When certain steps are taken to ensure the functionality of critical assets, employees can work to lower the risk of machinery failures and unplanned downtime. 

Nearly every organization has experienced an unplanned machinery failure at one point or another. Although these events can be frustrating, when certain steps are taken to ensure the functionality of critical assets, employees can work to lower the risk of this happening.

An essential way to prevent these occurrences is the proper performance of maintenance at regular intervals. Keith Weber, Coder Taylor Associates Inc. consultant, said he has seen companies that refuse to spend minimal amounts on maintenance and end up having to pay much more later for more extensive repairs.

"You're always better off taking action before a crisis occurs rather than after," Caruso Management Group president Marcia Caruso told the Chicago Tribune.

While maintenance can provide the means to save money and prevent a larger, more impactful event from happening later on, there are several types that can be performed. Understanding the differences is the key to the successful upkeep of machinery.

Plant Services noted that there are three main types of maintenance: Fail-based, condition-based and use-based. Fail-based maintenance occurs when repairs are initiated as a direct result of equipment failure.

Condition-based repairs take place when the physical status of the machine calls for it. An equipment monitoring system can provide the information necessary to diagnose machines and create opportunities for this type of maintenance to occur.

Use-based maintenance refers to work assigned based on the usage of an asset. For example, many organizations have plans in place that call for repairs and upkeep depending on the time a certain system runs.

There is also a fourth category, which is one of the most important types of maintenance that can be performed within a plant. Predictive preventive maintenance describes when workers make fixes to prevent a larger issue from occurring later on. This type of upkeep can save an organization a significant amount in repair costs. This strategy, coupled with the use of a condition monitoring system, is an effective way to maintain key assets.

Prevent unplanned downtime of critical assets by using Scanimetrics equipment condition monitoring solutions.