Maintenance and Manufacturing
Maintenance of the machines that keep production running is always a priority, for manufacturers. The undeniable fact for manufacturing businesses is that keeping repair costs low, can only be done through regular maintenance. The bottom line is that if the tools, computers, vehicles, and anything else used for manufacturing, maintained better, they last longer. It is important to understand that regular maintenance lowers repair costs. Ignoring maintenance of the tools, machines, vehicles etc that are used will cost you more in the long run simply, because you are looking at much more wear and tear. While there are some tools, vehicles, and machines, that require a maintenance program, there are also times that whether there is a requirement for maintenance or not, you will still want to keep the maintenance up. Because of this there are steps you can do in a manufacturing setting to keep the process of maintenance up, and repair costs down. Here is what you need to know about maintenance and manufacturing-
- Make a schedule and stick to it-You need to start with making a schedule. The next step is to document the upkeep and maintenance for each part, product, tool, machine or vehicle. The schedule should be kept on a file, in an accessible place to track all of the updates and changes.
- Get the information you need-You will need to work with the manufacturers and designers,of your products or tools,to find out what type of maintenance plans are best for the tools, products, or vehicles. Then you will need to find out what the warranty of those items requires.
- Keep a list of all parts-Part of your maintenance plan should be to keep a schedule with a list of parts for the tools, vehicles, and machines that regularly need replacement. This is important because if a part wears down, the sooner it is replaced; the less of a chance there is for further damage and repair costs. This will also serve as an inventory of what is regularly used within the business.
- Take advantage of technology-You can use computerized tools; services through other companies, and your own technology to help you keep the services up to date. Keep in mind; however, even when you are keeping the maintenance up to date and tracked, there will still be times mishaps happen. You will need to be vigilant to watch for these times; also train your employees to watch for these times.
- Know the rules-It is important to find out who governs the practices and maintenance of your area of manufacturing. It is likely going to be OSHA. You will need to check with their specifics of what needs to be done. This step is important for preventing shut downs and harm to employees more than anything else.
- Use the right tools-You will need to have the right diagnostics tools around. They will make figuring out problems before they happen easier and more consistent. Trying to save money by not having the right tools, will prevent proper maintenance from even happening.
- Know your machines-You will need to know what sounds right and what does not sound right. If you are not the person working with the equipment, then make sure that the employee working that equipment is well trained, and able to detect problems. They should know what is right, and what can be a potential problem.
- Keep your machines running smoothly-You will need to make sure there are adequate fluids, lubrications, and other things needed by the machines, vehicles and tools to run well. If they are getting dry, it is more likely that chains, wheels and other parts will have problems.