Minimizing Equipment Downtime

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Equipment failure is costly because of repair expenses, interrupted production, and the risk of injury. In this blog I will highlight ways you can mitigate the risk of your line stopping unexpectedly.

To begin with, it is important to ensure that your machine operators are trained and that they are running the equipment correctly. Keep a record of who was trained, on which piece of equipment, when and by who. Make sure this record, whether physical or digital, is easily accessible and is kept up to date. It is also important to ensure that you stop the line for scheduled maintenance, as well as when equipment performance changes undesirably. Maintenance schedules are detailed in the equipment manuals. Every stop, scheduled or not, should be documented and the trends of this stops tracked and understood.

To avoid extended downtime because of missing spare parts, a record of how many spare parts are in inventory, should also be kept. Further still, re-order levels should be set, taking into consideration how long it takes you to receive parts once you order them and how long each part lasts. In addition to this, schedule regular internal safety audits. Record and track this too. Also, you must keep a record of all safety incidents. Many organizations choose to keep their machines running nonstop, until they breakdown. Their modus operandi is ‘We will stop when we must, we cannot afford to stop’. Well, when the machines breakdown unexpectedly, they end up stopping any way.

By choosing when to stop  and scheduling preventive maintenance, you maintain much more control over your entire operation and ensures it is always running smoothly. During this maintenance period, lubricate what needs lubricating, inspect and change the parts that need changing, in accordance with your training and the equipment manuals. The true cost of downtime is far more reaching than is initially apparent. It metastasizes across your organization, negatively affecting customer relations and even employee morale. As a manager, you want to ensure that you maintain a firm grip over downtime.

Contact a sales team member or our service department for more information.

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