Condition-based maintenance uses equipment measurements to perform maintenance only when that equipment may fail or needs repairs. You determine the precise maintenance point via visually inspecting a piece of equipment, performing tests on equipment specs, or gathering data and diagnostics. CBM allows maintenance personnel to act on a by-need basis, optimizing the amount of time spent on maintenance tasks.
This type of maintenance uses both condition monitoring and condition measurements. Condition monitoring measures specific equipment parameters (like vibrations in a system), taking note of drastic changes that could be indicative of a fault. Maintenance personnel take regular condition measurements from these parameters, which provides the current view of the equipment’s health. As equipment health dips, maintenance personnel perform work and return the equipment to its working state.
While CBM sounds similar to predictive maintenance, they aren’t the same: condition-based maintenance is less accurate than predictive maintenance because predictive maintenance uses complex formulas to figure out exactly when in the future maintenance will be needed. CBM doesn’t use these formulas; instead, maintenance takes place only when necessary based on condition measurements.
Condition-based maintenance is also not reactive because the equipment doesn’t need to break or fault to perform work. Maintenance work happens in response to measurements, not unplanned downtime events.