Addressing the wear and tear on equipment is essential for any manufacturing operation, and in this article, we'll detail everything you need to know. We'll walk you through four effective methods of cleaning and maintenance so you can avoid expensive downtime

How to Effectively Clean and Maintain Manufacturing Equipment

Emily Folk | Conservation Folks

A manufacturer needs their equipment to run at peak performance. Even a minute of downtime can cost thousands of dollars, and if machinery is inoperable for over an hour, the losses can prove disastrous. Fortunately, managers don't have to let it progress to that point, as long as they take the proper precautions.

Addressing the wear and tear on equipment is essential for any manufacturing operation, and in this article, we'll detail everything you need to know. We'll walk you through four effective methods of cleaning and maintenance so you can avoid expensive downtime and meet your goals on schedule, with far fewer headaches.

We'll start with something simple you likely already know.

 

Schedule Regular Lubrication

One of the first and most important maintenance checks concerns lubrication. You should survey your equipment for any signs of excess oil or grease build-up around pistons, and look for leaks near oil seals. The composition of these substances can help you diagnose problems with large machinery, and any particles or contaminants you find will indicate which part is suffering from wear.

To preserve the condition of your machinery, schedule regular lubrication as part of your routine maintenance. But take care to choose the correct lubricant, because different components require different kinds of oil and grease to function, and you can cause more harm than good if you select the wrong type. See the manufacturer's recommendations to learn which products to use.

 

Employ Pressure Washers & Water Cannons

Pressure washers and water cannons are ideal for cleaning your equipment of grease and grime. These harmful materials act as abrasives and friction agents, contributing to issues in your machinery if they're left unaddressed. You're also more likely to find potential problems before they develop into serious complications, among other benefits manufacturers should consider.

To provide more information on the washers themselves, pressure washers are small-scale, limited to about 5-10 gallons per minute. Water cannons are far more powerful, and their flow is around 20-150 gallons per minute or more. Pressure washers tend to do the fine detailing, and water cannons handle more substantial removal efforts and the final rinse of your machinery.

 

Monitor Your Facility With New Software

Today's software helps manufacturers monitor all the moving parts within their facilities. Advanced programs can track machine uptime, faults and functions, enabling professionals to work on equipment while they're off-site. If you haven't integrated these systems yet, they're worth the investment, and modern technology can alleviate much of the burden on supervisors.

Sensors can show them the flow rates of sprays and air, and pressure monitoring systems can tell them when filters need changing. If there's a plugged nozzle, a supervisor will know, and they can move to fix the issue with speed and efficiency. New software can take an older facility and give it the boost it needs to meet and exceed its goals.

 

Keep Accurate Records

Accurate record-keeping will prove indispensable you as you clean and maintain your equipment. You'll know which pieces of machinery you've already attended to and which you've yet to address, allowing you to allocate your time effectively. Without records of your progress, you're liable to do more work than you have to or neglect machinery you thought you'd already managed.

Your records will also assist you in tracking components which need consistent monitoring. You'll have a clear account of your fluids, filters and other items which require regular replacement, providing greater transparency in your facility. Record-keeping is just as critical as any other method on this list, and it'll save far more time than it takes.

 

Organize Your Schedule

To keep your production line moving, it's essential you clean and maintain your equipment. The alternative is downtime. Through implementing some of the advice in this article, you can ensure your machinery operates without trouble, but it requires a little extra effort on the part of management to make a difference.

There's no better time than today to organize your maintenance schedule, so don't delay. See which suggestions above work best for you.

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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