Pros and cons of maintenance

Whether your business is big or small, conducting effective maintenance on your machinery is essential. But which is the right maintenance strategy for you? That’s a big question, because choosing the wrong one can be catastrophic to you, your business and your staff.

Breakdown Maintenance

The simplest maintenance strategy is that of ‘breakdown maintenance’. This is where assets are deliberately run until they fail. When failure occurs, reactive maintenance is performed to fix the asset and return it to full operation. This approach is common when equipment failure doesn’t significantly affect operations or productivity.


  • Minimal planning is required
  • The process is very simple so it is easy to understand
  • Fewer staff are required as less work is done day-to-day


  • Failure is highly unpredictable
  • It can be extremely costly
  • The process poses a safety risk to employees and other assets

Preventative maintenance

The purpose of preventative maintenance is to prevent assets from breaking down by performing maintenance regularly – instead of conducting maintenance once failure has occurred. Preventative maintenance predominantly features two different types of maintenance: periodic maintenance and predictive maintenance.


  • Keeps assets up and running for longer than other types of maintenance
  • Long-term repair costs are usually significantly lower
  • Safety is improved due to reduced likelihood of catastrophic failure


  • More complex than other types of maintenance
  • Requires more investment early on