Maintenance costs are one of the biggest overheads for manufacturing businesses. You’re working with a lot of expensive equipment and when things go wrong, you need to repair machines immediately. Downtime is incredibly expensive and the longer you are out of action, the more revenue you lose, and you also risk letting your customers down.
The problem is that maintenance can be expensive, especially if you are not managing the upkeep of your equipment properly. By making some adjustments to your maintenance routine, you can bring those costs down considerably. Here are the best ways for manufacturing businesses to save money on maintenance.
Create a Proactive Maintenance Routine
The biggest mistake that people make with maintenance is being reactive. They wait until a machine breaks down or stops functioning at full capacity, and then they call somebody in to fix it. However, by that point, it’s already too late. You’ve lost money because of downtime and the repair will be expensive because you’re replacing whole parts that have broken. It’s far more cost effective to be proactive about maintenance and stop expensive breakages in the first place.
Make sure that all equipment is cleaned and lubricated properly to reduce wear and tear on the working parts. Have a daily checklist when shutting equipment down, so all the major parts are checked for signs of damage. By staying on top of issues, you can deal with small issues right away, before they become expensive.
Humidity and moisture are incredibly damaging to complex machines with lots of small parts. If it is excessively humid, equipment will break down much faster. This is especially true of machines that use compressed air because moisture collects during the compression process and is then distributed throughout the machine. An instrument air dryer package is designed to help you manage this problem. Installing an instrument air package removes humidity from the air as it is compressed, so excess moisture does not get into the machine. You should also invest in a good industrial dehumidifier to remove as much moisture from the air as possible.
Analyze Failure Data
Maintenance isn’t just about fixing things when they break; it’s about working out why they are breaking in the first place. Sometimes, old parts wear out and need to be replaced. However, if there are regular maintenance issues with the same machines or certain factors are damaging equipment, you need to know. It might be that somebody is using the machine incorrectly or specific weather conditions are increasing humidity and you’re seeing more failures at a certain time of year.
By analyzing failure data, you can pick out patterns and determine what is causing malfunctions in the first place. This is known as predictive maintenance. Many of these will be things that you can address, and that means less maintenance in the future.
Equipment maintenance is a big overhead for manufacturing businesses and many people spend a lot more than they need to. However, if you change the way that you approach maintenance and take a proactive approach to clean and maintaining equipment, you will save a lot of money.
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