Simplifying Repairs with Breakdown Maintenance.

    Breakdown maintenance, a critical component of equipment management, encompasses the processes involved in repairing or replacing malfunctioning machinery that has ceased to function effectively. This type of maintenance can be either planned, such as run-to-failure maintenance or unplanned, including corrective and reactive maintenance approaches.

    In both cases, organizations must carefully consider the potential implications for their operations, particularly concerning costs, safety risks, downtime and production disruptions.

    The role of modern maintenance management software solutions facilitate better planning and coordination to optimize efficiency while mitigating potential risks in breakdown maintenance processes.

    What is Breakdown Maintenance?

    maintenance teams working through unplanned Breakdown Maintenance during emergency maintenance

    Breakdown maintenance, a type of maintenance performed on equipment that has ceased to function and become unusable, can be divided into planned and unplanned categories with varying advantages and disadvantages.

    While some industries may find breakdown maintenance beneficial due to reduced maintenance costs, safety measures must be implemented during the planning process to avoid potential hazards associated with sudden equipment failure.

    The applicability of breakdown maintenance varies across different industry applications; for instance, it is more suitable for organizations dealing with disposable or easily replaceable parts than those responsible for maintaining people's safety.

    Although this approach can minimize costs by focusing primarily on critical equipment optimization, proper planning and coordination must be ensured to prevent exploitation or improper use of resources.

    Types of Breakdown Maintenance

    There are various types of maintenance strategies, with breakdown maintenance further classified into planned and unplanned categories, each offering its own set of advantages and challenges for organizations to consider when managing their assets.

    Planned breakdown maintenance, such as run-to-failure maintenance, applies to non-critical equipment or situations where the cost of preventive measures outweighs the benefits.

    Unplanned breakdown maintenance, on the other hand, which includes corrective and reactive maintenance approaches, can be costly and disruptive for industries that require high operational reliability or involve critical safety concerns. The applicability of these strategies varies across different industries based on factors like equipment criticality and replacement costs.

    Coordination and planning are crucial in implementing these maintenance methods effectively while minimizing negative impacts on operations. It is essential to note that while both planned and unplanned breakdown maintenance address malfunctioning equipment, they differ from corrective maintenance which focuses on repairing faulty but still functioning assets.

    This multifaceted approach allows organizations to optimize their asset management programs according to specific needs and constraints before moving on to explore real-life examples that demonstrate the application of these strategies.


    Examining real-life scenarios of both planned and unplanned strategies in various industries can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and potential challenges associated with each approach to managing equipment malfunctions.

    In manufacturing environments, for instance, where production lines consist of numerous non-critical components, implementing a planned breakdown strategy can minimize maintenance costs while consolidating downtime for repairs. However, this approach might not be suitable for organizations operating within the healthcare or aviation sectors due to the inherent safety risks associated with equipment failure.

    Conversely, unplanned breakdown maintenance is often unavoidable in certain industries such as construction or mining operations, where unforeseen factors like harsh weather conditions or equipment misuse may lead to unexpected malfunctions. While reactive measures can address these issues quickly, they often come at a higher cost due to overtime labor expenses and rushed procurement of replacement parts.

    Ultimately, the success of each method depends on careful planning and coordination between maintenance teams and other stakeholders within an organization, as well as comprehensive cost analysis that takes into account both short-term gains and long-term implications. This understanding sets the stage for exploring the advantages of utilizing breakdown maintenance appropriately in specific contexts.

    breakdown maintenance plan or maintenance strategy for maintenance tasks

    worker looking at a cmms on a tablet to update his maintenance team

    woman reviewing broken-down equipment to develop a maintenance strategy

    breakdown maintenance example and worker repairing it


    mplementing a well-planned approach to equipment failure can offer several benefits, particularly when optimizing preventive maintenance programs for critical assets.

    1. Minimizing downtime: By anticipating and scheduling breakdown maintenance for non-critical equipment, organizations can strategically allocate resources and minimize the impact on production schedules.

    2. Optimizing PM programs: Focusing on preventive maintenance efforts for critical assets allows organizations to fine-tune their PM schedules, ultimately reducing the likelihood of unexpected failures.

    3. Cost-effectiveness: With planned breakdown maintenance, companies can assess the cost of repairs or replacements against the asset's overall value and make informed decisions on whether to repair or replace non-critical equipment. This type of analysis helps control costs while maintaining operational efficiency.

    4. Safety considerations: When potential failures are anticipated and planned for, technicians can work in a safer environment with reduced pressure to perform rushed repairs that may compromise safety standards.

    Despite these advantages, there are also drawbacks associated with unplanned breakdown maintenance that must be considered to maintain a balanced approach toward managing assets effectively.


    Considering the potential drawbacks of unplanned breakdown maintenance is crucial for organizations seeking to maintain operational efficiency and minimize negative impacts on their production processes.

    Safety concerns arise when technicians are forced to rush repairs under pressure, potentially leading to accidents or injuries due to compromised safety measures.

    The costliness associated with unplanned breakdown maintenance often surpasses that of preventive maintenance, as expenses related to emergency repairs and replacement parts escalate.

    Production interruptions caused by such unforeseen equipment failures can lead to significant downtime, disrupting schedules and diminishing overall productivity.

    In light of these factors, it becomes evident that organizations must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating unplanned breakdown maintenance in their asset management strategies, striving for a balanced approach that prioritizes prevention while remaining agile enough to address issues as they arise.worker performing maintenance tasks to an air conditioner at a facility

    Wrap Up

    Breakdown maintenance plays a vital role in the management of equipment across various industries.

    Organizations can optimize their preventive maintenance programs by incorporating planned breakdown maintenance strategies to minimize downtime and mitigate risks associated with equipment failure.

    Leveraging advanced maintenance management software like Fiix enables businesses to better plan and coordinate their breakdown maintenance activities.

    This ultimately leads to improved efficiency, reduced costs and enhanced safety measures for both personnel and machinery within the organization.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can You Plan for Breakdown Maintenance?

    Breakdown maintenance can be either planned or unplanned, with examples including run-to-failure maintenance, corrective maintenance and reactive maintenance.

    How Can Breakdown Maintenance be Used in My PM Strategy?

    Using breakdown maintenance when it makes sense can help organizations focus on optimizing PM programs for critical equipment, but unplanned breakdown maintenance can be more costly than preventive maintenance and cause downtime and production interruptions.

    What are the Risks Associated with Breakdown Maintenance?

    Breakdown maintenance can be a good thing when it's planned, but unplanned breakdown maintenance can lead to costly downtime, health and safety risks and halted production.

    What Equipment Can This Maintenance Strategy Be Used For?

    Breakdown maintenance applies to non-critical, disposable or easy-to-replace equipment, but it is not viable for industries responsible for people's safety and requires planning and coordination to avoid exploitation or improper use.


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