How to increase equipment lifespan and boost productivity
Extending the life of your equipment can benefit your company’s bottom line substantially. Mechanical breakdowns can be a crisis in the warehousing or logistics business, negatively impacting your productivity and profit. Unexpected equipment repairs, maintenance and replacement all come at a cost and can compromise your budgetary forecasts.
For this reason, it’s understandable that you’d like to push your equipment to its limits and use your existing machinery for as long as you can. Here are six clever ways to increase your equipment lifespan.
Train your operators
The Manufacturing Transformation blog says that user error can cause serious problems on the production line. If a machine operator applies too much force to one component or uses the equipment incorrectly, it could result in a breakdown – sometimes permanently.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that all your operators are trained properly on every aspect of the job. They will also need refresher training at regular intervals to make sure they stay up-to-date and familiar with all the equipment.
Invite employee input
Your employees more than likely know your equipment better than you do; after all, they work with it directly on a daily basis. Use their knowledge and ask them to alert you to any changes or problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Ask them to suggest an operating schedule that will improve the equipment’s performance without impacting on production volumes.
Do regular maintenance
Equipment that is used on a daily basis needs regular maintenance, otherwise it’s bound to break down and impact your output.
Rather than wait for something to go wrong, make sure your company has a solid preventative maintenance schedule in place. This way issues will be spotted and fixed before they become real problems, resulting in unscheduled downtime and affecting your production targets.
Scheduled maintenance sessions can be planned for appropriately so that production doesn’t come to a complete standstill – as would be the case should your machines actually break down.
Maintain a clean environment
There are many seals and filters on your machinery that need to be kept clean and free from contamination. These should be inspected, cleaned and changed regularly to help keep your equipment in prime condition. Keeping your production environment clean is also important. If your equipment is stored or operated in an unclean environment this will affect its various parts, and ultimately its lifespan.
Use lubricants on your machines
Applying lubricants to your machinery’s moving parts will ease the wear and tear of daily use, and increase the longevity of your equipment. That said, be sure to use the right lubricant and clean the equipment regularly to avoid any grease build-up.
It costs less to refurbish and reuse the equipment you already have than to replace it. A good retrofit is imminently practical as it boosts your equipment’s reliability and increases its service life.
What’s more, Supply Chain Digest says that the cost of retrofitting is often up to 60% less than the cost of buying brand new equipment. That’s a significant savings for your company.
Nothing lasts forever, not even the most well-maintained equipment. However, paying close attention to your machinery will ensure that you get the most efficient use from it for as long as possible. Simple maintenance measures will prevent unexpected downtime, saving you money and time in the long-run and ultimately improving your productivity and profits.
Graphics designed by Freepik