Proper maintenance goes a long way in improving ROI on your business’s production equipment. With machinery in good working condition, your productivity stays up and your workers stay safe. Maintenance is something you need to remain committed to, though. Here are some tips on how to keep on top of maintenance and avoid costly breakdowns, downtime and injuries.
Act, Don’t React
If any one point needs to be underlined, it’s this: maintenance should be preventive rather than reactive. Regularly inspecting machines and performing tune-ups like replacing lubricant or worn parts costs less in the long run than waiting until something breaks to get to work. Repairs after the fact are often more costly upfront, and the downtime that results also incurs heavy costs due to lost business.
Understand Your Machinery
A foundation for good preventive maintenance is to know the equipment thoroughly. Knowing details like the ideal lubricant to use or the standards for replacing hydraulic cylinder parts makes for better maintenance. Research the machines in question or contact the manufacturer to acquire specs, and make sure they’re reviewed and understood by everyone involved.
Develop and Document a Plan
Outlining the procedures, resources and goals involved with preventive maintenance is vital. Establishing a plan of action, including schedules for multiple levels of maintenance, establishes standards, enables clear communication, allows for reliable work and gives you documentation to train employees with. In the event of an accident, this documentation also helps determine what went wrong.
Review, Modify and Record
Maintenance is an ongoing process, and this includes the documentation thereof. Train employees to keep records of the maintenance work they perform—this establishes accountability and a timeline of service, confirming that the correct procedures have been followed. Also, be prepared to expand on or make adjustments to the preventive maintenance plans as necessary; regular records makes this easier as well.