So what is Reactive maintenance?
Reactive maintenance as opposed to preventative maintenance, is a strategy that comes into play when equipment or machinery malfunctions or breaks down unexpectedly.
Instead of proactively trying to predict and prevent issues, the focus is on responding to problems as they occur. While there are financial advantages to reactive maintenance, it is crucial to recognise its limitations and drawbacks.
Relying solely on reactive maintenance is not a sustainable long-term strategy, especially for essential machinery. Striking a balance between preventative and reactive maintenance is recommended to ensure the continuous and efficient operation of critical assets.
What is Reactive Maintenance?
Understanding the factors that fall under the umbrella of reactive maintenance is essential for developing a comprehensive maintenance plan tailored to the specific needs of any business and equipment.
At the core of reactive maintenance is breakdown maintenance. This type involves addressing issues with equipment only after they have failed. Organisations may choose this approach when the costs associated with preventative maintenance outweigh the occasional breakdowns.
Going beyond pure breakdown maintenance, corrective maintenance integrates correction based on routine inspections or monitoring. While still reactive maintenance, it introduces an element of prediction or anticipation derived from regular assessments.
The ‘Cost’ of Reactive Maintenance
While often reactive maintenance is a necessity and can’t be helped, the reason we encourage preventative solutions is due to the costs to your business that can be inflicted by the necessity of reactive maintenance.
These are some of the sacrifices that come with relying solely on reactive solutions rather than a combination of both preventative and reactive.
The Achilles’ heel of reactive maintenance is the potential for extended downtime. Equipment failures are unpredictable, and the time required for repairs can lead to production delays, resulting in significant financial & time losses.
Higher Repair Costs
Repairs executed reactively often incur higher costs due to the urgency of the response. Emergency services, spare parts, and overtime for maintenance personnel contribute to increased expenses.
The damage to the machine could be extensive leading to failures in different parts of the machine adding extra costs to fix the machinery and making it hard to set a budget for repairs.
Safety Concerns and Regulatory Compliance
In safety-sensitive industries, reactive maintenance may pose significant safety risks. Failure to adhere to regulatory compliance and addressing equipment issues reactively may compromise worker well-being and overall safety.
Reactive maintenance lacks the predictability and stability of preventative maintenance, making it challenging for organisations to plan and allocate resources efficiently over the long term.
If a machine is unfixable it may take an extended period to find a replacement leaving you with little work for your staff causing unnecessary expenditure on staff bills that could have been avoided with planning.
Examples of Reactive Maintenance
In facility management, issues like plumbing leaks or electrical failures are addressed reactively as they occur, allowing for flexibility in resource allocation. These can occur across all sectors, from education to retail. Ultimately, anything that is classed as a facility has the risk of facility issues.
In a manufacturing setting, reactive maintenance may be employed when a crucial machine breaks down unexpectedly, requiring immediate repairs to minimise production losses and maintain operational continuity.
The energy sector often witnesses reactive maintenance when critical equipment, such as turbines or generators, experiences unexpected failures demanding immediate attention to prevent power outages and maintain the integrity of the energy grid.
In IT, reactive maintenance involves fixing server issues or resolving software glitches as they arise, prioritising on-demand solutions over routine updates and preventative measures.
What to Remember when Considering Reactive Maintenance
While reactive maintenance offers simplicity, cost-efficiency, and resource optimisation, the negatives such as heightened downtime and unpredictability of costs, emphasise the necessity of a well-balanced approach.
Integrating reactive maintenance within a broader maintenance plan allows organisations to optimise its resources, minimise costs, and ensure the reliability of their equipment in the face of unforeseen challenges.
How Kiasu Workforce Can Help You
Kiasu workforce have a reactive call out service that often supplements a planned maintenance programme or preventative maintenance strategy. This is to ensure a piece of equipment is not allowed to run to failure and does not require emergency maintenance.
Kiasu Workforce understands maintenance costs can spiral, so getting an initial plan in place is vital.
Whilst performing reactive maintenance is often a necessity for all business types, and there are of course benefits of reactive maintenance (no regular planned maintenance costs, no planning required, you only use the service when needed) adopting this approach in isolation is possible, but you may not be compliant with relative policies.
Allow Kiasu Workforce to take the responsibility and pressure off of your shoulders giving you time to plan and carry out more essential tasks rather than worrying about equipment failures or future issues.