Businesses often rely on all sorts of equipment and machinery for operations. You might need it to make products, provide services, or it could be vehicles. Regardless of what the equipment is, your business probably relies on it.
Whether manufacturing equipment or fleet management, you want to do what you can to maintain the equipment at your business. With proper maintenance, you can avoid breakdowns that will slow the operations of your business. Along with that, you can extend the life of equipment and save money on repairs and replacements.
With that said, there is a lot that goes into maintaining equipment. This post will provide some tips for maintaining the essential equipment at your business.
Know Your Equipment
The first tip is to get familiar with the equipment. If you are going to use equipment, you should be familiar with how it works. You can start by reading the owner’s manual. Read about the functions of the machine and how different parts operate. If the manual has a section about maintenance or troubleshooting, read that as well. If there are diagrams about different parts, use that to become familiar with the parts and what they do.
Depending on the equipment, it might help to take professional lessons. Some equipment will require professional training. Some equipment manufacturers and distributors even provide training as a part of the purchase. This training can show you how to operate the equipment safely and properly. They may also teach you about maintaining the equipment.
Train Your Team
Another reason to get familiar with your equipment is that it will help you teach other people to use it. You need to teach employees the right way to operate the equipment if they will be using it. Show them the right procedures for performing different operations. If there are common signs of a malfunction, you want to teach employees how to identify them. You may even want to get them to read the manual as well. In some cases, you might need to send your team for professional training.
You should make equipment inspections a routine part of operations. Make a list of parts that need to be checked at different intervals. If the machine uses different fluids or lubricants, make sure they are part of the inspection process. You might also want to teach employees to let the machine run for a few seconds before they start working. This can give them a chance to listen for any odd noises.
Many machines will need a minor inspection before every use. You can then arrange closer inspections for every month, once a year or whenever it may be needed. For example, if you are talking about vehicle maintenance, you might have employees check tire pressure daily, but you would only have them check fluids once a month. You would also have more thorough vehicle inspections to perform every year.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Equipment may also call for a range of routine maintenance procedures. If you do not do them when you are supposed to, it can damage parts or shorten the life of the machine. For example, some equipment might need new oil after a set amount of operating hours. Some machines also use parts that need to be replaced regularly. For instance, some machines might have air filters that need regular replacement.
Get Repairs and Replacements When Needed
Even with routine maintenance and the best care, most equipment will need the occasional repair or replacement part. You need to get this work done as soon as possible. Forcing the machine to work when it needs repairs can cause more damage. This could increase the cost of repairs, shorten the life of the machine or compromise safety.
Another tip is to use the right parts. For example, if you need reciprocating compressor parts, make sure you get the correct replacements for the machine. Even if you can save money by going with something else, you want to make sure you are using parts made for the precise purpose. An alternative part might get the machine running at a lower price, but it could cause more problems in the future.
Keep it Clean
Cleaning can be vital for keeping equipment running and extending its life. You will find a lot of equipment that can be damaged by dust and debris. Moisture can also be an issue for some machines. This is why cleaning should be a part of shutting equipment down. Create standard cleaning procedures for when people are done using the equipment and make sure everyone follows them.
Beyond cleaning, you should also ensure proper storage. If it is a piece of equipment that gets put away at the end of the day, make sure you store it properly. If it has a case or cover, use it when the machine is put away. If there are recommendations for storage conditions, follow them.
Even if it seems like a lot of work, maintaining equipment is worth it. Damaged equipment can cost a lot to fix. If a key piece of equipment fails, it can slow operations and hurt your reputation.