Individuals or departments which are responsible for the overall maintenance of a facility are often stuck in an undesirable position. They are typically extremely busy responding to requests from other departments to fix machines or perform other tasks. In addition, they are often constrained by budgets which don’t have too much wiggle room. What this often leads to is jobs like equipment inspections and preventative maintenance being neglected.
When these types of things aren’t given the attention they need, it can lead to machinery having severe problems, safety issues or any number of other concerns for a company. This is why it is important for a maintenance department lead to make sure everyone in the management team is aware of the many benefits of performing regular and full equipment inspections. Some of the most significant benefits are listed here:
- Problem Prevention – Perhaps the most significant benefit to inspecting machinery is that the maintenance personal are able to identify potential problems before they occur. Something as simple as finding low lubricant levels on a machine, for example, can keep that machine from breaking down. When this type of issue is identified ahead of time, it is extremely inexpensive to address. When the equipment inspection is put off for too long, however, it can result in catastrophic problems to the machines.Of course, there are many different problems a machine can have, and almost all of them will require regular inspections to identify and fix before they cause severe issues.
- Encourages Proactive Thinking – Regular machinery inspection by the maintenance department can actually promote a cultural shift toward proactive thinking. When people see that machines are being inspected regularly for problems, it will show that the company takes this type of thing seriously. While this might seem like something small at first, it can result in dramatic changes to the way people do their work over time. Within the maintenance department, it will help everyone ensure that this type of task is given the time and energy it needs, rather than thinking it is ok to just push it off for another day.
- Saves Money – This may be similar to the first point, but it is important enough to be taken on its own. Preventative maintenance steps are almost always significantly less expensive than fixing problems after they occur.
- Allows for Scheduled Downtime – When a problem is found during regularly scheduled machinery inspections, the maintenance team can work with the owner of the machine to find a time when the problem can be fixed. This is much more convenient for everyone involved. Scheduling the fix for slower times or even after hours, for example, can help keep productivity as high as possible.
- Better Understanding of Machinery – When a machine is getting inspected on a regular basis, the maintenance individuals will begin to get a good feel for how that machine works. Not just in what actions it performs, but in what types of potential problems to watch out for. Some machines, for example, may go through certain fluids more quickly than they should. This will allow action to be taken to either replenish the fluids on a more frequent schedule, or even to have maintenance performed to identify why the machine is burning through the fluids more quickly than it should.
- Saves Time – Just like preventing a problem is much less expensive than fixing one. Prevention is also typically going to take much less time. Finding a machine with a belt that is in poor condition, and then replacing it, will likely only take a very short period of time. If the belt is left alone, and breaks, however, it can cause many other problems which can take hours or even days to fix. Preventative maintenance on machinery will almost always result in a lot of saved down time for the facility.
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