CMMS Insight Blog

What Is Corrective Maintenance?

Jul 19, 2019 11:29:00 AM / by CMMS Insight Staff

Corrective maintenance is often dubbed the “into the ground” approach.

Unlike preventative maintenance, this particular method of repair involves dealing with problems as they become problems.

As with any other maintenance techniques, there are advantages that your workplace could stand to gain from a smart corrective maintenance program. Here’s what it is, how it helps your business, and how you can implement it properly.

What Is Corrective Maintenance?

Corrective maintenance is the type of maintenance which occurs after a technical breakdown has already happened.

Let’s say, for example, that you have a machine at a work site. Workers are going along, minding their own business, and the machine is working. Then, suddenly, the machine stops working. So, you send a member of your maintenance team to remedy the problem.

This is a classic example of corrective maintenance – dealing with a problem after the problem becomes apparent. It’s not to be confused with preventative maintenance, which is scheduled ahead of time in order to check the machine for potential problems even if there hasn’t been a breakdown.

Examples of Corrective Maintenance

So, let’s say you have a machine. What are a few instances where corrective maintenance might apply?

The most common example is emergency maintenance, which is an urgent repair done to meet an unexpected emergency situation. For example, an elevator full of people breaking down between floors would qualify for emergency maintenance.

Sometimes, preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance go hand-in-hand. Let’s say that you were conducting routine preventative maintenance on a line of production equipment. During that period, you noticed that a particular machine or component had significant wear.

In that case, you would call in corrective maintenance to handle the problem.

The same can be said if you noticed a part that had broken down. The machine didn’t technically cause problems on the job, but sending it out again certainly wouldn’t work.

Benefits of Corrective Maintenance

There are several advantages to employing corrective maintenance. One of the big ones is lowered short-term costs.

Since your team is only handling orders as they arise, there’s little administrative action needed until something goes wrong.

That said, relying solely on corrective maintenance can be a disadvantage, since unexpectedly large problems could force you to pay more in overtime to your employees in the course of a pay period.

For that reason, corrective and preventative maintenance are best employed as complementary plans. Preventative maintenance helps reduce your emergency maintenance costs, and corrective maintenance helps deal with emergencies when they arise.

Instituting Corrective Maintenance

So, how do you make corrective maintenance a part of your everyday processes?

The most important thing is to give your technicians the tools to respond to emergencies. Give them training on how to identify problems in an emergency maintenance situation.

You should also provide a maintenance checklist that technicians and supervisors can refer to during the repair process. That way, they can fix the problem at hand and ensure that other problems don’t take the machine out of commission later.

Topics: Facility Management, Corrective Maintenance

Written by CMMS Insight Staff