What You Need to Know About Condition-Based Maintenance

What You Need to Know About Condition-Based Maintenance

Maintenance is often performed at scheduled intervals to help keep equipment in top shape, regardless of the state of those assets. Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is a strategy in which maintenance is conducted to evaluate faltering equipment. Businesses can then decide what type of maintenance should be done down the road to get their equipment working properly again. CBM differs from traditional maintenance in that it’s only performed on an as-needed basis.

What is the Purpose of Condition-Based Maintenance?

The ultimate goal of CBM is to identify potential equipment failure, the idea being that it’s better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to maintenance. CBM helps businesses promote the longevity of their equipment by spotting issues before they spiral out of control, not simply waiting around until the next scheduled maintenance to ensure that everything’s in working order. Unlike scheduled maintenance, however, CBM is only performed once equipment starts showing signs of failure. As such, scheduled maintenance may be a better option for those that want to be extra careful with their assets and monitor their condition even when they’re operating normally.

What are the Advantages of CBM?

There are several benefits to performing condition monitoring maintenance. First, this strategy can prevent future downtime by helping businesses spot and resolve issues early. It also minimizes the time you spend on maintenance. Rather than performing regularly scheduled maintenance, you only need to act when something has gone wrong—perhaps you notice that a specific tool is starting to slow down, or another piece of equipment is making an odd sound. You can then schedule future maintenance as needed instead of for the sake of it. 

Another significant advantage of CBM is that it helps companies optimize their maintenance schedules. It may not make sense for your company to perform maintenance every third Tuesday, for example, if you rarely find anything wrong with your equipment. CBM helps prevent useless maintenance, allowing companies to assess their equipment only when necessary and forcing them to get the ball rolling on repairs as soon as possible. Often, CBM is handled a lot more seriously than scheduled maintenance, as it’s performed at the first sign of trouble.

What are the Downsides of CBM?

Condition-based maintenance is only performed when needed, and while this can save your business time and money, it can also cause you to overlook brewing trouble. Often, if you wait until your equipment starts showing obvious signs of failure before acting, it can be too late. Scheduled maintenance monitors the overall state of your equipment and can reveal things that you may not have noticed unless you made it a point to purposely examine your assets. 

Something else to keep in mind is that it can be costly to train your staff to properly conduct CBM. Typical or scheduled maintenance is often performed at a surface level, but condition-based maintenance generally requires a more in-depth look at specific components of your equipment. You need a dedicated team of support staff to tackle these challenges, and finding the right people for the job can be difficult.

CBM Strategies

There are several CBM techniques you can employ to keep your facility running at peak efficiency. Here are some of the most common.

  • Operational performance
  • Oil analysis
  • Electrical
  • Ultrasonic
  • Infrared
  • Acoustic


Condition-based maintenance can be useful for businesses of all types and industries. However, it may be best suited for those that require minimally disruptive, yet immediate solutions to equipment failure. Scheduled maintenance, by contrast, is a good option for companies that prioritize predictability over applying laser-focused attention on a specific piece of equipment when it starts acting up. Your CBM strategy should complement your maintenance plan, not make things more difficult. 

Find the Right Monitoring Tools For Your Business

When choosing between condition-based and scheduled maintenance, there’s a lot to consider. You should assess the reliability of your equipment and determine whether or not you’re likely to experience a failure in the near future. It can also be helpful to think about your internal expertise and how knowledgeable your staff is regarding different types of maintenance. Would they be capable of performing condition-based maintenance, or are you more comfortable with having them stick to the standard schedule? 

The first step in getting started with the right maintenance strategy is finding the right maintenance tools. Trillium offers maintenance software solutions to help businesses achieve greater efficiency in their monitoring process, whatever that happens to look like. Whether you work in accounting, food service, warehousing, or another industry, Trillium can help you reach your maintenance goals. You get access to a team of facility maintenance experts that understand your needs and can help you implement the right tools for your specific business objectives. 

Reach out today to learn more about Trillium and how facility maintenance software can improve your business operations!

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