Plants can benefit from looking at basic maintenance

Plants can benefit from looking at basic maintenance

For a few years now, plant maintenance management programs have been increasingly incorporating lean operations into their strategies, which has led to new methods that focus on simplicity and the elimination of wasteful products and procedures. 

When this strategy meshes well with preventative and condition based maintenance management programs, it can mean huge cost savings for manufacturing firms, Pallet Enterprise reports. 

According to the news source, when combining new maintenance methods, such as lean practices and advanced condition base monitoring software, with basic maintenance, it's important to set up a routine checklist that is performed every day, while the more in-depth maintenance can take place every week or month. Still, all maintenance activity will ultimately depend on the type of equipment being used in the facility. 

Equipment used for production will most likely need to be watched the closest for defects.

"Many people don't think much about the conveyor systems in a recycling operation. But conveyors feed the productivity of your line. And a broken conveyor means lost productivity," wrote Clarence Leising, sales representative and recycling specialist for Eagle Metal Products. "Daily conveyor maintenance and inspection was critical to keep this from happening in our plant."

Leising added that his company inspected its conveyor belt every day in an attempt to identify any potential issues, and performed more intense maintenance on Saturdays when assets could be shut down. While these inspections cost the company, Leising stated it was cheaper than the cost of repairs. 

"If you think you can run a plant without any maintenance costs, you can forget it," he added. "You can either pay a little now or a lot later. That is why preventative maintenance pays for itself over time."

However, new technologies have made it cheaper than ever to perform this preventative maintenance. Sensors and compatible equipment can now be attached to plant assets that can monitor, even remotely, the performance of a machine, alerting an operator as soon as a problem is found. This can lower asset downtime, and in turn maintenance costs, and also create a safer, more productive facility. 

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