No door and window manufacturer wants to be faced with downtime.

That’s an obvious statement, perhaps, but every so often it’s worth examining a little more closely. When a critical piece of equipment goes down, production grinds to a halt. Diagnosing the problem and fixing it takes time, effort and resources. You might even be stuck waiting for a replacement part that you don’t already have on hand. The lost dollars add up quickly.

The worst part? The breakdown might have been entirely preventable in the first place. And that brings us to today’s tip:

Put your preventative maintenance (PM) program into practice.

PM tasks make up the foundation of a good, overall maintenance program. These daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks can lead to some serious savings when put into practice on manufacturing floors anywhere.

That’s all well and good in theory, but making sure your PM tasks happen consistently and on schedule is where the rubber really meets the road.

Your PM checklist might include things as simple as greasing bearings on a machine or as complex as dismantling your glass washing station for a thorough evaluation and cleaning. But if these things don’t happen when they’re supposed to, your PM program quickly loses its effectiveness.

During busier times of the year, when production is running at full steam to satisfy orders, it can be easy for some of your maintenance practices to fall by the wayside. But PM requires making time for these activities, no matter how many orders are coming in. Here, your production and maintenance teams should maintain clear lines of communication and operate in sync. That might involve collaboration on timing, schedules, and other accommodations as necessary.

Think about it: No production team is successful without the maintenance team, and no maintenance team is successful without the production team. Reliable equipment that works safely and consistently enables production of high-quality products for your customers. What’s more, your maintenance teams wouldn’t have a job if the production team didn’t need that equipment to make product. Plant managers and shift supervisors should work to encourage this mindset. The benefits can be significant for your business and your bottom line.

Looking to enhance your PM programs or implement predictive maintenance techniques but aren’t sure where to begin? It can be helpful to engage the assistance of a third party. Some of your suppliers may provide these services and can bring a helpful outside eye. For instance, it’s part of what the Quanex Technical Services team does for our customers—helping to identify what’s working, what’s not, and how to enhance maintenance programs.

John Ryba is Technical Services Manager for Quanex

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *