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preventive maintenance[pri′ven·tiv ′mānt·ən·əns]
in technology, a systematic and preventive operation or group of operations for maintaining technical devices or items at a given level of reliability in a serviceable or active state. Preventive maintenance is generally performed at specified intervals that are determined in advance. The procedure consists in an inspection of the item and the replacement or repair of its parts and units. The item is also cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted. Preventive maintenance reduces the likelihood of a sudden loss of operating efficiency (failure) that can result from, for example, the deterioration of the parts of a device or the clogging of its contacts. Preventive maintenance may also be performed at irregular intervals in conjunction with the restoration of the operating efficiency of an item after its failure.
preventive maintenanceInspecting hardware on a regular basis to ensure it stays in good running order. Preventive maintenance generally implies taking the equipment out of operation during the maintenance period. In the 1960s and 1970s, preventive maintenance took hours every week or every month and was performed by a field engineer.
Starting in the 1980s, computers began to run without breaking down for weeks and months on end, and preventive maintenance became less of an issue over time. Today, electronic devices are rarely taken out of operation on a regular basis. The only exception is the periodic cleaning of automatic feeders and paper paths in high-volume printers and scanners. See remedial maintenance and percussive maintenance.