How does preventive maintenance work?

Through machine learning, operational data analytics and predictive asset health monitoring, engineers can optimize maintenance and reduce reliability risks to plant or business operations. Preventive maintenance software helps produce stable operations, ensure compliance with warranties and resolve issues impacting production — before they happen.

Types of preventive maintenance

There are 4 major types of preventive maintenance. Each is built around the concept of planned maintenance, although they are all organized and scheduled differently, to suit different business purposes.

Usage-based preventive maintenance

Usage-based preventive maintenance is triggered by the actual utilization of an asset. This type of maintenance takes into account the average daily usage or exposure to environmental conditions of an asset and uses it to forecast a due date for a future inspection or maintenance task.

Calendar/time-based preventive maintenance

Calendar/time-based preventive maintenance occurs at a scheduled time, based on a calendar interval. The maintenance action is triggered when the due date approaches.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance is designed to schedule corrective maintenance actions before a failure occurs. The team needs to first determine the condition of the equipment in order to estimate when maintenance should be performed. Then maintenance tasks are scheduled to prevent unexpected equipment failures.

Prescriptive maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance doesn’t just show that failure is going to happen and when, but also why it’s happening. This type of maintenance helps analyze and determine different options and potential outcomes, in order to mitigate any risk to the operation.

Benefits of preventive maintenance

Start getting maximum utility from your assets and achieve cost savings by pursuing a preventive maintenance strategy. Added benefits: greater organization and always-on operations.

Extends asset life

Systematically schedule maintenance and inspections to ensure assets achieve their full lifecycle and warranties are kept up to date.

Reduces maintenance

Manage planned and unplanned maintenance, inventory and spare parts costs. Better insight into your operations and assets helps you make a significant impact in cost reduction.

Boosts productivity

A well organized labor force is a more productive one. IBM Maximo® improves scheduling, vendor management and both workflow and financial reporting — all without paper.

Reduces unplanned downtime

Identify repairs earlier in the asset lifecycle for always-on operations that reduce downtime and optimize production.

The future of preventive maintenance with AI and IoT

Increasingly deploying AI and IoT technologies in operations has resulted in continual optimization of both the assets and activities that drive the industrial sector. From the perspective of preventive maintenance, the use of remote monitoring and analytical modelling has resulted in a net reduction in the amount of resources allocated to executing preventive maintenance tasks.

From an asset perspective, more extensive data collection and analysis — made possible with today’s AI and IoT solutions — have enabled manufacturers to get valuable data that has improved the reliability of their operations and products. Asset operators can truly understand the quality of the assets they are deploying into operations, driving new asset lifecycle strategies that remove poorly performing assets from their operations and ultimately reducing downtime and costs.

Preventive and predictive maintenance resources

How predictive maintenance improves efficiencies across industries

IBM is helping companies across industries apply predictive maintenance to improve business performance. Click below for five IBM client examples that demonstrate how predictive maintenance in the cloud is helping businesses from five different industries excel.

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Examine how empowering your technicians with the right asset maintenance technologies can support your business continuity.

Boost operational resilience with preventive, predictive and prescriptive actions

Can one solution really provide full visibility into your assets throughout their lifecycles and help increase operational uptime?

IBM asset management solutions

Asset maintenance

IBM Maximo is a market-leading, fully integrated platform that uses advanced analytic tools and IoT data to improve operational availability and reduce risk.

Asset performance management (APM)

Empower your OT and IT leaders with essential insights into remote monitoring, asset health and predictive maintenance — to ensure your business never stops.


MRO Inventory Optimization

Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) Inventory Optimization Services helps you optimize your MRO inventory.