10 Tips to Prevent Equipment Downtime and Extend the Life of Your Assets
Equipment failures may cause minimal losses to grave consequences, depending on aspects such as repair costs, duration of downtime, health and safety indications, impact on production, etc. Understand the common reasons behind equipment failures to tackle the below consequences of unexpected downtime:
- Costly repairs
- Spoiled goods stored for distribution
- Loss of sales owing to broken SLAs
- A dent in goodwill
Track asset downtime to initiate appropriate measures to control and diminish its effects.
1. Right equipment for the job
Machines vary minutely in specification and capability. These minor variations can cause significant variations in production output and may cause overloading of the equipment. Usage of inappropriate device for a job may result in underperformance, equipment damage, and even injuries to the staff involved in production.
So be clear with the specific needs of the production task(such as desired precision levels of output), purchase and deploy the equipment wisely. Do not hesitate to get expert advice on the right equipment.
2. Invest in operator training
Studies outline operators who understand the functioning mechanism and proper machine operating procedure are less likely to commit mistakes.
Well-trained operators detect problems or abnormal operations with an eye for detail and fix issues at early stages before they build up into big ones. Invest and arrange for operator training prevents damages due to ignorance.
The fusion of operator and maintenance technician roles as an emerging trend is remarkable for self-fixes.
3. Regular inspection
Routine safety and operational inspections of heavy machinery will help avoid sudden failures and costly repairs by identifying problems that creep slowly and steadily(such as cracks, oil leaks, loose bolts, etc). Technicians tend to forget or ignore such tasks, for which maintenance automation is the best solution.
Inspect all parts of the machinery or equipment, including difficult-to-reach areas. Perform vibration analysis by integrating IoT sensors with a CMMS application. Proactive thinking is required to stop problems before they occur.
Such a powerful software application can detect and correct equipment misalignment and imbalance issues early to avoid equipment failure.
4. Regular preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance assumes special significance if run short of staff. It is common to ignore regular maintenance when things run fine. Service your heavy machinery regularly, as the case with your car. Planned schedule maintenance can extend the shelf life of the equipment, eliminate costly repairs, cut down fuel consumption, and ensure smooth running.
Planned preventive maintenance also lets the team know the aging status and present working condition of asset.
5. Right mix of preventive & condition based maintenance
Overdoing preventive maintenance will disturb production schedules and prove to be costly. The more you open up an equipment for maintenance, more is the chance for a new set of risks, compound wear and tear, or accidental damage due to rough handling. It drains the technician’s time on unnecessary tasks. What to do then? Apart from Planned Preventive maintenance(PPM), perform condition-based maintenance too, as indicated by the running conditions of the machine. Automate condition-based maintenance tasks using EAM/CMMS software to ensure well-maintained manufacturing facilities.
6. Recycle assets at the right time
Unfortunately, we got used to use and throw culture without examining possibilities for best asset maintenance. It is common to see operators using assets ripe in age struggling to perform the basic functionalities expected from them. It is a common human tendency to replace something faulty rather than to repair it. This mindset can be detrimental to businesses and its assets.
Prepare a Failure Mode Effective Analysis(FMEA) plan to perform reliability-centered maintenance. Be well prepared for every scenario of asset failure with the FMEA template. Implement reliability-centered maintenance strategy to optimize asset uptime and performance.
Repairing and recycling of assets is an environmentally friendly practice as well. But how to take the call at the right time to dispose of assets? An end-to-end Enterprise Asset Management Solution helps you decide by instant calculation of asset depreciation value as per several techniques. Balance asset longevity and profitability with RCM-powered EAM software.
7. Monitor your maintenance costs
You can reap the benefits of any maintenance strategy only if you could accurately measure the overall time for servicing the concerned asset and the cost of spare parts an asset consumes. An EAM/CMMS software helps you get this information in a few clicks.
8. Clean after use
A simple tip to get the most out of your equipment is to ensure the operators clean them after usage. Regular cleaning of your equipment shields them from problems caused by the build-up of dirt, dust, and grease and helps prevent corrosion. Lubricate every moving part regularly. If you face time constraints in doing this daily or weekly, at least do it once a month.
9. Safe and secure storage conditions
Apart from human neglect, environmental conditions such as fluctuating voltage, humidity, etc., can accelerate asset failure. Hence evaluate environmental factors as a part of routine schedules. You never miss such checks with automation that technicians tend to forgot using manual methods.
There may arise periods of temporary inactivity for machinery. During this period, store the machinery as per manufacturer guidelines. Improper storage causes rusting and poses a danger while using the machinery after dormancy.
10. Real-time view of inventory stock
Having a real-time view of the inventory stock from your mobile will go a long way in managing your assets and achieving significant savings. An EAM software can help you forecast the spare demand based on consumption during previous years. It can provide an exclusive workflow to procure assets and genuine spares at the best price and generate insightful reports for quicker and well-informed purchases. Running equipment with unauthorized cheap parts can worsen downtime issues in the long run.
It is worth citing the fact Downtime costs account for billions in annual revenue for leading manufacturing companies. It is time to pause and think if your asset maintenance management system is scalable, error-free, effective, and reliable. If it struggles to provide real-time work visibility, it is worth dumping and go for digital maintenance solution!