Food for thought
If you drive your car at 100km/h for 24 hours per day continuously you would need to service your car every 6.5days
Our equipment most of the time runs 24/7 without being serviced for months at a time. In this scenario it is inevitable that breakdowns will occur
1. Cost savings
Unexpected and unplanned downtime brings unexpected and unpleasant costs. These costs are often comprised of productivity loss to additional costs of damaged parts that could have been avoided if proper preventative maintenance was performed. In some cases, additional costs may include missed deliveries and unhappy customers. Additionally, an unmaintained machine becomes a ticking time bomb that can cost hundreds of times more in repairs than it would had the issues been recognized and remedied during a regularly planned preventative maintenance.
A machine that is down when it should be running gets very expensive. Consider the cost of your labor force that now is sitting around on the clock because they are not able to perform their job duties. Also take into consideration the small part that became worn that would have been caught during a planned Preventative Maintenance. That small part will often cause a larger repair bill, damaging other parts as it breaks.
Keeping up with regular maintenance on your equipment can mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime and keep your production schedule on target.
Once you begin a preventative maintenance program you can plan downtime around your production needs. Performing preventative maintenances should be built in to your production schedule so your packaging line doesn’t go down when you need it most.
Scheduling regular preventative maintenance gives you the control of your production and a major reduction in how much you will spend on maintenance and repairs in the long run.
2. Better machinery efficiency
There will be times when you don’t expect your machine to break down and it does, unfortunately this does happen. Scheduling regular preventative maintenances helps you minimise these unscheduled breakdowns. It shouldn’t stop at regular maintenance either, you can become more efficient with that scheduled downtime with regular care of the equipment by operators as well.
A great way to make your preventative maintenances and ultimately your entire packaging process smoother and more efficient is to develop a daily checklist for your machine operators to perform before starting and ending their shifts. This checklist can include machinery wipe-downs and checks for proper operations at the start and end of each shift.
Your machine operators should be experts in the machinery that they work with. Provide them with the training and hands-on work that will help them to fully understand the machinery they use to package your products. Training documents that show the basic cleaning and visual checks they should perform with images are ideal.
The regular operators should be able to identify where there may be issues with the machines they work with based on visual and audible cues. They should also know how to remedy them if it is an easy fix or to ask for help before causing further damage if they notice something more complex.
3. Better reliability
Knowledge of your process and what each of your machines are being used for allows for better preparation of what parts will wear and how much run time you can expect to get from these worn parts. This also allows you to change them before they slow down your production.
When your machines are well-maintained, you can rely on their efficiency and the parts running in top-performance. Whether through past experience or working with your parts supplier or technician, gain an understanding of what parts wear fastest on your machinery. Gather a list of spare and replacement parts to keep on hand to reduce the length of time you would be down if these parts were to wear unexpectedly. The more prepared you are with spare and replacement parts on hand, the less your overhead cost will be and the less your production schedule will be impacted.
Properly maintained machinery doesn’t just benefit your business internally with reliability, but your customers will be confident in their reliance on you to meet their needs for product and replenishment. Don’t forget that proper preventative maintenance keeps your customers happy as well!
4. Increased safety and less risk of hazardous environments
Safety should be number one in your book, for your employees and your customers. Keep your machines from failing and causing a hazardous work environment.
Regular preventative maintenance allows your technician the time to inspect the electrical and safety features for proper operation and to do more in-depth digging to find potential hazards that your machinery could create. When your machine operators perform their autonomous duties while cleaning the machinery on your packaging line, they will only be checking for obvious visible or audible issues. They aren’t going to be able to catch the hidden issues that your technician can while performing an in-depth preventative maintenance.
Preventive maintenance not only saves costs, but it improves your reliability as a business and provides a safer work environment for your employees. By reducing the amount of breakdowns and after hour call-outs the added pressure, fatigue and stress of late night call-outs on your employees are reduced.