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Increase production through ‘preventative maintenance’


In today’s manufacturing environment, businesses are under increased pressure to meet deadlines with the upmost of quality. In order to reach the optimum output, every process within the business needs to operate at maximum efficiency. Machinery plays an imperative role in generating efficiency within a production line.

In order to remain competitive, businesses must ensure equipment is maintained to the highest order. To help ensure this goal is met, ‘preventative maintenance’ is crucial.

According to a paper titled ‘Preventative Maintenance Optimisation’ by Idcon, a specialist reliability and maintenance management consulting firm, preventative maintenance needs to be “condition based” in order to remain cost-effective.

“No preventative maintenance action is performed unless proven to be less costly than the failure. A simple consequence of failure analysis is made to justify preventive maintenance activities.”

Component condition

The Idcon article talks of the condition of a component should govern planned and scheduled corrective maintenance.

Whether it’s Siraflex spring balancers, Tcb barrel couplings, Sumitomo gearboxes or Wrapflex couplings, keeping internal components of machinery in good condition is critical to ensure equipment meets all the necessary production schedules.

As Jeff Jones, a reliability technician and master training specialist with Life Cycle, writes:

“Proper asset care is critical to ensure that equipment is available to meet production schedules, support process flows and comply with environmental health, safety and regulatory requirements.”

Determine health status

In order to carry out effective preventative maintenance, the health status of each piece of equipment needs to be determined. When analysing the health status of machinery, ask yourself whether the equipment is operating to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Create a downtime log

Each piece of machinery – asset – that is essential for the operations within the business, should be given a downtime log. If for example, an industrial gearbox is playing up, or there is an electrical fault on the equipment, having a log of such information will mean maintenance processes are more easily understood.

As the Pallet Enterprise advises, when it comes to downtime logs, “simpler is better in most cases.”

Put safety first

Poor safety does not only jeopardise the safety of employees, the reputation of a company and risk breaking the law, but it will also effect production.

As we highlighted in an earlier blog about safety and industrial machinery, thousands of workers are injured each year when operating equipment. Failure to prioritise the maintenance of industrial equipment can significantly jeopardise the safety of workers and potentially hamper productivity.

Carrying out pre-use checks is a crucial way to identify faulty equipment and keep machinery and its internal components working at their optimum. As the Health and Safety Executive advises:

“These pre-use checks are not the same as maintenance or thorough examination, but where defects are found they should be reported to the maintenance team so they can maintain a full record of identified faults for each piece of equipment.

The older a piece of equipment and its internal parts become, the more prone it is to not working at its optimum. Regular inspections of vital components such as Zurrer worm gears and variable speed belts are essential to maintain optimum production efficiency.

Taking advantage of YB Components gearbox inspection reports would be an invaluable preventative maintenance step and one that may help your company operate at its maximum capacity.

Send us your gearbox for a full inspection and report, which is free of charge to our UK customers.