What Is an Equipment Maintenance?

Any procedure required to keep a company’s equipment in dependable functioning order is known as equipment maintenance. It could involve both preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance. Each type will require different resources to keep it all in good condition. For instance, repairs made to automated food processing equipment won’t appear the same as those made to heavy construction equipment. According to statistics, 39% of facilities still keep maintenance reports on paper.

Benefits of Equipment Maintenance

In a commercial context, the adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” does not apply to equipment maintenance. However, why would you pay for equipment service if it is in perfect condition? Here are six reasons why this practice is essential and how it can benefit you and your organization.

Reduce Expenses: In a manufacturing context, a machine malfunction that remains unnoticed may produce defective goods. Components or products that do not meet standards and must be trashed may arise from the output. What if a broken machine part is not discovered for several days or weeks? The manufacturer may have a considerable quantity of unsalable inventory or raw resources. This can result in a “domino effect” if the defective output is a required component for the assembly of another product. In addition to lost work, the machine operator responsible for the equipment may be required to operate outside regular business hours. This could push the worker’s weekly hours into overtime, resulting in more compensation from the company. Improper maintenance procedures could render a capital item ineligible for warranty coverage from its manufacturer. The supplier would typically seek maintenance records if equipment within its warranty period were not adequately maintained and now requires a significant repair. This not only demonstrates the possible expense of disregarding maintenance protocols. It reflects the significance of clear written paperwork supporting any prospective warranty claim. Those with expensive capital assets are usually encouraged to take the necessary precautions to safeguard these investments.Reduce The Accident Risk: Multiple articles published in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics described how unanticipated equipment failures lead to accidents. Researchers determined that around 35 percent of workplace mishaps were attributable to equipment malfunctions. The construction industry ranks first in the total number of fatal workplace accidents. In this industry, many fatalities are attributable to equipment breakdowns and inferior maintenance practices. For this reason, proper training for workplace safety practices should include training on equipment maintenance. Remember that a proactive preventive maintenance program cannot prevent all unforeseen problems, but failing to perform timely service encourages difficulty. Workplace injuries and accidents are terrible and detrimental to employee morale and may be highly costly. Accidental injuries and fatalities in the workplace may result in significant premiums for worker’s compensation coverage. In addition, these accidents may result in expensive civil litigation, including personal injury claims. Occupational equipment maintenance failures in dozens of other industries have proven to threaten worker safety.Reduce Failures: Inadequate maintenance of assets such as machinery and tools results in a rise in failure rates. When equipment is not adequately maintained, workplaces can anticipate a significant increase in malfunctions. Typically, ignoring modest or relatively trivial maintenance jobs on a piece of equipment will only develop more critical issues. In this case, the short-term savings achieved by ignoring maintenance lead to severe financial catastrophes in the future. Consider also that a major repair to a piece of equipment will necessitate the rapid sourcing and acquisition of a replacement item. The shipping costs and management of the entire operation result in additional time and financial waste. Equipment failures caused by improper maintenance methods illustrate the significance of preventive maintenance. Preventative maintenance is the concept of implementing proactive maintenance and service procedures. In contrast to preventive maintenance, reactive maintenance results in unscheduled downtime and more work for repair professionals.Make Equipment Last Longer: Many machine components, including gaskets, bearings, and seals, are subject to wear and strain over time. These components must be thoroughly inspected to determine their condition and, if necessary, replaced. The specialists will execute servicing activities, sometimes based on operating hours, by manufacturer guidelines. Certain capital assets acquired by the business will eventually be modified to reflect the most recent technological advancements. Existing equipment could be sold to an aftermarket purchaser. The asset’s resale value may be affected by the quality of the maintenance conducted and the documentation of this activity. Cleaning the equipment is an area of care often forgotten or neglected. These expensive assets are exposed to soot, dust, and grime in numerous industrial settings. These flying particles can attach to moving parts, contaminate lubricants or oils, and alter their viscosity. Dirt and dust particles can clog filters, cling to fans, and restrict airflow via vents. Due to negligence, the equipment may be subjected to extreme heat. This contributes to premature equipment failure that can be avoided during maintenance. The life cycle of expensive capital equipment can be roughly divided into three phases: new, middle-life, and end-of-life. During the initial phase, the organization makes a substantial investment and expects the equipment to operate at top efficiency. Problems arising during the initial phase result from installation issues or faulty components. During the middle stage, it is anticipated that the equipment will perform adequately and generate some return on investment for the business. Proper maintenance is essential to recuperate the initial purchase cost during this second phase. In the last step of a piece of equipment’s life, its performance is primarily determined by its initial quality or lack of care. Many machine components, including gaskets, bearings, and seals, are subject to wear and strain over time. These components must be thoroughly inspected to determine their condition and, if necessary, replaced. The specialists will execute servicing activities, sometimes based on operating hours, by manufacturer guidelines. Certain capital assets acquired by the business will eventually be modified to reflect the most recent technological advancements. Existing equipment could be sold to an aftermarket purchaser. The asset’s resale value may be affected by the quality of the maintenance conducted and the documentation of this activity. Cleaning the equipment is an area of care often forgotten or neglected. These expensive assets are exposed to soot, dust, and grime in numerous industrial settings. These flying particles can attach to moving parts, contaminate lubricants or oils, and alter their viscosity. Dirt and dust particles can clog filters, cling to fans, and restrict airflow via vents. Due to negligence, the equipment may be subjected to extreme heat. This contributes to premature equipment failure that can be avoided during maintenance. The life cycle of expensive capital equipment can be roughly divided into three phases: new, middle-life, and end-of-life. During the initial phase, the organization makes a substantial investment and expects the equipment to operate at top efficiency. Problems arising during the initial phase result from installation issues or faulty components. During the middle stage, it is anticipated that the equipment will perform adequately and generate some return on investment for the business.Increase Productivity: During the initial part of a piece of equipment’s useful life, its performance will likely be at its peak. To accurately determine an asset’s value, its efficiency level is crucial. It is essential to explain what efficiency is and how it is computed before calculating it. Efficiency is the ratio of a piece of equipment’s working effectiveness to its actual costs. These costs consist of the quantity of energy utilized and the time and money required for operation. The value is compared proportionally to the amount of energy and resources used when measuring energy efficiency. As previously stated, aging equipment and adverse environmental conditions diminish operational efficiency. The kit may consume more daily fuel, electricity, and other utilities and resources. Poor maintenance generally is quite expensive during the final period of a piece of equipment’s usable life. This is due to marginal production or output, higher energy usage, and rising maintenance expenses. In this situation, costly repairs and component replacements will likely be required, and competent managers know that the asset’s continuous functioning has a significantly lower value.Improve Employee Working Conditions: There is a correlation between an organization’s dedication to workplace maintenance and the performance and satisfaction of its employees. Daily working in a chaotic, cluttered, or otherwise severely managed environment is detrimental to morale. Employees who work in a clean, safe, and well-maintained setting are better positioned for professional success. Working with frequently unusable technology discourages employees and reflects poorly on the firm’s quality standards. Good equipment maintenance practices concentrate on performing the little things consistently and conscientiously to achieve long-term success and value.

