Corrective and preventative maintenance are often classified by levels of complexity, with each level indicating the need for more specialized training to successfully complete procedures, diagnostics, and repairs. The ability to classify maintenance tasks by level helps facility and maintenance managers schedule the right staff to the right location, improving overall productivity.

Preventative Maintenance Levels

Preventative maintenance describes any maintenance performed on equipment to reduce the risk of it failing. Within this broad definition lie a wide variety of tasks ranging in complexity from simple observation to the need for specialized training and measuring equipment. Broken down into five categories, preventative maintenance levels look like this:

Level I: These tasks are simple maintenance that, while essential, can be performed easily and safely through machine-integrated support equipment. Examples of level I preventative maintenance include daily lubrication, condition monitoring, and removing filter clogs.

Level II: These interventions are relatively simple procedures, but require properly-qualified and trained personnel for successful completion. Examples include weekly / monthly lubrication, pulley or engine alignment, and replacing hard-to-reach air filters.

Level III: By level III, preventative maintenance tasks have become complex procedures requiring qualified technicians working with detailed procedures. Examples include intrusive tasks, the use of external measuring tools, and collection of technical parameters with individual collection tools.

Level IV: Level IV tasks represent the highest preventative maintenance levels qualified on-site staff are likely to face, and include such tasks as vibration and lubricant analysis, oscilloscope use, and infrared thermography.

Level V: By level V, preventative maintenance requires highly-specialized procedures and equipment usually only available through equipment manufacturers and third-party support systems, and may require complete machine dismantling.

Corrective Maintenance Levels

Corrective maintenance covers any task required to repair equipment and restore it to working condition. Like preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance levels represent increasingly-complex tasks, with higher levels calling for more specialized training and equipment. Examples of tasks appropriate for each level include:

Level I: Replacing light bulbs, and repairing or replacing worn or outdated parts on easily accessible, simple components.

Level II: Standard exchange replacement of fuses, belts and air filters, and the replacement of worn or outdated parts such as chains, belting, slide rails, and rolls.

Level III: Repairs to refrigerant leaks, standard exchange replacement for control cards, pumps, engines, and gears, and tasks requiring the use of individual diagnosis and measuring tools.

Level IV: Pump revisions, and compressor valve replacement repairs requiring complex diagnostic tools.

Level V: Major equipment reconditioning, dimensional or geometrical recovery, and retrofitting of complex equipment.

These preventative and corrective maintenance levels are merely guidelines, but offer some indication of the level of training and qualifications personnel should have before attempting particular tasks. Training should start at level I, with basic electricity and other fundamental concepts, and work upwards to higher level training, such as PLC programming or Variable Frequency Drives.

Consider your facility’s own preventative and corrective maintenance needs. Do you have the staff and training required to handle the challenges of higher level maintenance procedures?

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