It’s always better to prevent a problem from potentially happening versus, responding to the problem when it occurs (reactive maintenance), and when it comes to the manufacturing industry, problems are sure to arise. Manufacturing is the creation of products or goods with the help of various types of tools, equipment, machines, manual labor, and even chemical/biological processing. One thing to note about the manufacturing industry is that it’s used by all industries in some form, and because of that, preventive maintenance is extremely important, not only for efficiency but also for the safety of workers.
In certain instances, reactive maintenance is unavoidable, despite your best efforts. For instance, there are certain types of tools and pieces of equipment that will have problems that you can’t foresee. Nonetheless, once you realize a problem has occurred in that particular tool or piece of equipment, the problem needs to be resolved as soon as possible; reactive maintenance should only be a minimal occurrence.
So what exactly does preventive maintenance look like in the manufacturing industry? Well, it can involve replacing or repairing components and inspecting and servicing machinery. Think of it somewhat in the same respect that we take care of our vehicles; We have to get the oil changed, rotate the tires, get an alignment, and complete other tasks to maintain your car and ensure it’s in good working condition. You may not know you need a new tire until you see one has gone completely flat the next day– that would be an example of reactive maintenance. Getting your oils changed every few thousand miles would be preventive maintenance.
By having a good understanding of what preventive maintenance is, you’ll be able to better run your manufacturing business and avoid inefficient operations and equipment failures. Take a look at ways you can start your own preventive maintenance strategy to maximize productivity.
Manufacturing Success: Preventive Maintenance Tips
Create a Maintenance Schedule
You’ll want to do a complete inventory check of your equipment and tools as well as their maintenance needs, and devise a maintenance schedule. In this schedule, it will need to have every routine task listed as well as complete instructions on how to successfully complete the tasks. Ideally, you’ll want this schedule implemented during operating hours so that you can hire professional contractors for various areas such as electrical maintenance. Depending on the tool or piece of equipment, the schedule may fluctuate from weekly to monthly or quarterly, but even with those fluctuating schedules, the schedule still needs to be routine.
Train Staff on Maintenance
One of the best approaches to preventive maintenance is to educate your staff on the importance of it so everyone can be on the same page. Explain how preventive maintenance is important in daily operations. This is also the time to make sure they know exactly what they’re looking for during inspections and how to repair or replace parts when needed. Referring back to the equipment manuals is going to be very important.
Assign Employees Maintenance Tasks
Your preventive maintenance strategy should also have all employees listed who will be completing certain tasks so that responsibility is shared and they know exactly what they’re responsible for.
Find Underlying Cause of Equipment Failure
When a piece of equipment fails, you, of course, want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible, however, it’s also important to take the time to determine what caused the problem in the first place. This will allow you to prevent the same problem from happening in the future. For example, if chemical corrosion is happening in your pipes, then you may need to invest in lined pipes to prevent corrosion in the future.
Hire Certified/Licensed Contractors When Necessary
While your employees may get training for certain pieces of equipment to make sure they’re working properly, there will be areas they’re not qualified to work on and should only be handled by a professional. Here’s when it’s absolutely necessary to hire a professional commercial contractor:
- The part that needs repairing or replacing is difficult to access or requires disassembly.
- You don’t have the appropriate tools to complete a maintenance task.
- The problem is recurring despite our best efforts and you can’t figure out the root cause of the problem.
- You can’t figure out exactly what’s going wrong with the machine or piece of equipment.
With electrical equipment, unless you’re licensed and certified, a professional should always handle any maintenance issues. Wires used in electrical circuits need preventive maintenance and monitoring to prevent fires. Fuses and circuit breakers protect wires from short circuits, and circuits can be used as switches themselves. However, when more electricity flows than a wire can handle, the heat can melt the insulation and cause fires in the electrical system. This is definitely preventive maintenance that needs to be handled by licensed and certified electricians.
Here at Schaffhouser Electric, we offer electrical services to help you in your time of need. Whether it’s a power outage or a weather emergency, we’re here to help. Though the preventive maintenance tips listed above are just a few of many, they will still take you a very long way in keeping your tools, equipment, and machinery in good condition. However, nothing is full-proof and will require professional help, especially with any parts requiring electrical work. To ensure your tools and equipment are operating efficiently, trust your electrical needs to Schaffhouser Electric. Call to learn more about the services we offer.