What is predictive maintenance?

The dictionary defines “predictive” as the act of saying something in advance or in advance. Predictive maintenance is as an activity to monitor the performance of equipment and its components. The process predicts whether the equipment or component is close to failing.

It focuses on the routine analysis of operating conditions while the equipment is in operation. That is, you do not need to stop your operation.

According to McKinsey & Company, predictive maintenance increases the availability of your production line by up to 15%. In addition, if applied correctly, it reduces your maintenance costs by up to 25%.

In this article you will see what are the types of industrial maintenance and the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance.

You will also know what are the main predictive maintenance techniques and how to use them in your company.

What are the types of industrial maintenance?

The types of industrial maintenance are classified according to the strategies used to define when the repair of a machine or component should happen.

The three most well-known methods are: predictive maintenance, preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance .

Corrective maintenance

The corrective maintenance occurs only after the failure of equipment . There, there is no continuous (routine) mobilization of resources for maintenance.

In other words, both the personnel and the capital needed for maintenance are used only when the problem occurs .

Costs are higher with this type of maintenance. You need to keep a stock of many different parts , since you have no idea which component is close to failing.

Another feature that makes corrective maintenance expensive is that it is only possible to do it with the equipment completely stopped, with loss of production.

In addition to these factors, there is a cost to personnel. Mainly, with overtime and unscheduled mobilization.

Preventive maintenance

The preventive maintenance is based on identifying and solving a problem before it becomes a failure . It is usually carried out through regular inspections, carried out several times a year.

The purpose of this maintenance is to reduce the likelihood of breakage or degradation of equipment components .

To perform preventive maintenance, the maintenance team must have knowledge of the part history and have records of previous failures. In this way, you can determine the time intervals at which the components must be replaced.

Preventive maintenance is a type of planned maintenance , as it is based on well-established maintenance programs and consistent data.

An inspection plan is made , with or without complete stoppage of the equipment, to previously evaluate its operating conditions.

During inspection, signs of wear or impending component failure are looked for. Performing the exchange to prevent the equipment from suddenly stopping or breaking.

Predictive Maintenance

The predictive maintenance is also known as maintenance on condition or maintenance based on the condition of the equipment .

It is based on techniques to define the future state of an equipment or system , through the data collected over time. Checking and analysing the trend of equipment variables .

This data is collected through measurements, in the field or through online monitoring, and supported via cloud software, of conditions such as: temperature, vibration, physical-chemical analysis of oils, ultrasound and thermography, for example.

They allow an accurate diagnosis, avoiding maintenance stops and emergencies .

Predictive maintenance is characterized by the predictability of equipment deterioration. Preventing failures by monitoring the parameters, with the equipment running .

It is done as infrequently as possible, avoids unplanned reactive maintenance and reduces the costs associated with carrying out many preventive maintenance.

As a result, it optimizes the use of your company’s maintenance resources, operating costs, minimizes downtime issues and improves the overall health and performance of assets.

Difference between predictive and preventive maintenance
Some people confuse the concepts of preventive and predictive maintenance, as both happen before failure.

Here are the main differences between preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance .


  • Based on time or number of cycles of use of the equipment.
  • Maintenance can happen before it is really needed.
  • It does not perform constant monitoring of equipment.
  • Less initial investment in personnel monitoring and training technology. However, higher operating cost.


  • Based on the performance of the equipment.
  • Maintenance only occurs when there are signs of impending failure.
  • Performs constant monitoring of equipment
  • Higher initial investment. However, it saves resources and time in the long run, with a high return on investment

Advantages of predictive maintenance

The above comparison has already indicated some advantages of predictive maintenance over preventive maintenance , but see below other advantages for your company:

  • Increase of the useful life of the machinery;
  • Reduction of the time that the equipment is under maintenance;
  • Reduction of production downtime;
  • Reduction in costs with extra parts and supplies;
  • Increased return on investment;
  • Improving the security and credibility of the maintenance service.

How to apply predictive maintenance in your company

Predictive maintenance must be applied through an asset management plan .

The six steps to accomplish them should be:

  1. Identification of critical assets: assets whose repair or exchange is critical for the continuity of production;
  2. Creation of a database: everything related to maintenance data must be gathered, from physical copies to digital files;
  3. Failure mode analysis : a predictive analysis of the FMEA type (Analysis of Failure Modes and their Effects) must be done to determine which types of failure indications should be monitored;
  4. Condition-based maintenance: the technologies responsible for monitoring the equipment must be selected and installed;
  5. Development of predictive models: these models must be developed based on the data collected by the monitoring systems;
  6. Use of a program or software on a pilot device: the algorithms must be tested and validated using all systems of the program on a pilot device.

Predictive data management and asset management

Asset management is the next frontier in creating value. To reduce the risks of a business, assets must be monitored, analyzed and diagnosed.

Asset management requires technical understanding, with fundamentals of reliability engineering . It focuses on the costs of failure caused by system downtime, costs of parts, equipment under repair, personnel, costs of warranty claims and production delays.

Focus on maintaining production in its entirety with low costs and integration of services and products.

Abecom manages predictive data . She is one of the leading experts on the subject.

It brings a unique combination of know-how, services and tools for the benefit of your company. It has a multi-specialist team, trained by the manufacturers, to monitor the assets of its factory. This reduces machine downtime and increases your productivity.

Asset Management Centre
The asset management , including, can be done remotely with through secure connection, preventing failures from happening in the supply chain.

For this, it is necessary to use predictive data management software , developed specifically for this purpose.

The CGA (Asset Management Centre) is an Abecom / SKF program that allows strong connectivity between customers and the team of specialists.

It allows to optimise the replacement of critical items and prevent failures in the supply chain. Enabling constant assessments to identify opportunities for improving facilities and developing solutions.

All of this to develop strategies and plans to reduce your costs.

What are the most used techniques for predictive maintenance?

Predictive maintenance generally adopts various methods of investigation in order to intervene in machinery and equipment.

Among them, the following stand out:

  • Vibration analysis,
  • Ultrasound,
  • Thermography,
  • Oil analysis,
  • Bearing failure analysis,
  • Laser shaft alignment,
  • Machine condition monitoring (by measurements at the plant with scheduled and / or online visits)
  • Industrial endoscopy.
  • Technicians must understand the failure modes of their equipment in order to define the most appropriate technique for predictive maintenance of their equipment.

Source: Abecom

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