Factory corrective maintenance : Towards continuous and efficient improvement

Factory corrective maintenance is essential to intervene on failed equipment and systems. Its main purpose is to restore the optimal functioning of the machines, thus ensuring the continuity of production. Depending on the maintenance strategy chosen, it can be executed planned or unplanned.

What is factory corrective maintenance ?

Factory corrective maintenance is defined as all interventions performed to repair faulty systems and equipment. Its main purpose is to repair breakdowns to ensure continuous production without interruption.

This form of maintenance can be scheduled in advance or performed unexpectedly, depending on the company’s maintenance policy.

Corrective maintenance comes in several categories, depending on the urgency, the nature of the problem and the repair approach. Among these, we distinguish planned, unplanned, emergency, and troubleshooting corrective maintenance, each with its own specificities and applicable according to the situation.

It is essential to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of corrective maintenance, to choose the most appropriate approach to the context of the company.

Integrated into a global maintenance plan, corrective maintenance ideally complements other forms of maintenance, such as preventive maintenance that seeks to anticipate failures before they occur and predictive maintenance, based on data analysis to forecast future maintenance requirements.

A successful maintenance program harmoniously combines these different strategies, carefully considering their costs, benefits, and impacts on the company.

How does plant corrective maintenance of equipment contribute to continuous improvement and reliability of productivity ?

Corrective maintenance plays an essential role in the optimization of factory production processes. Its main objective is to quickly correct any malfunction or failure impacting the equipment in order to maintain optimal machine performance. This not only ensures the superior quality of the products manufactured but also contributes significantly to the reliability and continuous improvement of production for several reasons :

Downtime reduction

By proactively identifying and repairing failures, corrective maintenance helps reduce production downtime. This avoids significant production losses and delays in delivery cycles, thus optimizing equipment utilization and customer satisfaction.

Enhanced security

Corrective maintenance is essential to identify and repair potentially hazardous equipment. It therefore plays a preventive role by avoiding incidents, injuries or damage to property. It helps protect the health and safety of employees and all parties involved.

Guarantee of product quality

An effective corrective maintenance strategy ensures that equipment functions optimally, thus contributing to products quality control and compliance of finished products. By avoiding failures, it prevents non-conformities and customer complaints, thus supporting customer loyalty and the company’s good reputation.

Increased durability of equipment

Corrective maintenance increases machine longevity by replacing worn components, adjusting critical parameters and performing performance tests. This prevents premature wear and deterioration, reducing replacement needs and associated investment costs.

Which organizations offer factory corrective maintenance ?

Various organizations provide plant corrective maintenance, depending on the type of equipment, industry and level of expertise required. Three main categories stand out :

Manufacturers or suppliers of equipment

These organizations, which design, produce or distribute industrial equipment, generally offer an after-sales service dedicated to corrective maintenance in case of failure. They can also offer maintenance contracts, ensuring quick and professional intervention.

Choosing the services of manufacturers or suppliers offers several advantages :

  • Extensive knowledge of equipment.
  • Availability of necessary spare parts and specific tools.
  • The guarantee that the equipment remains up to date and complies with current standards.

External service providers

These organizations provide corrective maintenance services on request or through contracts, with potential specialization in certain types of equipment, business sectors or regions. Armed with a team of qualified technicians, they travel directly on site to carry out the necessary repairs.

Using external providers has several advantages :

  • Increased flexibility and availability.
  • The possibility of reducing the costs associated with a permanent internal maintenance team.
  • The contribution of complementary expertise and an external point of view.

The internal maintenance teams

These teams, composed of technicians or employees trained in maintenance, manage corrective maintenance within the company. They have the ability to intervene directly on the equipment and to solicit external organizations if necessary.

The benefits of relying on internal maintenance include :

  • An intimate knowledge of the production process and the specific needs of the company.
  • High responsiveness and operational proximity.
  • Increased motivation and accountability of employees involved.

What are the steps to go through a factory corrective maintenance ?

Factory corrective maintenance helps to quickly and efficiently restore the functionality of failing systems or equipment. Follow these key steps for effective maintenance :

Detect failure or malfunction

Start by identifying the failure or malfunction, whether visible, audible, measurable, or reported by an operator or customer. It is essential to establish the cause, location and extent of the problem, as well as its impact on production and safety.

Diagnose the failure or malfunction

Then assess the problem to identify the best solution. Analyze all available data, consult technical documents, perform tests and measurements and examine all possible solutions. Also estimate the time, cost and resources required for the repair.

Repair the failure or malfunction

To restore normal operation, apply the chosen solution strictly respecting safety, quality and environmental standards. Replace defective parts, adjust the settings and check that performance is restored.

Check the repair

Finally, validate the quality of the repair by performing tests, checks and validations in accordance with demanding standards and specifications. Ensure customer satisfaction and efficient production resumption.

Document the repair

The fifth step is to create a written record of the entire repair process. This documentation should include details on the nature of the failure, the diagnostic steps, the repair actions performed, as well as the results of post-repair checks. It is also essential to update technical documents, case reports, activity reports and indicators that measure repair performance.

