Maintenance [Definition, Types, Forms and Terms] In Engineering

Maintenance – In nature of things, virtually nothing man-made is indestructible but the useful life can be extended by carrying out out repairs at predetermined intervals by an activity known as MAINTENANCE. Bs3811 (1974) states that ‘maintenance is a combination of any action carried out to retain item in or to restore it to an acceptable condition’.

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Maintenance to an acceptable standard refers to the standard set by the organisation, which from one organisation to another will depend upon nature of the need for high standards. For examples, the maintenance of aircraft and aero-engines will be undertaken to much higher standard than for say contractors plant; dumpers,cranes, etc. on a building site. In some instances,the regulations and must be observed accordingly.


  1. To extend the useful life of assets which is particularly important for developing countries in view of lack of capital resources for replacement. in developing countries it may sometimes be feasible to maintain rather than replace.
  2. To ensure the optimum availability of installed equipment for production or services and obtain the maximum possible return in investment.
  3. To ensure operational readiness of all equipment required for emergency use at all times as stand by units.
  4. To ensure safety of personnel using the production facilities.


they’re mainly two types of maintenance which can either be planned maintenance or unplanned maintenance. although the forms are based on these two, the forms are;

  1. Emergency maintenance
  2. Preventive maintenance
  3. Corrective maintenance

Maintenance can either be planned or unplanned maintenance as said earlier. There is only one form of unplanned maintenance and that is emergency maintenance. Planned maintenance on the other hand is divided into two maintenance activities, viz; Preventive and Corrective Maintenance.

The major part of preventive maintenance involves prevention on the basis of work,feel and listen and minor adjustments at predetermined intervals and the replacement of minor components found necessary as the result of such inspection.

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Industrial organisation exist to make profit, and to achieve this they use equipment and labour to convert raw materials into finished goods of higher value.  Profitability is influenced by many factors, e.g. Customer demand, product price, equipment output, capital cost and life, equipment running cost and running cost etc. Maintenance is related to Profitability through equipment output and running cost.  Maintenance work rises the the level of equipment output and running cost and at the same time equipment performance generally. The objectives of the industrial maintenance department should be the achievement of optimum balance between these effects that is, the balance which minimises the maintenance contribution to profitability. In this regard, the nature of maintenance programme will actually be determined by the manner in which the plant and equipment was designed, selected all of which the objectives is to reduces maintenance cost and improve on the profitability of the establishment.


The most important single document in the orgaization of maintenance work is the maintenance request. It is variously called;

  • Work order
  • Work requestion
  • Job card
  • Work ticket

As a prerequisite for planning the maintenance function, it is neccessary to know exactly what the labour force is doing and how long each task will take. The maintenance request forms evolved over many years and have been successfully applied in a wide range of industries. It’s major aim is to show the basic information neccessary for the effective control of the maintenance crew and plant maintenance cost. The maintenance request forms have been carefully researched and developed to provide the need for the operational personnel who will be required to carry out /complete it and the administration who are required to extract the statistical information from it, and send same to key punch operations, for computing data preparation.

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A maintenance schedule could be defined as a comprehensive list of maintenance and it’s incidence. on a smaller item or plant, it is customary to prepare a comprehensive maintenance schedule covering all trade required, for the maintenance of the plant or equipment. On a larger plant each schedule should be splitted up into individual trades and in highly complex plant this should be done quiet separate.

Every schedule should indicate that the date of compilation and be given an issue number starting from one upward. The point that requires emphasis is that in establishing a plant maintenance scheme. The preparation of maintenance schedule is not a once and for all excersise. This simply suggest that the schedule must be revised to ensure that the optimum economic level of maintenance is not exceeded to the point where uneconomic over maintenance occurs and equally that any inadequate maintenance is not permitted to persist.

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