Repairs are the activities taken by maintenance personnel to fix something that is already broken. This necessarily implies that there has been a partial malfunction or a complete breakdown of the asset in question. It requires taking something that is worn, damaged or faulty and restoring it to a good working condition. In essence, it entails restorative work.
Types of repairs
On the repair continuum or spectrum, it is important to note that there are different types of repairs that can be carried out. These types of repairs are usually grouped into two main categories: partial repair and complete repair. We explore each one in more detail below.
- Partial repair: Partial repair takes place when a piece of equipment is still operational or functional but at a lower capacity. Through corrective actions, the asset can be restored to good condition and functionality before the issue that has been identified results in a complete failure. It is worth noting that if partial repairs are not carried out, this could lead to potential safety hazards at the manufacturing premises and could later lead to complete breakdowns at inconvenient times.
- Complete repair: Complete repairs take place when the equipment is broken and cannot function at all until the repair work carried out restores it to its original condition. As such, the asset becomes completely unavailable for use. Often, the root cause of the failure will determine the amount of resources required to fix the issue. Some of the potential disadvantages that can occur as a result of complete repairs include costly and unplanned downtime.
When an equipment failure or breakdown occurs, it can be very expensive to repair. This can also cause a halt in production activities, affecting the overall productivity of the organisation. While some potential failures are due to human error, others may be caused by unforeseen accidents, natural wear and tear and other possible causes. In many cases, these situations can be avoided through preventive maintenance.