What Is Unplanned Maintenance?

What Is Unplanned Maintenance?

  1. Unplanned Maintenance vs Unscheduled Maintenance
  2. When is Unplanned Maintenance Required?
  3. How to Optimise Your Unplanned Maintenance Output

Unplanned maintenance is simply any maintenance work that happens unexpectedly and has not been anticipated. This type of maintenance is often reactive work to fix equipment or assets and occurs when there is a lack of formal strategy in place for conducting inspections or repairs before they’re required.

Unplanned Maintenance vs Unscheduled Maintenance

Despite sharing similar names, these two types of maintenance have some key differences. Unplanned maintenance is work that is completely unexpected, with no plan in place to carry it out. Unscheduled maintenance on the other hand is planned, but has not been scheduled for a specific time and is yet to be assigned to an engineer.

Below are the main examples of unplanned maintenance.

  1. Reactive Maintenance
  2. Corrective Maintenance
  3. Opportunistic Maintenance

1. Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is the work done to fix any equipment after an unexpected breakdown. These repairs are carried out as a reaction to the failure and aren’t planned in the schedule.

Example of reactive maintenance

If a crucial piece of equipment is powered by a motor which is usually reliable, any failure will be unexpected. This means that there will likely be no plan in place for this situation. When the motor breaks, this can cease production and an engineer must set aside their current schedule to concentrate on fixing the motor. No time has been allocated to this job so it does not show up on engineers’ schedules.

Read our helpful guide to learn more about Joblogic’s reactive maintenance software.

2. Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance gets equipment fixed after it stops working properly. This includes minor fixes that can cause an asset to run less efficiently, as well as repairing machines that have broken down completely. Corrective maintenance fixes unexpected problems that the business has not planned for.

Example of corrective maintenance

Many facilities will have numerous pieces of equipment which undergo regular preventive maintenance. There are plans in place to identify and fix minor problems before they lead to bigger problems and break down completely. However, someone may notice the equipment isn’t operating properly, which can be affecting production. An engineer needs to repair the asset before the scheduled planned maintenance.

3. Opportunistic Maintenance

Opportunistic maintenance capitalises on unexpected halts in production to carry out preventive maintenance on equipment. This maintenance is unplanned because the stoppage was not scheduled.

Example of Opportunistic Maintenance

Engineers carrying out preventive maintenance on a piece of equipment may identify another part of the machine which is failing. The engineer can take some time performing maintenance on the faulty part so it doesn’t cause problems down the line.

Engineer fixing boiler

When is Unplanned Maintenance Required?

As with planned maintenance, unplanned maintenance can become a crucial part of a balanced management strategy, and is typically required by the following types of work:

  • When equipment is intended to be replaced at the end of its lifespan.
  • When equipment is not crucial to production, and is quick and inexpensive to repair.
  • When equipment is not meant to be repairable or is located where repairs are not feasible.
  • When broken-down equipment can be bypassed.

Ultimately, field service businesses must consider the impact of failing equipment when including unplanned maintenance in their management strategy. A failing piece of equipment might not affect production in one facility, but the same part could be vital to staying productive at another facility.

How to Optimise Your Unplanned Maintenance Output

With Joblogic job scheduling software, your calendar can reflect the balanced management strategy of your service business. Regardless of the split between unplanned and planned maintenance jobs, our software enables you to both schedule jobs in advance and assign ad-hoc unplanned jobs to the nearest and most appropriate engineer.

Our software caters for a huge range of industries, for larger businesses involved in HVAC or plumbing, and for smaller businesses involved in specific fields such as window cleaning, beverage machine installation and stairlift maintenance.

Boost your efficiency and complete more jobs per day with Joblogic software.

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