The key is paying attention to your equipment and understanding which parts are more likely to need replacing. Some can easily be ordered and replaced without issue, while others may take longer to find and could result in a much bigger problem, like a production shutdown, if they can’t be replaced in a timely fashion.
According to a Deloitte report on maintenance and reliability in the manufacturing industry, poor maintenance practices reduce a plant’s production capacity by 5-20%, The report also cited unplanned downtime, which is often a result of poor maintenance, as costing industrial manufacturers a staggering $50 billion every year.
To speed up repairs and minimize downtime, here are four critical parts you should keep on hand:
- Screens Screens used for sifting or separating chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foods, minerals and other powders and granules take a lot of abuse. While designed to handle a wide range of materials (even corrosive types), screen fatigue from repeated use is the number one reason for screen failure. Rapid and repeated flexing of screen mesh and buildup of material around the screen’s outside edges often lead to screen fatigue.
- Bearings Based on some accounts, bearing wear and tear is responsible for up to 60% of equipment breakdowns. This is why it is absolutely critical to keep replacements in stock. As a wearable part, there are many reasons why a bearing may fail. The culprits include poor design, quality, storage and handling, installation/alignment, and too little or too much lubrication.
- Motors If you’ve ever encountered motor failure, you’d know the losses that your operation can incur pales in comparison to the cost of keeping a few extras on standby. Power quality, excessive loads, misalignment with the motor drive shaft and bearing wear are some of the issues that can cause a motor to burn out and fail prematurely, which can bring production to its knees.
- Gearboxes Gearboxes typically fail due to under or over lubrication, using the wrong lubricant and contamination. Gear misalignment and overloading are other problems that can speed up wear and tear. If you want a good insurance policy against a potential shutdown, you’ll want to add a few backup gearboxes to your parts inventory.
By keeping replacements for these four parts, you can prevent small issues from turning into bigger and more expensive problems. If you can quickly access these parts, you’ll be in a great position to keep your equipment performing as intended. If not, then you’ll be counting the lost production hours – and dollars – until you can find and purchase its replacement, and get it shipped and installed.