high engine temperature, or diminished fuel or pressure gauge, etc. Such signals should never be ignored as they can lead to mechanical breakdown.

Some Other Types of Maintenance Activities to Prevent Incidents

Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is also known as breakdown maintenance which refers to the repairs which are conducted when equipment is already broken down, in order to restore the equipment to its normal operating condition.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is done to prevent assets and equipment from breaking down by performing maintenance on a regular basis rather than conducting maintenance once failure has occurred.

Features of Preventative Maintenance Activity:

  • Keep up assets' working or running for a longer period than other types of maintenance activities.
  • Regular maintenance i.e., long-term repair usually costs lower.
  • Safety is improved due to the reduced likelihood of catastrophic failure.

Periodic Maintenance (Time-based)

In a periodic maintenance strategy, assets are regularly inspected, serviced, and cleaned after a fixed certain period of time, with parts to be replaced to prevent sudden failure.

This allows the responsible IN charge's and authority people for maintenance and servicing so that to reduce the chances of failure through scheduled checks and monitoring. It is far more effective than breakdown maintenance, but on the contrary, it also cannot guarantee that breakdown won't happen.

In periodic maintenance, tasks are assigned that do not require extensive training, such as lubricating and retightening of screws, etc.

Being long-term repair, it comprises lower costs as compared with breakdown maintenance.

Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is the process of determining the condition of an asset in its operational state, through various techniques such as vibration monitoring.

Monitoring the condition of assets is important to minimize failure and downtime of critical machinery as it allows action to be taken to protect and increase productivity.

Issues in components can be identified prior to failure.

Repairs can be conducted on equipment to keep them running with minimum disturbance in productivity.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Breakdown Maintenance


Failure of equipment can lead to disaster whereas planned breakdown maintenance can save your business and give you a few significant benefits for your organization.

  • Minimizes maintenance costs by cutting down unnecessary maintenance.
  • Lowers the cost of replacing disposable items regularly like light bulbs, etc.
  • Downtime for repairs is secured.
  • Requirement of low staffing.
  • Simple to understand and manage whenever maintenance is needed.


As known that every coin has two sides similarly, everything has two aspects and breakdown maintenance also has some disadvantages.

  • For the fact, breakdown maintenance cannot be used as a safety measure as a single incident can cost many lives (your employees).
  • Safety issues with unplanned failures.
  • Costly counting on failed parts.
  • Requires precise planning and execution.
  • Difficult to pin the source of the issue.

What is a Ticket?

The tickets are referred to as a document that holds information about the problem or query, its status, and other additional information.

These tickets are raised by the end-users of an organization when they encounter any issue that interrupts their workflow.

The raised tickets are analyzed by the agents and then are provided with the appropriate solution according to the organization's norms.

What is the Ticketing System?

A ticketing management system is a help desk system that gathers all your customer support requests from different channels and manages them from one place.

It is part of technology that receives service requests for support, etc. from the user-end. The user will receive a service ticket after submission, it can be used when the user is referencing the submission.

It is a program that enables the organization to resolve its internal queries by managing and streamlining the process of issue resolution.

The system handles or manages individual elements called tickets that provide a context of what issue the requestor is facing, along with additional data such as category, priority, department, etc.

The ticketing management system or complaint ticketing system acts as a single point of contact between the service provider and the consumer by converting the received support requests into tickets.

The problems raised in the tickets are analyzed by the agents and then are provided with the appropriate solution.

What are the Functionalities of the Ticketing Management System?

The main functionalities may include:

  • A centralized repository for requests
  • Creating tickets through email
  • Online forms for requestors
  • Automated responses
  • Single point of contact (between service provider and consumer)
  • Visibility to the status of a ticket
  • Reporting data and analytics

Why Your Business Needs a Ticketing Management System?

If the organization is in the business offering IT support or tracking requests from users, it is important to ensure speedy resolution of the queries raised. For this, they need a ticketing management system.

This system is also beneficial even if only a single person is fielding support issues for users. The system functions with a team of agents or leveraging support vendors by providing transparency on who is working on what issue. It provides a regular interface for requestors to interact and get their issues resolved.


Considering that an accident can have disastrous results and no one can predict their occurrence. In order to secure its business, the organization needs to implement a system that enables capturing data and managing its equipment in a structured manner and focusing attention on solving issues.

Breakdown maintenance is an option but keeping it as a planned activity will ensure secure operations. Incident management software provides every possible solution to enhance the organization's productivity and business growth.

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