Industrial Machinery Maintenance – Why and How?

by Laura C. Jones
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The manufacturing and production industry is a lynchpin of the UK’s infrastructure, and a primary vehicle for economic success for the nation. According to recent statistics, the sector accounts for more than a quarter of the UK’s GDP.

Running a successful operation within this corner of the industry requires a multi-faceted approach, and a symbiosis of skilled workers and technological intervention. Work in the industry invariably means reliance on a form of machinery or equipment – the maintenance of which is crucial for the viability of your business.

The Importance of Regular Machinery Maintenance

Health and Safety

Industrial accidents are a thankfully rare occurrence today – with thanks to the introduction of rigorous health and safety legislation over the past five decades. Nonetheless, according to the Health and Safety Executive, over 123 fatal incidents occurred at work between 2021 and 2022. Twenty-two of these incidents occurred in the manufacturing industry.

As such, your foremost concern when it comes to machinery condition and effectiveness should be the safety of your employees. You are legally required to provide a safe working environment to your staff, a requirement that extends to the maintenance and supervision of potentially hazardous equipment.

Time and Money

In many cases, a product or service is predicated on the functionality of various tools, automated processes and items of machinery. Equipment breakdown, or a developing fault in machinery, can result in significant slowdown on-site – something that will cost your business multiply.

Not only will you lose money to the repair or replacement of the equipment in question, but you also have to consider lost profits or customs from the reduced output, as well as the cost of staff overtime and other overheads. Keeping equipment well-maintained can reduce the financial burden of your equipment, and maintain your presence in the market.

How to Ensure Effective Maintenance

Staff and Training

Industrial equipment and machinery are often highly specialized, and so require skilled engineers to understand the repairs and preventative measures necessary. These skills are sometimes outsourced, but this can be expensive. Training an internal engineering team can bring costs down, and ensure more direct control over equipment conditions.

Maintenance Tasks

While part replacement and diagnostics are an important part of maintenance, it is the simple tasks that ensure equipment longevity. Where moving parts are concerned, lubrication is a vital task to perform regularly. DeWalt grease guns are an industry standard for routing lubricants to hard-to-reach places, but a small part of a larger maintenance system should be instituted.

Systems, Procedure and Logistics

The effective maintenance of industrial equipment requires a comprehensive approach from an administrative perspective, as well as an engineering one. Each piece of equipment should have its own maintenance log, filled out on a regular basis and documenting the various observations and repairs done over time. This enables engineers to better track equipment conditions, and earmark larger repairs.

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