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What is Corrective Maintenance?

Basic repairs for non-emergency things in a property are considered corrective maintenance. Corrective maintenance refers to operations undertaken to correct and fix malfunctioning systems and equipment. Breakdown or reactive maintenance are both terms that can be used to describe corrective maintenance. These fixes are sometimes misconstrued or mistaken for emergency repairs.

The main difference is that these repairs are often low-priority, meaning homeowners will not be inconvenienced or put in danger if the problem isn’t resolved as soon as feasible.

However, just because there is little danger or inconvenience does not mean the repairs should be postponed. The speed with which corrective maintenance concerns are addressed can significantly impact the renter’s experience and decision to renew their lease.

Let’s say a ceiling fan in the living room stops working. It’s unlikely to cause harm or loss, but it will be uncomfortable because the living room will be less pleasant. Fixing this problem is more likely to be categorized as “corrective maintenance” than “emergency maintenance.”

Using an outsourced specialist to give service as quickly as possible might help improve the tenant experience.

What Methods Are Used to Determine Corrective Maintenance Needs?

When an additional problem is detected during a separate service order, corrective maintenance orders are often initiated. If a maintenance technician notices a problem during an emergency repair, during a routine inspection, or while performing preventative maintenance, the problem can become a corrective maintenance order. After that, the corrective maintenance activity is planned and scheduled for a later date. The asset is fixed, restored, or replaced as necessary during corrective maintenance operations.

Examples of Corrective Maintenance

A wide range of equipment, systems, and processes can benefit from corrective maintenance. Consider the following examples:

  • A manufacturing line.

During preventative maintenance on a line of production equipment, a technician discovers severe wear on a vital part or component. 

  • HVAC systems. 

A corrective maintenance order might be issued to repair or restore that part within the next month. In the thick of winter, a technician responds to an emergency heating system repair and detects partially clogged or dirty filters. This may prompt a request for filter cleaning or replacement in the near future to increase efficiency and prevent further heat loss.

  • Public works. 

A technician may detect some storm-damaged signage while performing normal traffic repairs. A corrective maintenance order can be created to restore the signage, and the work can be completed at a later time.

Corrective Maintenance’s Advantages

Many advantages are gained since the goal of corrective maintenance is to restore an asset so that it can perform effectively and efficiently. The following are the most significant advantages:

  • Reduce the number of emergency maintenance requests.

If corrective orders are completed in a timely way once they are issued, a company’s frequency of emergency maintenance orders is likely to decrease. Corrective maintenance is, on average, less expensive than emergency repair. 

  • Boost employee security. 

The flaws found and labeled as corrective maintenance in some situations may have serious safety implications for people working near the asset in question.

  • Minimize service outages. 

Corrective maintenance work orders can assist maintenance teams to repair problems before production delays or service outages occur because they are scheduled and prioritized in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

  • Extend the asset’s useful life.

Corrective maintenance, when combined with excellent preventative maintenance, can help a company’s assets last longer. Companies can extend the life of essential assets by identifying remedial maintenance needs before they influence other components of the machine.

  • Improve resource allocation. 

Corrective maintenance requests can be reviewed, prioritized, and scheduled appropriately because they are delivered back to a centralized system. This allows the business to make the best use of both financial and human resources.

  • Reduces downtime

Corrective maintenance can help firms reduce downtime in specific instances. A corrective maintenance order can be placed immediately if a maintenance technician is performing routine maintenance on a piece of equipment and notices that a portion has worn down. That task should be scheduled and executed before any downtime or breakage occurs.

Corrective Maintenance Optimization

In a corporate, residential complex, or manufacturing context, corrective maintenance plays a significant function within the scope of maintenance services. Technicians that can spot and identify possible issues before they become emergencies can save a lot of money for the firm.

Companies must provide training and instruction to maintenance professionals and managers about what to look for while performing preventative or emergency maintenance services in order to optimize the benefits of corrective maintenance.

Organizations may also wish to construct a component maintenance checklist that technicians can easily inspect visually. You want your maintenance crew to catch as many issues as possible as soon as possible. A checklist can assist you in generating more corrective maintenance orders, allowing your facility to run more smoothly in the long term.

How Does Corrective Maintenance Help With Reliability?

Although corrective maintenance jobs are focused on restoring a piece of equipment to its original state, it’s crucial not to miss out on the opportunity to undertake a fast examination when performing the corrective repair work. Corrective maintenance provides an excellent opportunity to increase reliability in this way.

Some assets in a facility will be monitored on a condition basis rather than being maintained according to a strict timetable. If a failure mode trigger results in a corrective maintenance order, it’s critical to use the chance to check potential root reasons for the failure in the first place. When a maintenance team takes use of the chance to identify other problems that need to be addressed, the failure is less likely to happen again or as frequently, increasing overall reliability.

When the packing in a process pump breaks, for example. This usually happens after a specific length of usage and is not dependent on the passage of time. As a result, whenever a technician is dispatched to repack a pump, a checklist of basic inspections should be completed. Testing the wear and tear on the throat bushing, inspecting the shaft run-out, and checking the water pressure are examples of these activities. When a process pump repacking request is submitted, these checks should be performed to determine any additional corrective maintenance requirements.

A company’s corrective maintenance process, as well as overall plant reliability, can be improved by integrating inspections linked to failures like these.

