Your equipment requires constant maintenance to keep it in good working order and to help with extending asset life. When equipment is poorly maintained, it runs inefficiently, causing costly breakdowns and resulting in safety issues for employees. In the end, instituting good management practices by properly maintaining your equipment will help in extending asset life. This can save you money and create a safer environment for the workers.
Here are some tips on how to do just that!
Your equipment may have multiple users, with a range of skills and experience, from novice to expert. To keep your equipment in good working order, you need to be sure everyone who uses it knows how to do so correctly. Employee turnover may mean you’ve had to skip training with some new hires, while other, long-term employees have perhaps not used the equipment in a while and their skills have become rusty. Usually, operator training occurs as soon as a piece of machinery is purchased, but training still has to be kept up.
One way to help employees stay current is to rewrite operator manuals for specific work situations, or to create shorter versions in simple language for easy reference. Manuals are usually online these days, so there should be no problem obtaining the latest version and rewriting it to your needs.
Another way to keep employees current on how to correctly use machinery is to schedule trainings, either on-site or offsite. Plan these trainings three or four times a year, or as needed, to include as many employees as possible
Inspect seals and filters regularly, to make sure they are clean and in good condition. Check electronics. Look for any signs of contamination or rust and take action if any is spotted.
Whenever possible, store machinery in a shed or garage or other covered structure. Exposure to the elements leads to rust, rotting of rubber, or degradation of plastic parts. Turn the equipment on periodically to ensure it’s running right, even if it’s not currently needed.
Depending on the type of equipment you keep, you will need to periodically schedule preventative maintenance for the various components.
Here’s a sampling of some of the things you might have to put on your schedule:
Maintain a regular schedule for lubricating equipment, but also look for excess oil or grease on pistons or other parts, which can signal trouble, including leaks. Make sure your workforce knows to use the right types of lubricants for every component. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before use.
Everything wears out over time, and your equipment is no exception. The key is to replace worn parts before they create bigger problems. Parts break down from high temperatures, friction, metal fatigue, vibration, and shock. But other conditions may exacerbate wear, including out-of-alignment gears and belts, poor lubrication, poor operation, accidents, and age.
Shop owners may be tempted to cut corners on preventative maintenance due to worries about down time while running on a tight budget. But putting off maintenance can cost you, sometimes resulting in unscheduled downtime rates, which may cost more than routine repair and scheduled down time.
What’s more, you may be jeopardizing the safety of operators. You don’t need lawsuits or complaints to regulatory agencies, such as OSHA. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do, to ensure your employees have safe working conditions.
Sometimes, shop owners need some help in coordinating effective training. You may certainly find schools and community college programs where you can enroll your employees. But often, bringing in an outside consultant to perform trainings is the best method for helping your employees stay up to date on equipment operation — as well as helping you organize your shop so that maintenance is an integral part of your workings. Some of the benefits of scheduling on-site training are:
Trainings may include interactive lectures, as well as hands-on labs with custom-built equipment or with your company’s specific equipment. Either way, hands-on training is an effective method for ensuring that your workforce absorbs the information and is ready to operate the equipment effectively.
So if you think training might be the way to go in your facility, why not contact one of our representatives to discuss NTT Training’s course regarding extending asset life and machine maintenance? Call 800-922-2820 or contact NTT Training for more information.