Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

What is maintenance?

What is maintenance?There are many different ways in which engineers maintain equipment. Check out this handy list to find out how to keep things in shape.

Planned maintenance

This is maintenance that you do on a regular basis, which helps keep things in working order. Good examples of this are servicing boilers or sending a car for an M.O.T. It is usually done to make sure the equipment is safe rather than to improve or upgrade it.

Preventive Maintenance

The idea of preventive maintenance is to keep something in working order or extend its life. For example, there may not be a leak in your roof, but if you can see that one of the tiles is cracked and know that there is a storm coming, you may well want to take a closer look.

Corrective maintenance

One of the most common kinds, this involves fixing something that has stopped working properly. This is a form of unplanned maintenance, as you don’t normally know when something is going to break! Examples of this include fixing a faulty toaster or replacing a car exhaust when it falls off.

Front-line maintenance

This is more complicated, as it involves fixing something while it is still in use. Transport networks do this all the time. When your train is delayed due to ‘improvement works’, it is usually because part of the track, or certain trains, have been taken out of service temporarily while maintenance work is carried out.

Breakdown repair

It doesn’t sound like it from the title, but breakdown repair is a form of planned maintenance. It is normally carried out by engineers who want to find the most likely thing to go wrong with a product. Breakdown repair involves running the product over and over until it breaks down. This can give invaluable information to designers and engineers, who can use their tests to find out what common faults might be, and the best way to guard against them.

Revision tip!

There are five different types of maintenance: Planned, Preventive, Corrective, Front-line and Breakdown repair. If it helps you to remember them, try to think of a catchy way. It could help you when revising:

Maintenance = PPCFB = ‘Poor Products Can Fail or Break down!’

Related links