After a team of dedicated and talented workers, equipment is the second most important element of your manufacturing business. However, machinery with all its moving parts is prone to breakage and failure. Damaged machinery can halt production for hours, days or weeks and cause your profits to evaporate with each tick of the clock. Read on to learn how you can prevent costly equipment damage and keep your business running.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Most industrial equipment requires regular maintenance for smooth operation. Some machinery needs maintenance after every product run, while other pieces of equipment only need to be serviced every few weeks or months. Investing upfront in the right equipment, as you’ll see below, is important. Using a double block & bleed valve, for example, can prevent expensive maintenance later.
Develop a detailed maintenance schedule for all your components and make sure every worker in your operation has a copy. You can also consider outsourcing some or all of your maintenance needs to a third-party company. Some equipment manufacturers include free maintenance with purchase, so check your receipts.
Clear and Prevent Blockages
Blockages and product buildup are among the most common causes of damage to machinery. When materials are unable to flow freely through your equipment, gears can break, chutes can bust open and belts can snap. Stopping production to clear clogs costs valuable time, so keep chutes clear by using an air cannon to automatically blow away debris as soon as it’s detected. These cannons are especially useful for agricultural and food production operations that deal with lots of bulk material.
Your workers on the factory floor are your first line of defense against machinery damage. Train your staff to monitor and maintain the equipment while working. Consider holding training sessions on a regular basis to refresh your workers’ memories, make sure new hires are well-trained and introduce updated recommendations. Although training consumes time and resources, you will more than make up for it with reduced downtime and fewer repair costs.
Choose Quality Equipment
One of the best ways to prevent machinery damage is to invest in robust equipment from quality manufacturers. Going cheap might save money in the short term, but that bargain basement machinery from a no-name brand may cost much more down the road. If you can’t afford the equipment you need, consider leasing or renting instead.
Although there are many effective ways to prevent machinery damage, equipment will sometimes fail despite your best efforts. When damage occurs, it’s important to take care of repairs right away. Operating with damaged equipment can cause product loss and put your employees at risk of injury.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.