Preventive maintenance

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Preventive maintenance (PM) has the following meanings:

  1. The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.
  2. Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments, and parts replacement, performed specifically to prevent faults from occurring.

The primary goal of maintenance is to avoid or mitigate the consequences of failure of equipment. This may be by preventing the failure before it actually occurs which Planned Maintenance and Condition Based Maintenance help to achieve. It is designed to preserve and restore equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they actually fail. Preventive maintenance activities include partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication, minor adjustments, and so on. In addition, workers can record equipment deterioration so they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure. The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failure before it occurs.[citation needed]

There is a controversy of sorts regarding the propriety of the usage “preventative.”[1][2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Quinion, PREVENTATIVE OR PREVENTIVE, World Wide Words.
  2. ^ OIT Style Guide: How should I write that word? An A to Z, Office of Information Technology.
  3. ^ Bobby Joseph, Letter to the Editor: What's the good word—preventive or preventative?, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 30, N. 6, p. 1498.]

Further reading[edit]