09 Mar The Do’s and Don’ts of Industrial Machine Repair
To maximize efficiency, it’s important for managers and owners of industrial manufacturing operations to do all they can to minimize the financial impact on their business related to the inevitable breakdown in equipment. While the professional repair staff of Atlanta-based Equipment Hub understands downtime is inevitable on your production line, and we’re ready to address your industrial machinery repair needs in the surrounding metropolitan area, we want to make sure you’re doing your part before we arrive on the scene to get you back up and running. Follow along as we share this important list of manufacturing do’s and don’ts when it comes to addressing your industrial machine repair needs and getting your manufacturing floor back up and running smoothly.
Effective Aspects of Quality Industrial Machine Repair
Whether it’s measured in production volume or time in operation, every piece of machinery is built with a lifespan in mind and almost without exception includes a mandatory maintenance cycle to help it achieve that projected output level. Inevitably, due to extenuating circumstances and user-related factors, there will be a time when a machine breaks. Until that happens, there are best practices you should be enforcing across your operation to ensure that breakdowns are rare and downtime is minimized.
Treat Service Schedules As Non-Negotiable
Every piece of industrial equipment comes with a manufacturer’s suggested service schedule that includes preventative maintenance, cleaning, and general care guidelines. Often, these scheduled industrial equipment maintenance services require professional and licensed repair experts to come on-site and swap out components that often wear out or are possible points of failure. Cleanings and fluid replenishment are also vital steps in these visits to keep the internal components from seizing up during operation.
For production lines that are not 24-hours and have naturally scheduled downtimes, you can schedule for these required services to take place when you’re not in operation. If your production line runs multiple shifts with little to no downtime, your preventative maintenance requirements often are the first thing to suffer from the needs of the business. It is crucial to either build in redundant functionality into your line or build in staggered preventative maintenance visits into your production schedule across various sections of the production line in order to minimize disruption.
Train Managers and Employees to Daily Inspections
Just as preventative maintenance schedules are non-negotiable, keeping your equipment in good repair requires a culture of awareness and diligent adherence to equipment checklists and walkthroughs on the part of your employees. Floor supervisors should be checking and observing machine operators performing a check of their equipment as they come on for their shift, and supervisors themselves should be completing the relevant checklists for machines operated by their team members.
Only Rely on Trained, Licensed Professionals for Repair Work
Machinery repair is a complicated affair. And between warranty requirements and any service agreements you might have in place, it’s a process that is best left to professionals. Industrial machines are complicated bits of engineering, and diagnosing exactly what might be wrong with one that’s broken down could involve any number of problems across interrelated systems. While an operator might work with a piece of machinery on a daily basis and know when something isn’t working properly, only a trained equipment repair professional has the tools and knowledge to properly diagnose and repair the machines on your production line. This also provides a level of accountability and a guarantee of quality to any repairs performed.
Follow Safety Standards During the Repair Process
Your production line is a series of industrial machines chained together in order to provide you with the processes necessary to create and assemble the components for any number of products. When one piece of that line fails, it’s crucial to safely isolate the unit from the rest of the line and to ensure power supplies are off before repair personnel works on the equipment. Industrial equipment often includes safety locks as well, in the event power is accidentally restored, so that moving pieces such as blades are supported in place. Consider the machine’s connection to any lines containing pressure, fluid, steam, or hazardous material, and ensure stored energy or pressure is purged and isolating valves are locked prior to work being performed.
What Not to Do When Equipment Breaks Down
Just as important as the actions we take when a piece of equipment breaks down, are the things that we don’t do in the event that something goes wrong on the production floor. Complacency and the natural business instinct to minimize downtime can be our biggest enemies when it comes to industrial equipment failures.
Don’t Ignore Signs of Trouble
We discussed above the need for your management team and machine operators to utilize the checklists and equipment inspection process as they come on to a shift to assess equipment and make sure everything is operating as intended. These tools and the awareness they generate are the best defense against costly downtime. Keep lines of communication open by making sure you have a system in place to report issues found during pre-shift inspections and walkthroughs. Acknowledge issues as they are raised so your workers know that you take their role in the ongoing equipment repair process seriously and value their diligence and adherence to operational standards.
Equipment Failure? No Jerry-Rigging or Continued Use
Once a piece of equipment fails or is recognized as needing repair, do not allow anyone in the facility to continue to use the equipment or attempt to fix it just enough to keep it operating until it can actually be repaired by either in-house or contracted machinery repair services. Doing so can expose your business to a number of negative impacts. If the machine’s failure was due to a defect, any in-house repairs could negate any warranty you might have on the machine. Further, if you allow equipment to be fixed in the moment to keep it operational, and an operator is injured, your company could face serious liability issues. Therefore, it’s crucial that you enforce the mindset of letting professional industrial equipment repair services handle any and all repairs.
Experts in Industrial Machine Repair
The Equipment Hub’s team of industrial machine repair technicians understand how important it is to get your operation back up and running when a piece of machinery fails. Our ability to repair and maintain your equipment relies as much on your diligence in adhering to service schedules and best practices throughout the production cycle as it does our training and expertise. Do you need to partner with an experienced service provider for your preventative maintenance needs, or need help implementing any of the best practices we’ve talked about today? The Equipment Hub is here for your every need, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for more information and to establish a service plan.