Preventative Maintenance - How Your Equipment Remains Reliable

Updated: Mar 30



Do you want to keep your equipment functioning at a high level? That’s a no-brainer; of course you do. Now, how can you make that desire a reality? The best way to make sure your equipment is performing reliably is to apply preventative maintenance.


Let’s start with what preventative maintenance isn’t.


It’s not constant maintenance.

While preventative maintenance involves consistent scheduled checkups and fixes when necessary, this does not equal constant maintenance. Having constant checks and repairs is, in almost all cases, a financial impossibility—though new technologies and sensors are regularly becoming available to provide just such an option.

It’s not reactive maintenance.

Where reactive maintenance focuses on fixing problems after they happen, preventative maintenance uses equipment statistics to schedule upkeep. Reactive maintenance strategies wait until a piece of equipment has failed completely, while preventative maintenance aims to stop the failure altogether.


What is preventative maintenance?


Now that you know what isn’t part of preventative maintenance, what’s left? Preventative maintenance (sometimes referred to as preventive maintenance) is any regular, planned upkeep of equipment in order to prevent unnecessary downtime.

So, how does preventative maintenance actually work?


It’s based on the numbers.

The system you put in place for your equipment maintenance is not arbitrary—it’s based on statistics that you can track. Using software like what REDLIST provides (*ahem* that’s us), you’ll have product knowledge readily available to you to let you know when maintenance will be necessary.


It integrates knowledge-based tools to optimize performance.

Preventative maintenance is more than just a system of notifications—it’s a system that helps you help your equipment in the best possible way. The software you’ll use as you implement the maintenance process will keep you up to date on the expected performance of your equipment. Then, as you inspect the equipment, the information you input is implemented into further equipment reports and maintenance plans.



Preventative maintenance is a cost-effective way to stay up to date on the state of your equipment while making sure that problems are fixed before they have the chance to arise. When you’re working with computers and heavy equipment or loud machinery, saving even a few seconds is critical. With so many similar terms to keep straight, we’d like to save you even more time with our quick glossary of preventative-maintenance acronyms.

CBM - Condition-based monitoring

Condition-based monitoring (sometimes known as condition monitoring, or CM for short). This type of monitoring uses sensors while equipment is running to predict potential failures.


CI - Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement (sometimes seen as CIP, or continuous-improvement process). The goal of preventative maintenance is to regularly monitor your equipment and identify ways to enhance its productivity and lifespan. In other words, you’re taking data and using it to continually improve

CMRP - Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional

Certified maintenance and reliability professional. A person who has passed the exam and received their certification for physical asset management.


EAM - Enterprise asset management

Certified maintenance and reliability professional. A person who has passed the exam and received their certification for physical asset management.

FMEA - Failure modes and effects analysis

Failure modes and effects analysis. A type of preventative maintenance in which you identify what might go wrong with a tool or process, as well as the effect such a failure has on production.

MRO - Maintenance, repair, and operations

Maintenance, repair, and operations. The very core of preventative measures, this is a comprehensive term for the supplies and tasks that go into equipment upkeep.

MTBF - Mean time between failures

Mean time between failures. Using the data gathered during usage-based and predictive maintenance, this number is the average time that passes without a specific tool being offline


MTTF - Mean time to failures

Mean time to failures. Where the MTBF measures the time between two fixes, the MTTF only applies to assets that cannot be repaired. In other words, the MTTF identifies that equipment’s average lifespan.

MTTR - Mean time to repair

Mean time to repair. Based on gathered data, this number shows how long (on average) it should take to fix a specific asset.

OEE - Overall equipment effectiveness

Overall equipment effectiveness. A comparison of how well an asset is working versus its full capability.

PdM - Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance. You know this one—it’s when we single out early issues with equipment before they turn into a bigger problem

PrM - Preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance. The implementation of one or more preemptive measures with the goal of keeping assets online and alive for as long as possible.

RCA - Root cause assessment

Root cause assessment. This type of analysis uses the data you’ve gathered to implement long-term fixes so you aren’t constantly repairing.

RCM - Reliability-centered maintenance

Reliability-centered maintenance. Using your data, RCM puts your prescriptive-maintenance solutions into action and optimizes their effectiveness.

RTF - Run to failure

Run to failure. This is a term usually applied to equipment that can’t be affected by preventative maintenance and simply have to be replaced when they fail. Think light bulbs, fuel, and any other supplies or assets that you would replace rather than repair.

RxM - Prescriptive maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance. Another familiar face—this is when we take our PdM data to determine possible solutions to future problems.

SCADA - Supervisory control and data acquisition

Supervisory control and data acquisition. This is the name for the software or system that gathers and organizes the data identified during usage-based maintenance..

SMRP - The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals

The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. This is a professional society that teaches and certifies reliability professionals. They provide the C to the MRP!


At REDLIST, we take the guesswork out of maintenance. You’ll know when maintenance needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how to do it. Our system updates and evolves based on the information you find as you inspect your equipment, and further maintenance recommendations will be updated accordingly.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can make your equipment last longer, be more profitable, and cause you less worry.

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