Guide to prolonging the life of machinery

When you have a business that requires investment in a plant and machinery, it often tends to require a lot of capital to set things up and get your business running profitably. Because of this sizable investment, it should be a priority to ensure that the machines are kept in good working order for as long as possible and maximise ROI.

Plant and machinery insurance will cover situations like theft and unavoidable damage. But equally, due care and maintenance will do a good job of keeping your machines operating at optimal capacity for longer.

machineryKeep it clean

As long as a machine is working, many operators will often neglect its cleanliness and that of its environment. This is problematic when you have multiple moving parts exposed to build-ups of dust and other dirt. These materials can clog filters, interfere with cooling vents and much more. With time they can mean the machine breaking down and time wasted trying to identify the problem area.

The associated repairs and loss of production can be costly. Many machines can be kept in good working order by simply hosing them down with water. If more complex, talk to the manufacturer or review any manual the machine came with to find out what kind of cleaning should be regularly done to keep it running well.

Regular inspections

Wear and tear is a part of using machinery. Certain parts will likely become more worn than others and require some maintenance work or even replacement to keep it operational. You can monitor these parts easily when performing regular cleaning. From belts and indicator light bulbs to screws and seals, be on the lookout for any changes that might compromise operations.

Again, be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines and review manuals. Be especially careful of electrical wiring and parts that are exposed to high temperatures and vibrations.

Pre-train employees

With particularly complex and expensive machinery, you will often find that the manufacturers or suppliers offer some training sessions on how to operate and maintain them. Take advantage of such offers, or even request such, and choose those employees that will directly work with the machines to undergo the training.

If the machinery undergoes updates, be sure to have your teams training concurrently updated so they know how to handle changes.

Take protective measures

This is about safeguarding both employees and the equipment. Protective gear should be supplied to employees as needed. Whether it is goggles or work boots, be sure they are equipped to safely operate machinery. Also, put in place rules that protect everyone.

From no earphones to not bringing food or drinks to the work floor, there will likely need to be rules put in place to reduce the risk of accidents. Have appropriate warning signage put up where needed, especially in noisy and enclosed environments where there could be many hazards.

Ensure good lubrication

With moving parts, lubrication becomes a major concern. It is one of the most important maintenance tasks that does a good job of moderating wear and tear. Try to stick to manufacturer recommendations when buying lubricants.

Also, have your staff trained on the appropriate amount to use. Too little and it may lead to excessive friction, too much and it can cause risky grease build-up.