Six Must-Haves for Successful Maintenance
Six Must Haves for Successful Maintenance
You can have the best products, the best employees and the most up-to-date manufacturing facility, but if you take a lax approach to maintaining your lubrication program, those best products won’t mean much when production slows or stops. The fact of the matter is that maintenance matters and if not done properly, it can tank your work flow. The main goal of plant maintenance is to ensure the conditions in which a plant can reach peak productivity while keeping the maintenance costs as low as possible. Here are some maintenance tips no plant should be without.
1. Predict Equipment Problems in Advance
It is easy to print a maintenance schedule and paste it to the side of a machine. The real work is following what’s on the schedule! Proactive maintenance beats reactive maintenance every time!
Often times, the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the product. Deeper inspection may reveal an abundance of maintenance issues that have been neglected, forgotten, or done improperly. Understanding your processes from a maintenance standpoint will make you good at predicting what can go wrong in the future. A proactive approach to maintenance allows you to have the pieces in place to react quickly and correctly.
2. Reducing Backups & Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks are harmful to any manufacturing plant and can severely hamper the production process. One might wonder whether bottlenecks are the responsibility of the maintenance team, but regardless of ‘who gets to fix the problem,’ it always pays off to have a plan in place to address these areas.
3. Leverage Unplanned Outages
A constant concern of maintenance teams is that maintenance issues keep piling up. To keep these piles of trouble from getting out of control, responsible maintenance managers use downtime wisely and address these issues during unplanned outages.
Let’s face it, even though everyone knows maintenance needs to be done, it’s no fun to tackle some of the actual maintenance duties. Procrastination will kill you but an unplanned outage is a gift of time that can be applied to these issues. Before you know it, your plant is back on schedule!
4. Know Your Products
Knowing your lubricants and fluids inside and out will help to understand when they are at their best and when they are reaching the end of life, which can potentially harm production.
This means having regular contact and visits from your lubricant supplier. A good Applications Specialist will continue to teach their customers about lubrication properties and how to read the fluid properly.
5. Motivate Employees
Are the employees who perform the preventive maintenance sufficiently motivated and trained to do this detail-oriented work correctly?
Any preventive maintenance program should be clearly defined, with well-documented maintenance activities for each piece of equipment. It should also be regularly reviewed and adjusted as necessary. Changing personnel, lax follow-through and poor planning can get in the way of proper maintenance, so setting goals and offering incentives to hit those goals may be a way for your team to keep issues top of mind.
6. Create a Plan – Build Your Checklist
If you are still relying on reactive maintenance, creating preventive maintenance checklists for the tasks you do perform on a regular basis could be a great way to start moving towards preventive maintenance. A maintenance checklist can be designed collaboratively by your plant team and a team-devised planned means team ownership.
The goal of industrial maintenance is to categorize your piece of equipment according to its importance in order to alleviate the negative effects and help you cope with problems. Assessing the criticality of your assets will help you identify the equipment that should be observed the most.
A good maintenance checklist helps your maintenance team do their job efficiently, which protects your business from unanticipated breakdowns, costly repairs, and equipment replacement. Regular maintenance checks partnered with an effective maintenance checklist can help avoid further equipment failure and prolong their lifespan.
It’s to Benz’s benefit to educate our customers to be efficient and mindful of maintenance and predicting potential problems that could slow down production. Call Benz for a consultation on creating checklists and designing procedures that help you maintain your plant to the best working level.