What Is Proactive Maintenance and How It Is Different from Others?

What Is Proactive Maintenance and How It Is Different from Others?


All organizations have a lot of equipment. To run the business efficiently, maintenance is a very important part. However, there are many types of maintenance that organizations utilize as per their requirement.

Mainly, it can be categorized into two categories:

1. proactive maintenance strategy  

2. reactive maintenance strategy

What Is Proactive Maintenance?

Proactive maintenance emphasizes keeping assets and equipment in the best shape. In this maintenance, asset failure is avoided by providing upkeep proactively. According to data from Statista in the manufacturing sector, “As of 2020, 76 percent of respondents reported following a preventive maintenance strategy, while 56 percent used reactive maintenance (run-to-failure).” Proactive maintenance is a planned and scheduled maintenance activity. It is also beneficial in terms of saving maintenance expenses. At the first sign of equipment inefficiency, the machine is sent for maintenance. Thus, it also avoids sudden asset failure. Proactive maintenance increases asset life, asset performance, and health. It identifies potential issues where improvement can be made, after which the issue is resolved. As a result, the asset is optimized, productivity is enhanced, and downtime is minimized.

What Is Reactive Maintenance?

Reactive maintenance is maintenance in which assets and equipment are run-to-failure. In this strategy, maintenance is performed when equipment failure occurs. Moreover, this strategy is more expensive compared to proactive maintenance. In this maintenance, several parts are changed, plus filter changing, oiling, cleaning, removing wear and tear parts, and installing new parts. It can be a long and exhausting task, which is why it is expensive. Both of these maintenance strategies are implemented in an organization; for example, if asset risk is high or priority is high, then proactive maintenance is implemented for those assets. If the asset risk is low, then reactive maintenance is used for those assets.

What Are the Various Types of Maintenance Approaches?

There are mainly four maintenance approaches an organization follows:

1. Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is the most common approach that an organization follows. This maintenance is a type of proactive maintenance. This approach is used based on asset utilization frequency, a calendar basis, asset history, or as per the software basis. In this maintenance, all issues are identified and errors are removed so that unexpected equipment failure is minimized. It is also helpful in reducing downtime.

2. Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a type of condition-based maintenance in which assets are utilized to their full potential. Furthermore, predictive maintenance organizations take a calculated risk. For example, when asset inspection is done, it is also calculated until when it can work without failure. Then, according to the schedule, maintenance is done. In simple words, maintenance issues are fixed before asset failure. Predictive maintenance allows organizations to minimize maintenance frequency so that unexpected asset failure does not occur. According to Market Research Future, “The Global Preventive Maintenance (PdM) Market is expected to expand at 25.5% CAGR to reach 23,051.4 million in 2025 during the forecast period.” This data represents how effective predictive maintenance is! However, for this maintenance, a dedicated team is required to plan for maintenance.

3. Condition-Based Monitor Maintenance

In this maintenance, assets are monitored regularly to check the condition of assets. As per the condition, maintenance is planned and decides when maintenance can be performed! All the indicators are checked such as asset performance or potential errors. This strategy can be applied to all types (high, medium, or low risk) of assets.

4. Emergency Maintenance

Emergency maintenance is a type of reactive maintenance. It is done when the machine is broken and the machine needs to be maintained as quickly as possible especially when equipment is critical for business. This maintenance activity is costly as all the work is done ad hoc. Furthermore, if inventory is required, then that will be an added expense. However, this maintenance can be time-consuming, depending on the issue.

5. Corrective Maintenance

Corrective asset maintenance is mainly focused and implemented on non-critical assets. It is any task that corrects an asset issue and restores it to working order and can be both scheduled and unplanned. There are three instances where corrective maintenance occurs: first, when a problem is found by condition monitoring; second, when a regular inspection identifies a suspected fault; and third, when a piece of equipment failure is observed. Corrective maintenance in circumstances where scheduled maintenance occurs may enhance asset health and efficiency.

How Proactive Maintenance Is Different from Other Maintenances?

Proactive maintenance emphasizes identifying potential issues and resolving them at the earliest, and it is one of the main reasons proactive maintenance is considered different from others. It minimizes maintenance expenses and reduces asset failure chances. When asset failure chances are minimized, productivity increases.


Every piece of equipment needs maintenance, regardless of the sector to which it belongs! Assets are the backbone of the organization and equipment needs maintenance. Now, which maintenance strategy shall be used? That can be based on the nature of the business! All maintenances have their advantages and disadvantages. However, organizations shall provide proper training to employees to understand maintenance issues. The organization shall also keep track of inventory so that whenever maintenance is performed, workers have inventory available. When you want to make sure inventory is available all the time, you can use asset management software. This software can be used for tracking maintenance purposes and it can provide each asset's history. Moreover, this software emphasizes preventive maintenance. It will be beneficial for saving maintenance expenses plus it can help in creating a proper workflow of operation. Furthermore, it can provide real-time updates about each work order.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For which industry is maintenance important?

For all organizations which are equipped with a lot of assets, maintenance is important.

What is asset maintenance?

Maintaining assets in good condition is very important for the organization. It reduces equipment failure chances and production operation efficiency increases. When assets are maintained, their performance is also enhanced. Assets maintenance is also done when calibration management is required. Asset Maintenance decreases the downtime of equipment and machines. For automated asset maintenance, there are several types of software available, such as CMMS Software (computerized maintenance management software).

Which maintenance type is best for business?

That depends on your business type. For example, if there is only one machine that is very essential for business, then you cannot use reactive maintenance because your business will suffer hugely. If there is more than one machine, then you can afford reactive maintenance. However, reactive maintenance will be more expensive and the machine is not reliable. Thus, proactive Maintenance is important for critical assets. For non-critical assets, you can use reactive maintenance, but we recommend proactive maintenance.

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