The Importance of Maintenance in Manufacturing

You have heard it before, “Time is money”. The term, originally coined by Benjamin Franklin in 1748, describes how valuable time is as a resource. This reigns true when it comes to manufacturing equipment reliability. Whenever equipment fails, the resulting downtime costs money – not just in lost production and repair costs – but it can cause a ripple effect through the entire supply chain.

An estimated 70% of manufacturing equipment failures are linked to improper installation, improper start-up and shutdown, and no or poor maintenance. These are all preventable! Studies show that lack of maintenance can reduce a plant’s overall productive capacity by 5 to 20%, and unplanned downtime due to equipment failure costs the industrial manufacturing industry an estimated $50 billion a year. Prolonging equipment reliability starts with predictive, preventive and planned maintenance.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is the regular examination using non-destructive testing techniques such as infrared testing, oil analysis, thermography, ultrasound and vibration analysis. Data gathered from this is used to determine if any corrective actions need to be performed. This fixes potential failures before they arise, heavily reducing the likelihood of unplanned downtime.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventative maintenance uses visual, sound and feel cues to check for potential defects that have the capacity to cause large failures. This includes lubrication, cleaning, and small adjustments to minor components.

Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance combines elements of both predictive and preventive maintenance, but requires a complete shutdown of the equipment. Shutting equipment down allows access to components out of site and reach while still in operation or switched off. During planned shutdowns potential defects can be fixed, parts can be reconditioned or replaced, internal areas can be cleaned, and new machinery can be implemented.

Benefits of Effective Maintenance

Properly implementing the predictive, preventative and planned maintenance method will have a positive effect on the bottom-line by:

  1. Reducing the total cost of maintenance.

  2. Reducing unplanned downtime, resulting in fewer workflow interruptions.

  3. Stabilising workflow and possible reduction in maintenance materials and labour hold.

  4. Reducing inventory holding of spare parts and accessories.

  5. Allowing for forward planning of work volume and decrease in high priority unscheduled work.

  6. Reducing equipment damage caused by an equipment failure.

How Much Maintenance is Required?

Deciding on how much time and money to invest in maintenance can be confusing. As a general rule, the more investment put into predictive, preventive and planned maintenance the less the total maintenance cost, as long as it doesn’t heavily impact the availability of equipment.

Figure 1.0 shows how the overall level of maintenance affects the manufacturer. In section A, there is very little predictive, preventative or planned maintenance. As a result, there is a high repair and lost production cost. This is associated with equipment failure, leading to unplanned downtime. In section C, a high amount of predictive, preventative and planned maintenance is being performed, reducing total repair costs. Although the high amount of maintenance is reducing the equipment’s availability, causing a lost production cost. Section B contains the right amount of predictive, preventative and planned maintenance. It is enough to limit cost as a result of equipment failure, but it keeps the equipment running enough to reduce lost production.

Figure 1.0

Get Your Maintenance Requirements @ ATOM

Partnering with Alemlube, LOCTITE and Dy-Mark ATOM can supply you with premium quality maintenance products including:

  • Liquid and aerosol lubricants

  • Lubrication equipment

  • Adhesives

  • Gaskets and gasket sealants

  • Degreasers

  • Contact, brake and parts cleaners

  • And much more!

The experts @ ATOM can give you advice on product choice, usage and technique. Contact us, visit in-store or sign up to shop online!

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