Heavy machinery comes with a heavy bill when it breaks down. What’s also important to understand is, the machinery of any type is an expenditure, not an expense. The latter is something that will be a reasonably small amount and needed occasionally. An expenditure is essentially going to pay for things that need to bring a return on investment (ROI). Machinery is also a key dependency. Without it, your business cannot function. Machinery is also very dangerous and can cause serious damage or worse. All these reasons and more is why you should know how to maintain it in your business.
When a machine in your manufacturing plant breaks down, a manager is usually called to inspect it. If your managers can’t figure out what is going on, they will need to contact the supplier and try and relay what is going on over the phone. Before they do this however, you could improve their chances of understanding what is going on with a better understanding.
They should learn the manual back to front. Heavy machinery will usually have a lifespan of about 10-15 years before they are replaced. So you can expect that your managers will be overseeing the same machines for years on end. Learning the manual then being tested on it, is a great way to help them become confident in their role.
The best lubricant
Manufacturers often quote how long their machines can last before they need maintenance. However the full amount of years they quote will rarely be met by businesses. Sometimes you need to run the machine harder than you would like. If you have a machine press, you might increase the frequency of it’s stamping per minute when you’re behind schedule. To aid your machine in these moments and more, find the best fuels and lubricants. Check the viscosity of the lubricant and make sure it’s the best type of your machine. Generally speaking, a thicker viscosity is for heavy machinery. It should also resist being split or broken down. It must resist heat and oxidation to last longer.
Keep a daily record
Rather than keeping a weekly record of your machine, it’s always wise to keep a daily record. This is the job of the manager to maintain as they will be leading teams in the day-to-day tasks. These are the things to include in your checklist.
● What is the state of the machine before and after use?
● Which parts are wearing out quicker than others?
● How fast is the lubricant being used up?
● Which worker was using the machine, what was their task and for how long?
● Is there any damage sustained during a task? When, what is the damage, which part is it?
● Did the machine perform as expected, i.e. is it doing the task being asked of it?
Heavy machinery is very expensive and should be seen as an investment. Your managers are the first line of defense as they interact with the machinery every day. Give them the tools they need to inspect, log and report the performance of the machines.