Corrective Maintenance’s Benefits and Drawbacks

Corrective maintenance, like any other maintenance program, has benefits and drawbacks. When performing corrective maintenance, it’s critical to weigh the benefits and drawbacks in order to maximize overall productivity and efficiency.

Most firms want to transition from corrective or reactive maintenance to more proactive maintenance. Many firms are now moving much further down the spectrum to predictive maintenance programs.

There are numerous benefits to being able to implement systems that can detect problems before they occur. Even with the best efforts, though, unforeseen failures will occur. Corrective maintenance permits you to take advantage of those possibilities that will inevitably arise.

Advantages of Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming to undertake since it focuses on repairing or restoring an asset after it breaks. It may be the greatest, most cost-effective solution when a component’s failure has little influence on safety, production, or service. It would not be sensible, for example, to establish a sophisticated, expensive preventive maintenance plan to monitor something as simple as a lightbulb replacement in the break room.

The following are some of the benefits of corrective maintenance:

  • Cost savings

Corrective maintenance can be less expensive in the short run because you address the issue as soon as it arises. To track, monitor, and control the issue, no work is necessary.

  • A straightforward procedure.

Corrective maintenance is reactive by nature, so it can be a quick remedy that requires no planning or administration.

Completing a corrective maintenance assignment also allows you to inspect a piece of equipment that has failed, maybe before a major disruption occurs.

Corrective Maintenance’s Negative Side

When a breakdown has a significant impact on productivity, employee safety, or the environment, relying simply on corrective maintenance can lead to costly and harmful long-term issues.

Overreliance on corrective maintenance has some drawbacks, including:

  • Unpredictability.

If you simply repair equipment when it breaks, the asset’s long-term performance will be highly uncertain. Furthermore, the core causes of problems are frequently overlooked, making efficient resolution impossible.

  • Production is disrupted

If a piece of crucial equipment fails, it can shut down the entire production line, resulting in downtime and unproductive staff.

  • Asset lifespan has been shortened

You are reducing the overall lifespan of your assets by not properly maintaining equipment and only performing maintenance when components fail.

How Can Corrective Maintenance Be Reduced?

Because corrective maintenance is frequently confused with reactive maintenance, it’s understandable that companies would seek to limit the number of corrective maintenance orders. Although there are some situations where just correcting a problem when it develops makes sense, in many others, it is preferable to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

Here are some suggestions for lowering your company’s corrective maintenance orders:

  • Make the appropriate technological investments

You may give your maintenance team the capacity to track and access crucial data by deploying a CMMS solution. These solutions can frequently offer analytics and reports that can assist you in making better decisions and prioritizing the most important work orders in order to maximize production and efficiency.

  • Make an investment in your team

Improve your hiring process and professional development program. Make sure you offer incentives for continuing education, new certifications, or networking opportunities so that your workforce is always up to date on the latest industry advancements.

  • Delegate work orders automatically

You may want to automate sending work orders that deal with certain problems to specific personnel, depending on your maintenance crew and the types of equipment and systems you run. This might eliminate the requirement for a supervisor to make those assignments manually in the middle.

  • Set effective priorities and schedules

You may easily schedule technicians and prioritize the most important work by using a system like a CMMS. To save time traveling to and from remote sites, you can quickly batch all corrective maintenance procedures on one process line or at a specific facility.

  • Provide background information

Another benefit of adopting a CMMS is that the current technician should have access to all previous work, orders, inquiries, and failures. That person may be able to see patterns or identify difficulties or concerns that have resurfaced despite previous efforts.

  • Keep important tools and equipment on hand

Make sure your technicians have toolkits, testing equipment, and other essential parts and materials on hand to handle common corrective maintenance concerns. This will allow them to spend less time on each work order task.

  • Take advantage of possibilities for inspection

When a technician is working on a piece of equipment, it should be thoroughly examined for other potential issues. Teach your employees to spot problems and give them the authority to submit extra corrective orders or questions.

Corrective vs. Breakdown Maintenance

Some people may not understand the distinction between corrective and breakdown maintenance. Both work with defective, under-optimized, and/or malfunctioning equipment. However, the two terms are not always interchangeable.

Corrective maintenance focuses on rectifying and fixing malfunctioning equipment, as you’ve just learned. Breakdown maintenance is performed on equipment that has been broken, faulted, or otherwise stopped, rendering it non-operational.

On the surface, they appear to be identical. Let’s look at the main differences to clarify things.

How the Two Maintenance Types Differ

The most significant distinction is that breakdown maintenance is performed on non-operational equipment. Corrective maintenance is performed on equipment that is still functional to some extent but will not function at its full potential without the maintenance.

Corrective maintenance can be performed while the machine or equipment is still operational. Breakdown maintenance can happen in a matter of minutes, especially if the system in question is critical.

Both forms of maintenance are commonly performed on equipment that is still in place or in use. In addition, depending on the situation, both types of maintenance may be considered emergency maintenance.

Conclusion

Corrective maintenance is an essential part of any company’s overall maintenance strategy. It’s crucial to know when corrective maintenance is advantageous and when it causes inefficiencies, downtime, and other productivity losses.

The essential lesson for maintenance teams is to leverage good maintenance data and analysis to identify places where corrective maintenance can be used effectively, as well as when it should be used as a stepping stone to more preventative and predictive maintenance programs.

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