The importance of an effective maintenance program cannot be overlooked because it plays such an essential role in productivity. Maintenance is a set of activities comprising assessment, testing, measurement, modification, and replacement – all carried out in the workplaces and sectors.
Proper equipment maintenance is well worth the investment. If your equipment is well maintained, it’s less likely to break down, leading to increased uptime, more working hours, fewer repair costs, and increased revenue.
Here are some of the long-term benefits of equipment maintenance:
- Extend equipment lifespan and reduce the need for having to purchase new equipment.
- Prevent unplanned downtime which can be costly and interrupt the manufacturing process.
- Avoid the need for expensive repairs due to negligence.
- Keep equipment running without interruption to ensure that projects get completed on time and on budget.
- Ensure that systems are working efficiently to reduce energy consumption and operating cost.
- Prevent small issues from growing into big problems that are time-consuming and costly to fix since complex repair often comes with a bigger price tag and longer downtime.
- Increase the resale value of the equipment with a proper service record.
- Increase equity and borrowing power by upkeeping the value of your assets.
- Reduce injuries and fatalities, and therefore liability, due to faulty equipment.
- Maximize warranty coverage by having detailed service records to demonstrate that maintenance is up to date.
- Equipment maintenance can be divided into different methods:
The most common type of maintenance is routine. Scheduled maintenance refers to maintenance tasks that are assigned to a technician with a given deadline. It includes inspections, servicing, adjustments, and planned shutdowns. The tasks can be performed as one-off jobs or at regular intervals. Scheduled maintenance aims to minimize equipment failure, maintenance backlogs, and reactive maintenance. It also allows for better resource allocation.
For instance, changing the bearing on a conveyor belt every 30 days to prevent its snapping is an example of scheduled maintenance. Another example is scheduling the repair of a motor after noticing a problem. This maintenance plan refers to deciding when maintenance tasks will be completed and by whom. Unlike planned maintenance, scheduled maintenance doesn’t require complex work and equipment behavior forecasting. A task falls into this category when an issue has been identified, assigned to a technician, and given a deadline for completion. It can either be part of a comprehensive planned maintenance strategy or a simple workflow.
Preventative maintenance is a group of activities that maintenance personnel perform on machinery, facilities, or various equipment to prevent them from malfunctioning or requiring significant repairs. It’s related to predictive maintenance because it prevents unplanned downtime and prevents critical parts from being damaged beyond repair.
A preventative maintenance program includes a variety of maintenance tasks geared towards ensuring there are no hidden faults or cracks that could cause equipment breakdowns. Any equipment (industrial, commercial, etc.) needs regular maintenance to keep it in optimal working condition.
Predictive maintenance is a technique that uses data analysis tools and techniques to detect anomalies in your operation and possible defects in equipment and processes so you can fix them before they result in failure.
Predictive maintenance has a data collection component: You know that a part tends to fail after one year based on your collected data. As such, you can do more maintenance on it or prepare to replace those parts in advance. This data can even be used when selecting vendors for equipment purchases. Ideally, predictive maintenance allows the maintenance frequency to be as low as possible to prevent unplanned reactive maintenance without incurring costs associated with doing too much preventive maintenance.
Even if you don’t call it by this name, you may already be familiar with the concept of corrective maintenance in your daily life. For example, if the car breaks, you fix or replace the broken part. If windows are dirty, you clean them. If the colour of your siding is fading, you paint it.
There’s a little more to this concept when applied to the industrial workplace. Machine breakdowns require investigation to identify the issue and decide whether a part should be repaired or replaced.
Corrective maintenance is the category of maintenance tasks performed to rectify and repair faulty systems and equipment. The purpose of corrective maintenance is to restore systems that have broken down. Corrective maintenance can be synonymous with a breakdown or reactive maintenance.
Not quite up to a repair, the machine may still be in overall service and will not have to be repaired heavily. However, when things go wrong, it may need emergency maintenance. Emergency maintenance is required when an asset experiences an unexpected malfunction that can cause considerable health and safety problems or extensive production delays. The problem has to be addressed as soon as possible, hence the “emergency.”
The major challenge is that “repaired quickly” is rarely as simple as it sounds. These are often significant breakdowns that require coordination between multiple team members. As such, emergency repairs pose severe operational headaches for maintenance managers.
In worst-case scenarios, these situations require an all-hands-on-deck approach where every other maintenance task is suspended until the emergency is resolved.