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Preventive Maintenance (PM)

Definition - What does Preventive Maintenance (PM) mean?

Preventive maintenance (PM) is a fundamental, planned maintenance activity designed to improve equipment life and avoid any unplanned maintenance activity. This maintenance includes:

  • Systematic inspection
  • Detection
  • Correction
  • Prevention of incipient failures

Preventive maintenance is the foundation of the entire maintenance strategy. Unless the PM program is effective, all subsequent maintenance strategies take longer to implement, incur higher costs and have a higher probability of failure.

Corrosionpedia explains Preventive Maintenance (PM)

Preventive maintenance aims to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary inspection and maintenance tasks
  • Implement additional maintenance tasks when and where needed
  • Focus efforts on the most critical items

In addition, preventive maintenance measures can drastically reduce errors in day-to-day operations, as well as increase the overall preparedness of plants in the case of an emergency.

The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failures before they occur.

Preventive maintenance has the goal of improving equipment life by preventing excess depreciation and impairment. This maintenance includes but is not limited to:

  • Adjustments
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication
  • Repairs
  • Replacements
  • Extension of equipment life

In preventive maintenance, equipment is repaired and serviced before failures occur. The frequency of maintenance activities is predetermined by schedules. Expensive failure consequences indicate the need for greater levels of preventive maintenance.

Components are essentially inspected for corrosion and other damage at planned intervals, in order to identify corrective action before failures actually occur. Preventive maintenance performed at regular intervals usually results in reduced failure rates.

Due to the varying needs of different operations, the type and amount of preventive maintenance required varies greatly. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to establish a successful preventive maintenance program without proper guidelines and instructions. The ANSI standards for preventive maintenance help to determine the type and frequency of inspections and maintenance procedures.

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