Regardless of what type of equipment you use, your industrial machinery means everything for your facility’s output. To achieve desired results, you need this equipment to operate at peak efficiency. After all, even a seemingly minor repair problem can result in lost hours of productivity that reduce your facility’s profitability.
Because of this, few tasks are more important than industrial machine maintenance. As you take steps to properly maintain your equipment, you can avoid many of the performance issues associated with unexpected repairs or a loss in efficiency, which in turn will help you save money on repair and replacement costs and maintain a safe working environment.
But which industrial machine maintenance practices will have the biggest impact on your facility? The following tips can make all the difference:
Keep a Maintenance Schedule
Every facility operator knows that they should visually inspect equipment and run machinery tests on a regular basis — but do you remember the last time you actually conducted such an inspection? If not, your machinery could be on the verge of a breakdown without you knowing it.
Because of this, you should keep detailed records of all maintenance performed on your industrial machines. Follow guidelines listed in the operator manual, and make sure that all observations and repairs are accurately recorded following each inspection. Take special care to check for loose bolts, warped belts, and other signs of wear and tear that are sometimes overlooked during less-than-thorough inspections.
By not falling behind on your industrial machine maintenance needs and keeping accurate records, you can take care of needed repairs before they get out of hand, significantly increasing the lifespan of your equipment.
Invest in Operator Training
Operator training may not seem like a maintenance-related task, but it can have a direct impact on your ability to keep your industrial machines in good working condition. After all, each piece of equipment comes with specific operating instructions to guide its use. Over time, manufacturers may update their recommendations, or changes to your work environment could necessitate alterations in machine usage.
The real question, of course, is whether or not your employees know and follow these best practices. Ensuring that each staff member who might use a particular piece of equipment is fully trained on how it should be used can prevent accidental damage that could occur when trying to push machinery beyond its limits.
Keep It Clean
Allowing dirt and other contaminants to accumulate on an industrial machine can significantly reduce its performance capabilities. When combined with exposure to humidity and other environmental hazards, this can also contribute to corrosion, rust, and other serious repair issues.
While it stands to reason that industrial machinery should be stored in a sheltered environment, you should also make efforts to keep the surrounding area clear of anything that could interfere with a machine’s performance. Make cleaning a part of your maintenance inspections as well. This simple addition to your maintenance routine can improve the efficiency of your equipment and prevent contamination of essential components.
For machinery with several moving parts, the regular application and testing of lubricant is essential for long-term maintenance. You should always follow manufacturer recommendations when applying lubricant to an industrial machine, as different components may require that you use a different type of oil.
To monitor the condition of your machine’s lubricant, be on the lookout for warning signs such as leaking oil seals or grease buildup. Checking the oil for contaminants will also help you know when a part is beginning to break down. By using lubricant to both maintain moving parts and identify when certain components need to be replaced, you can take care of minor repairs before they develop into a more serious problem.