How much does a factory corrective maintenance cost ?

The cost of a plant’s corrective maintenance is influenced by various factors, including the type of equipment, the nature of the failure, the repair required, the duration of the intervention, the spare parts required and the personnel involved. It is difficult to define an exact method for estimating this cost, but an estimate can be made by considering the expenses related to regular maintenance, repairs and possible replacements.

Routine maintenance includes the costs associated with regular interventions that ensure the proper functioning of the equipment. This includes costs related to personnel, tools, consumables and necessary controls.

To estimate the cost of routine maintenance, we can take into account the number of hours dedicated annually to these operations, the hourly rate of personnel, as well as the cost of tools and consumables used.

The cost of repairs, for its part, includes expenses related to corrective maintenance, which is essential to correct failures or repair damaged equipment. This cost includes personnel, spare parts, tools and required testing.

The cost of repairs can be estimated based on the number of hours spent on repairs annually, the hourly rate of personnel, the cost of spare parts, and the necessary tools and tests.

Regarding replacement, this cost covers the operations necessary to replace irreparable or obsolete equipment. This includes the purchase, installation, commissioning and associated training.

The cost of replacement can be estimated based on the purchase price, installation costs, commissioning and training costs, among others.

In general, the cost of corrective maintenance can vary according to many factors and tends to be higher than that of preventive maintenance, which aims to avoid breakdowns and extend the life of the equipment. According to some studies, the cost of corrective maintenance can be up to ten times that of preventive maintenance. It is therefore advisable to adopt a balanced maintenance program, incorporating different maintenance strategies, while considering their respective costs, benefits and impacts.

How long does it take to get factory corrective maintenance ?

The time required to perform corrective maintenance in a plant depends on a multitude of variables, including the nature and severity of the failure, availability of spare parts, expertise and availability of technical personnel, and the quality of the service offered. The duration of this maintenance is not fixed and can vary considerably depending on different elements such as the time of diagnosis and repair, the waiting time for the necessary resources and finally, the time of restart of the equipment.

Repair time encompasses the time required to diagnose and resolve the failure, influenced by the complexity of the equipment, the severity of the problem, the repair methods and tools used, and the skill and experience level of the personnel.

This time can be roughly estimated taking into account the hours of work required, the hourly cost of personnel, as well as the cost of tools and spare parts.

Wait time includes the time to gather all resources and approvals prior to repair. This time is influenced by the ease of access to spare parts, the delivery time, the reliability of the supplier, as well as the priority given to repair, the management of interventions and the coordination of teams.

Minimizing waiting time is possible by maintaining a stock of spare parts, selecting a responsive customer service and establishing an efficient maintenance plan.

Restart time is the time required to return the equipment to service after repair. It depends on the efficiency of the repair, the conformity to the validation tests and the ability to readjust the production. Optimizing this time involves performing rigorous testing, ensuring compliance with standards and preparing operators for recovery.

The total time required for corrective maintenance may vary, but it generally tends to be greater than that of preventive maintenance, which offers the possibility of scheduling interventions. Studies show that repair time can be up to five times longer than prevention.

It is advisable to adopt a balanced maintenance strategy, which incorporates different approaches taking into account the time, cost and impact of each type of maintenance on plant operations.

What are the differences between corrective and preventive maintenance ?

The concepts of corrective and preventive maintenance represent two fundamental methods with distinct objectives and approaches. Corrective maintenance is performed in response to an existing failure or malfunction, aimed at repairing the failing equipment. On the other hand, preventive maintenance is carried out early, with the aim of avoiding problems. This proactive approach differs from the reactive nature of corrective maintenance.

Let’s discover together the main differences between these two forms of maintenance :


L’un des principaux contrastes est la planification. La maintenance corrective ne bénéficie d’aucune programmation préalable, s’appuyant sur la détection spontanée et la signalisation des défaillances pour agir rapidement, souvent au prix de perturbations dans le processus de production. Cependant, la maintenance préventive est rigoureusement planifiée, selon un calendrier ou des critères établis au préalable, ce qui favorise une gestion organisée et optimale, réduisant ainsi le risque d’interruptions.


In terms of objectives, corrective maintenance aims a posteriori to repair defective equipment or systems to ensure continuity of production. Its purpose is to restore the usual functioning. In parallel, preventive maintenance is a priori aimed at maintaining the good condition of the equipment, thus preventing potential failures or rapid wear. Its ultimate goal is to improve the performance and longevity of the equipment.


The impact of corrective maintenance is generally negative : disruptions in productivity, reduced quality, safety problems, etc. It generates additional costs and increases the risk of accidents. On the other hand, preventive maintenance generates beneficial effects on the entire operation, reducing interruptions, repair costs and risks, while improving quality and safety.

Corrective maintenance and preventive maintenance, although different, are complementary. Their judicious and balanced use, taking into account operational and financial issues, is essential. Studies show that the costs associated with corrective maintenance can be considerably higher than those of preventive maintenance. It is therefore advisable to give preference to the latter, while providing the necessary means for an effective corrective intervention.