The average lifespan of assets in the chemicals industry has increased over time, and as a result, the associated maintenance work has significantly increased along with it. As per some estimates, 50% of fixed costs for a typical chemicals plant are the result of continuous maintenance work. This maintenance work can be classified into three categories: reactive, preventive, and predictive.
As the name suggests, reactive maintenance is performed after something breaks down. When a company dedicates a significant amount of its time, money, and resources to conducting reactive maintenance, the company typically “pays for it” in the form of schedule interruptions, rescheduling, lost volume/sales, lost customers, lower pricing power to attract new customers, fines and charges, etc. While cutting maintenance costs may look profitable, a complete assessment of all side effects would likely prove otherwise. In fact, the total cost of reactive maintenance can turn out to be two to three times higher than a preventive maintenance approach.