How To Obtain Preventive Maintenance

Although it may not sound thrilling, doing essential maintenance on the manufacturing machinery that businesses depend on to produce items and fulfill the strict deadlines of their clients could mean the difference between meeting and missing a delivery date. Regular preventive maintenance can identify potential safety issues, improve product quality by keeping materials clean, angles squared, and blades sharp, save money by extending the equipment’s life, and enable discounted service.

1. Schedule equipment maintenance based on consumption.

Even though some machines tell the operator when to do maintenance, waiting for this can slow production. If tasks are planned ahead of time, they are less likely to be put off and then forgotten so that a production deadline can be met. The more you use a machine, the more abuse it can take, so think about how often it needs to be fixed. If you use a small edge bander for eight hours a day, once every six months is probably enough to keep it in good shape. But if you run three shifts on the same machine, you might need to do maintenance on it every three months or even more often if you don’t have a qualified maintenance crew.

2. Employees should be held responsible for maintenance.

After determining what preventative maintenance tasks must be conducted and when they should be performed, assign responsibility for their completion to a maintenance coordinator, machine operator, or other relevant employees. Use a sheet affixed to each machine, a software application, or daily, weekly, and monthly cards submitted to supervisors for these selected staff to sign off on maintenance operations. Regardless of the approach you choose for tracking, regularly adhere to the preventative maintenance schedule you’ve developed.

3. Ensure preventive equipment maintenance is helpful and plan for seasonality.

For example, greasing the rack and pinion of a beam saw can cause oil and sawdust to harden within the gears over time, preventing the loads from turning. Ask your equipment representative which jobs each piece of equipment is best suited for if you are uncertain. Additionally, production does not need to be impacted by preventive maintenance. Plan projects that necessitate downtime for slower seasons. This investment can prevent 36 to 48 hours of unanticipated “corrective” maintenance if something breaks.

4. Request a maintenance plan from the manufacturer of your equipment.

Some machinery manufacturers offer preventative maintenance visits for a set annual fee or discounted labor and part prices. If your service provider does not offer service agreements, suggest one. In addition to ensuring that maintenance is completed on your equipment, service contracts also help you budget for it. Consider at least the manufacturer service programs for these machines, as maintenance programs are especially crucial for frequently used equipment.

5. Document service visits

When you plan a maintenance visit with an equipment manufacturer, ensure the service technician will document the inspection. It is essential to document the service date and the parts of the equipment that were inspected and the work conducted. Request from the representative a copy of the inspection report. This checklist will serve as a record for the manufacturer and assist you in identifying items that your personnel should inspect independently.

6. Keep service manuals handy

Manuals are frequently misplaced, but machine operators must have access to them. The manuals include vital information such as electrical schematics, part identification, operational instructions, safety standards, and maintenance suggestions. Most manuals provide a maintenance section that specifies what should be performed and how frequently. This information is especially crucial for operators who were not there for the original training session conducted by the machinery manufacturer.

7. Ensure management supports preventive maintenance

Failure to schedule preventative maintenance, overriding scheduled maintenance to meet production demands, and requesting that employees reduce maintenance expenditures can send the wrong message and ultimately cost an organization more in machine downtime and repair fees. Consider maintaining the equipment during off-hours if production demands do not allow for planned maintenance activities. When evaluating budgetary requirements, remember that failing to execute preventative maintenance may result in substantially greater expenses if equipment breaks down, especially during peak production periods.

FAQs

What is an equipment maintenance plan?

A strategy for equipment maintenance is the proactive servicing of assets by their maintenance schedules. By implementing a planned maintenance program in your organization, you can ensure that routine equipment inspections are performed accurately.

What is basic equipment care?

Primary care refers to the housekeeping, cleaning, informal monitoring, preservation, and simple ad hoc maintenance of equipment, which is usually performed by operators but can also be performed by maintenance technicians.

What are maintenance skills?

Maintenance skills involve inspecting, diagnosing, and resolving problems with machines or structures. In addition, they are utilized to do basic repairs or preventive maintenance on various equipment to ensure its longevity and functionality.

What is the significance of a maintenance checklist? Indeed, maintenance checklists are vitally important. Those who employ such a checklist are a testament to how long they can maintain their equipment or machinery in operational order. These items are not inexpensive, but proper care and maintenance are undoubtedly budget-friendly.