Your company’s future may depend on your machinery. In industries like agriculture, manufacturing, construction, or anything reliant on equipment and machines, what you can accomplish will be limited if you’re suffering frequent breakdowns and can’t meet demand. In addition to poor cost-efficiency, malfunctioning equipment could endanger workers. Here are some tips for keeping your machinery in optimal working condition.
Many of the machines you use may have multiple operators for different shifts or departments. Everyone who operates the equipment should go through an effective training program. Include hands-on experience, best practices, safety, trouble shooting, and equipment inspection checklists. Prepare an operator manual that everyone can refer to.
Nothing wears down equipment faster than having low fluid levels or contaminated fluids. Make sure your training and your operator checklist includes examining/adding essential fluids like oil, grease, coolant, and anything else appropriate to each machine. Operators must know the proper fluids and capacities. Checking for leaks should also be a part of operator inspections.
Check for Wear
Another essential should be checking machines for wear. Worn or frayed belts, chains, cables, and wires could suddenly break, possibly causing damage to goods or people, and the machinery itself. Some telltale signs might include unusual sounds, vibration, heat, or electrical shocks. Everything wears out eventually, but replacing parts as needed will help avoid the worst damage.
Keep It Clean
It’s also important to ensure that both the machinery and work environments are kept clean. Dust, dirt, and particulate materials can get inside equipment to clog lines and filters, ruin seals, compromise circuits, and add excessive friction to moving parts. The machinery should be cleaned often with compressed air and suitable detergents/solvents.
You should also have a regular repair and maintenance schedule. This helps you stay on top of components that can’t be visually checked. For instance, gears could become worn or out of alignment, and you will need someone qualified to do gearbox repairs on that model. Often industrial equipment can be purchased with maintenance contracts, but it might be wise to have a qualified mechanic on staff or to contract with a reliable repair service.
Proactive equipment care only takes a little extra time, but can help you avoid costly breakdowns and extend the lifespan of expensive machinery. With each new equipment asset you purchase, make sure that proper maintenance routines are part of your processes to say efficient and protect your investment.