Maintenance and reliability departments would like to implement comprehensive management programs, but they lack the budget and personnel, according to the 2002 Maintenance and Reliability Practices Survey conducted by Rockwell Automation and Maintenance Technology magazine.

As a result, maintenance managers say they spend too much time and money on reactive maintenance, tackling problems after they occur rather than preventing them. Managers say they realize that predictive maintenance increases system uptime and positively influences the bottom line, but they lack the resources to do anything about it.

The survey collected data from 229 maintenance supervisors and managers at U.S. manufacturing and industrial companies.

In a tough economy, it's hard to justify spending money on prevention, as safety and health professionals know. But incidents and accidents nearly always cost more than routine, preventative measures, says Jennifer Allen of Circadian Technologies.