The breakdown maintenance definition is a type of maintenance that involves using a machine until it completely breaks down and then repairing it to working order. For example, this type of maintenance would occur if you wait until a machine stops working before fixing it. This is one of several common maintenance types.

Types of Maintenance

The different types of maintenance include:

  • Corrective, in which the maintenance department corrects defects that users find.
  • Preventive, in which a certain level of service is maintained to identify and to fix potential vulnerabilities. This is done while the machine is still working to prevent the likelihood of an unexpected breakdown. An example would be changing an HVAC filter every six months.
  • Predictive, in which physical variables that may indicate a problem with the equipment, such as vibration, temperature, and power consumption, are monitored. This is done to predict potential problems with the equipment. This strategy offers cost savings over time-based and routine maintenance. An example would include installing sensors in an HVAC system that would provide notification when it's time for a filter change.
  • Zero hours maintenance, in which equipment is analyzed, as well as scheduling intervals and replacing parts that are worn in advance of a breakdown
  • Period maintenance, also called time-based maintenance, consists of basic tasks that users complete, such as cleaning and lubrication.
  • Breakdown maintenance as described above, which is usually used for machines of low importance that may have backups in place.

Aspects of Breakdown Maintenance

Breakdown maintenance is triggered by either:

  • A planned event, such as run-to-failure maintenance.
  • An unplanned event, such as the need for reactive or corrective maintenance.

This type of maintenance is also used as a last-resort attempt to extend the life of equipment that has lost functional abilities. Breakdown maintenance tends to cost more than preventive maintenance.

Common situations in which breakdown maintenance is not used include in an airplane or with vehicle tires, as doing so would put lives in jeopardy.

Maintenance Models

All maintenance models described above include visual inspection and lubrication. For most types of equipment, these steps should be taken at least once a month to find potential problems early. Visual inspections are cost-effective, and applying lubricant will always cost less than fixing the problems associated with a lack of lubricant.

In addition to these common elements, components of each model are as follows:

  • Corrective model: Arising breakdown repair applied to the least critical equipment.
  • Conditional model: The corrective model plus tests to determine the next action steps, used with equipment that is unlikely to fail.
  • Systematic model: Includes tasks done regardless of the condition of the equipment, measurements and tests to determine potential issues, and repair of identified faults. This model is used for equipment that is moderately available and important. These tasks, however, do not need to be done on a fixed schedule.
  • High-availability model: Used for equipment for which failure would be catastrophic, including items with above 90 percent of availability and resultant high production costs and demand. Often, no time can be allotted to stop this machine for preventive, corrective, or systematic maintenance. For this reason, it requires predictive maintenance techniques along with an equipment shutdown for a complete overhaul at least once a year. This type of model is commonly used for continuously rotating equipment, power production turbines, high-temperature furnaces, and reaction tanks or reactor deposits.

Additional Maintenance Considerations

Maintenance plans must account for both legal regulations about maintenance and specialized knowledge or resources required to perform the maintenance in question. Legal maintenance requirements typically apply to equipment that has the potential to harm people or the environment and outline specific tests, tasks, and inspections that must be included in the maintenance plan. Examples include:

  • Pressurized equipment and devices
  • High- and medium-voltage installations
  • Lifts
  • Cooling towers
  • Fire prevention facilities and equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Chemical storage tanks.

Maintenance must be subcontracted to a specialist when special knowledge or additional resources are required. This could be a technical assistance company or the equipment manufacturer. This is often expensive, especially for very specialized functions, since few market competitors exist. It is often more cost-effective to develop a training program so your team can develop the required knowledge to maintain the equipment.

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