Industrial machinery is heavy-duty, but it is not immune to wear and tear. Poorly maintained equipment is not efficient, breaks down frequently, and can be a severe safety hazard. Preventative maintenance can limit how often a machine breaks down and extend its lifespan. Below are five ways to increase the life of industrial machinery that help business owners reduce machine downtime, unnecessary repairs, and associated costs.
1.) Check Fluid Levels
When industrial equipment breaks down, it can cost the business a lot of money in lost productivity and expensive repairs. Simple measures, such as checking the Thermal Heat Transfer fluid levels, can help extend the lifespan of industrial machinery and decrease machine downtime. Thermal heat transfer fluid is often used to move heat to the outside to prevent overheating.
Another fluid to check regularly is a machine’s lubricant. Lubricants keep a machine running smoothly by reducing the amount of friction that occurs between moving parts. When lubricants run low, the machine can overheat and increase wear and tear.
2.) Clean Machines Thoroughly
The phrase “industrial machinery” often invokes thoughts of grimy, grease-laden machine shops. Unfortunately, leaving machinery filthy can cause them to break down more frequently. Dirt and debris will clog air filters, destroy the seals, and work its way into gears, causing the machine to become less efficient and eventually break down. Cleaning the machine thoroughly and often is a simple way to prevent this and extend the machine’s life.
3.) Check for Worn-Out Parts
Industrial machinery is exposed to extreme temperatures, constant vibrations, and extensive friction. These things will cause the parts of a machine to wear out quickly, which can cause an untimely breakdown. Regularly checking the machine for signs of wear such as warped belts, cracked seals, and loose bolts should be included in the maintenance schedule.
4.) Provide Extensive Operator Training
A machine is only as good as the person who operates it. A lack of training often means employees cannot operate or maintain the equipment properly, leading to wear and tear. Providing extensive training ensures that the machine is run properly and reduces the risk of downtime because of breakdowns and repairs. Proper training will protect employees from sustaining injuries because of improper operation and keep the facility in line with OSHA standards.
5.) Follow a Maintenance Schedule
Like a car, industrial machinery has a list of parts that need to be inspected regularly to keep it running efficiently. It is important for operators to know what needs to be checked and how often. The easiest way to keep track of the necessary maintenance is to create a schedule and train employees how to follow it.
Employees should not be asked to perform maintenance tasks best left to professionals, but they can perform operational safety checks. They should log every service that is performed on the machine in a logbook so that no maintenance check is overlooked, causing the machine to sustain more damage.
The Bottom Line
When industrial machines break down, it can grind production to a halt. Any pause in production can be costly for business owners. Proper equipment maintenance can reduce the number of machine breakdowns the experience and extend the life of their machinery. While there are some steps that operators or machine owners can take for themselves toward improving maintenance, in-house maintenance cannot replace yearly inspections and repairs provided by a professional.