What is Plant Maintenance | Objective of plant maintenance

What is Plant Maintenance | Objective of plant maintenance

What is Plant Maintenance


In modern industries , equipment and machinery are very important parts of the production activity. A large amount of money is invested in machineries and equipments. Special purpose and modern machineries cost a lot of money. If those machineries and equipments are kept idle then it will be a great loss to that company. So they have to be kept always in good working condition. Then only they will work efficiently for more number of years. They should not breakdown or stop production . So it is very important that machineries and equipments in plants are properly maintained. In order to take smooth production of finished goods from the factory, machinery and equipment, should be in proper conditions and with breakdown free. The damage caused to plant and machineries due to normal wear and tear , improper use, under and over utilization ,mis-operation etc can be viewed seriously and can hamper the smooth production of goods and services and machine down time. Keeping the productive resources of plant , machinery, equipment etc in good working condition is an important responsibility of management to achieve specified level of quality and reliability of operation.

Maintenance –Definition

Maintenance is the process of keeping the machine and equipment in good working condition so that the efficiency of machine is retained and its life is increased.

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“Plant maintenance is a combination of actions carried out by an organization to replace, repair ,service the machineries , components or their groups in a manufacturing plant , so that it will continue to operate satisfactorily”

Objective of plant maintenance

The objective of maintenance is to maximize the performance of productive resources of an organization by ensuring that these resources perform regularly and efficiently. This is achieved by preventing the breakdown and failures and by minimizing the production loss.

The main objectives of plant maintenance are :

  • To maximize the availability of plant, equipment and machinery for productivity through planned maintenance.
  • To extend the life span of the plant, equipment , machinery etc., by minimizing their wear and tear and deterioration.
  • To reduce the cost of production due to plant breakdown due to improper plant maintenance.
  • To help the production department to go ahead with their production plans without any problem.
  • To ensure operational readiness of all production facilities for emergency use at all times, such as fire fighting equipment , first aid facilities, alternative method of production and packing etc
  • To provide management with proper information on the cost and effectiveness of maintenance.
  • To ensure safety of staff through regular inspection and maintenance of facilities such as boilers, compressors, elevations, material handling system, conveyors , dangerous heavy machineries etc.
Maintenance engineer works on jet engine at the Marka airport in Amman Jordan.
Maintenance engineer works on jet engine at the Marka airport in Amman Jordan.


The basic function of any maintenance activity is to maintain the facility and its equipment in a condition to meet normal operating requirements. The basic function of maintenance are as follows

a) Inspection
b) Repair
c) Overhaul
d) Lubrication
e) Salvage

a) Inspection
Inspection involves periodic checking of machines and equipment to ensure safe and efficient operation, making certain that equipment requiring work at specified periods receives proper attention, determination of repair feasibility and control of the quality of work accompanied by maintenance group, Inspection implies detection of faults before they develop in to breakdown of the equipment.
This canbe done effectively by increasing our ability to identify the initial symptoms of machine trouble as early as possible. The initial symptoms of the machine trouble may be revealed through noise, vibration, dirtness, leak or heat of the machine.

b) Repair
When any item or components fails or breakdown , then the process of repairing the component or replacing the item or part by another item to restore the item in working order is known as repair.

c) Overhaul
This is another routine and regular maintenance function falling under preventive maintenance. The frequency of overhauling is for less than lubrication and inspection. In overhauling, the machine is stripped and the various parts are cleaned and oiled and components are replaced.

d) Lubrication
Proper lubrication plays a vital role in maintaining the machine accuracy and increasing its life. Lubrication of machinery should be considered as important as blood circulation in the human body.The cleaning and lubrication of the machine is normally done by the operator itself. From the suppliers document, lubricating instructions showing the daily/ weekly/fortnightly/monthly/ Yearly lubricating points and grades of lubricants to be used should be prepared. These are tabulated in a chart and explained to the operator
For the convenience of the operator, it is advisable to paint the lubricating points on the machine. Grade of lubricant and the lubricating schedule may be indicated there itself.

e) Salvage
Any equipment is said to be salvage when it cannot be repaired or cannot be brought to desired level of performance. In that case the item is to be replaced by new one to bring back the system into operation.

Types of Plant Maintenance : 

Different maintenance practices are adopted to suit the various types of production , machineries and other devices. They are

1. Break down maintenance – What is Breakdown maintenance | Causes and DisadvantagesOpens in a new tab.

2. Preventive maintenance – What is Preventive Maintenance | Objective , Procedure , AdvantagesOpens in a new tab.

3. Scheduled maintenance
4. Productive maintenance

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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