What is preventative maintenance (and how can IoT help you do it better)?

Traditionally, there were two types of maintenance, there was planned preventative maintenance which would schedule periodic maintenance visits and there was reactive maintenance where you would repair something when it breaks. However, in today's world there are different options available through advancements in technology. Now we can make use of proximity sensors which can tell you when something is nearing a point of failure. There are IoT smart devices which can tell you when an asset is acting irregularly and you can now take action based on that information.


Every company that has assets requires a maintenance strategy but there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. You need to take into account the type of assets you have as well as their overall risk to your daily operations. We would like to take you through the various maintenance strategy options and then show you why we think AssetPool can give you the best combination of these maintenance strategies along with IoT devices.


What is a maintenance strategy?

A maintenance strategy defines the rules for the sequence of planned maintenance work on your assets. It is widely agreed that being proactive is better than being reactive. Choosing which approach to take with maintenance is a big decision that should include looking into each approach and deciding which is best for your type of company. There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach and different industries have various requirements when it comes to the health of their assets.


The four types of maintenance


  1. Risk based maintenance – this approach works on the principle that maintenance resources should be assigned to the asset that carries the most risk if it fails. A company that would use this approach may have one or two high risk assets, such as a crane, where the crane has the most risk of failing so they focus on that asset. The way that this approach is applied is through a calculation where you evaluate the impact of the asset maintenance. You look at the “probability” of failure and the “consequence” of that failure. The owner of the company will decide whether to spend more resources on monitoring a certain asset.
  2. Condition based maintenance – is also known as predictive maintenance; it monitors the performance and condition of assets during operation to reduce the chance of failures. The goal of this approach is to predict failures before they happen. The approach uses data from smart technology and machine sensors to notify the maintenance team when an asset is at risk of failing. A benefit of this approach is that maintenance is determined by the actual condition of the asset as opposed to the scheduled time which would be preventative Maintenance.
  3. Corrective maintenance – is a maintenance task that is performed in order to identify and solve a fault so that the failed asset can be restored back to a healthy state. This approach can include both planned and unplanned corrective tasks on assets. Typically, there is a handful of situations where you can implement corrective maintenance, such as when an asset breaks down or when a problem is found through condition monitoring.
  4. Preventative maintenance – This type is also known as proactive maintenance; it includes inspecting/repairing assets at a predetermined time. The idea behind this approach is to extend the lifespan of an asset and prevent breakdowns. When utilizing the preventative maintenance approach your company should have software that can trigger work orders when maintenance is due. AssetPool is capable of creating a work order and notifying the technician when the preventative maintenance needs to be completed. AssetPool allows a business to automate much of its scheduling tasks which is vital to this preventative maintenance approach. When you make sure that assets are scheduled correctly it makes is possible to have the necessary resources available when the task is being completed. Now let us look at the cons of the preventative maintenance approach; if the schedule is not regularly audited then you may find that your technicians are completing unnecessary tasks which take up their precious time.


How do I assess the effectiveness of my current maintenance strategy?

If you are currently using a paper based process for your maintenance strategy then you are already at a disadvantage regardless of which maintenance approach you chose. If your technicians are currently filling out work orders on paper, it is easy for them to accidentally misrepresent information which could lead to an asset failing. With the use of AssetPool, you will have an accurate view of your maintenance operations and you will have a digital asset verification report.


How does IoT fit into a maintenance strategy?


The approach that uses IoT is predictive maintenance. It uses the IoT sensors to pull the critical data which allows the system to analyze the asset’s function and “predict” when it may fail. The IoT sensors have the ability to develop a picture of how the operating conditions are related to the asset’s function. The data that these sensors collect is vital to finding patterns which can be used in the future to reduce risk. One drawback of this approach is that it only works well if you have large deposits of accurate information. When you have a great data set you can build the predictive feature which allows managers to react to asset issues quicker. We believe that using a predictive maintenance strategy along with IoT devices is the most effective method.




AssetPool is a cloud-based smart inspection platform that helps you plan and optimize your maintenance strategy. You have the power to notify your technicians when maintenance is required and issue work orders from any location and on any device.


Book a demo with us today and understand how our platform can take your maintenance planning to the next level.


Book a demo with AssetPool

Michael Kirk

Specialist in process management, digital transformation and change management! Passionate about our businesses, it's people, friends and customers we help on a daily basis.

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