Whether you build houses or print bumper stickers, if you want your business to run smoothly, one of the most important things you can do is to maintain your machinery, but are you being as proactive as you need to be? The fact is, most businesses aren’t. Instead, they largely ignore their equipment’s needs until problems arise, at which point, it may be too late to salvage a machine’s longevity.
Cover The Basics
One of the most important reasons to prioritize equipment maintenance within your organization is that, when you properly clean and monitor your machinery, you contribute to its longevity. That’s important since it can save your business a great deal of money on repairs and replacements, support production continuity, and makes it more likely that you can sell your used equipment when you’re ready to upgrade it.
Know The Vulnerabilities
Part of successfully maintaining your machinery is knowing what aspects of your equipment are more vulnerable to problems and then developing a monitoring schedule for reviewing those concerns. For example, many construction vehicles need to be monitored for undercarriage rust due to corrosive or abrasive soil environments. In contrast, manufacturing facilities may need to have their air filters checked regularly to prevent buildup from production residues.
Use Your Resources
In addition to developing a sense of which areas of your equipment are most prone to damage, another step you should take to ensure your machinery is properly maintained is to make sure that you’re following all of the manufacturer’s maintenance specifications. Whether you’re working with sensitive scientific equipment or heavy machinery, this information is typically listed on data plates affixed to the item. The information on these plates will include those specifications and directions that the manufacturer considers of the utmost importance, so it’s important not to overlook them.
While there are many ways of tackling equipment maintenance and staying ahead of potential issues, one of the most important tools businesses are using today is artificial intelligence (AI). Why AI? Beyond its growing use in an array of industries, AI has proven vital because of its ability to predict potential maintenance concerns, as well as for its ability to integrate data from remote monitoring to alert relevant parties to any ongoing issues so they can be addressed promptly. Once again, this is a way of minimizing downtime, because proactive maintenance takes less time and costs less than reactive maintenance.
Finally, in order to ensure that you’re properly handling equipment maintenance activities, your organization needs to employ experienced technical professionals. In recent years, equipment has evolved significantly to include computerized elements that may be beyond the skillset of the average industrial mechanic. On the other hand, tech-driven professionals who specialize in areas like robots are unlikely to be equipped to tackle more traditional heavy machinery. You need the right skills for the job, and that will likely mean employing a diverse array of professionals.
Preventative maintenance is at the core of a successful industrial operation, so your organization must develop a multi-pronged approach to caring for your equipment. In doing so, you’ll also gain greater insight into the structure of your organization, how different pieces of equipment contribute to your overarching process, and where you need to invest more time and energy to protect your business.