What Is Conditions-Based Maintenance?

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In our continuing introductory look at industrial & facilities maintenance basics, this article will provide an introduction to conditions-based maintenance, or CBM.

At root, CBM is a maintenance strategy focused on determining the correct time to perform maintenance on equipment and machines.

To learn more about this, please read the article below and be sure to let us know if you’ve got any questions.

Your Intro to Conditions-Based Maintenance

When using conditions-based maintenance, an organization monitors the actual, real-time conditions of a physical asset and performs maintenance on that asset only when the monitoring discovers indicators that the performance of the asset is decreasing or that a failure will occur shortly.

So conditions-based maintenance is different than planned maintenance, when maintenance occurs at pre-planned, regular intervals.

There are a variety of ways to check the conditions of the asset to determine if maintenance is required. These methods include visual inspections, non-invasive measurements, through analysis of performance data, and scheduled testing of the asset. Monitoring techniques may include oil analysis to find the number and size of particles in the oil and use that as an indicator of machine degradation, the use of infrared camera for temperature analysis, vibration analysis, acoustic analysis to detect leaks, ultrasonic analysis, and sensors on assets to monitor things like flow, pressure, and temperature.


There are also options as to when the conditions are monitored. In some cases, such as a visual inspection, it can happen periodically. In other cases, such as when sensors are used, it can be continuous.

The benefit of using conditions-based maintenance is that you will (ideally) perform maintenance before a break-down or significant reduction in operation but not too early and often, as you might with planned maintenance.

Please download our free PDCA Cycle infographic before you go. 

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FREE PDCA Cycle Infographic

Download this free infographic of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle commonly used for quality control, project planning, and continuous improvement.

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. He's worked in training/learning & development for 25 years, in safety and safety training for more than 10, is an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry OSHA 10 and 30, has completed a General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate from the University of Washington/Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center and an Instructional Design certification from the Association of Talent Development (ATD), and is a member of the committee creating the upcoming ANSI/ASSP Z490.2 national standard on online environmental, health, and safety training. Jeff frequently writes for magazines related to safety, safety training, and training and frequently speaks at conferences on the same issues, including the Washington Governor's Safety and Health Conference, the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference, the Wisconsin Safety Conference, the MSHA Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, and others.

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