The most successful machines are operated by businesses that have a detailed and precise preventative maintenance program.
Last year I was training for an Ironman. This is a long distance triathlon that consists of a swim, bike, and run. Prior to signing up for this, I bought a new bike. It was clean, ran smoothly, and went fast. Over the miles I put on it through countless hours of training in all types of conditions--rain, heat, extended sun exposure, not to mention riding it on road loaded with dirt--you can imagine this bike got quite worn down and dirty. I have always been someone to take care of my things, but when it came down to my bike, I was downright lazy. I never scheduled time to clean, maintain, and lubricate the critical points.
I was building to peak training volume and race day was right around the corner, when on a long training ride, I found myself stranded with a mechanical failure; my crank had seized and broken. I was stranded in the countryside with a broken machine. Thankfully due to technology, I had a phone to call a friend to pick me up. I took my bike to the shop, and they assessed the damage. It turned out that my crank needed to be greased. My wasted time and the extra cost could have been eliminated if I were to have properly maintained my machine.
Rather than leaving your business stranded with a broken machine, start now by properly maintaining your equipment. Many distribution and manufacturing facilities have an endless amount of material handling equipment with complex moving parts. If you find yourself stranded during a peak volume day with no solution, think about your PM (preventive maintenance
) program. Proper daily, weekly, and monthly checks with continuous cleaning, lubricating, and inspection of overall function will benefit a business’s bottom line. It can increase the lifespan of a machine and provide continuous operation for optimal uptime.
Downtime can be one of the most expensive costs to a business. Minutes and even seconds are critical in a high volume facility. Almost every machine in the industry will come with some type of preventive measures to ensure it runs smoothly. Take the time and COMPLETE your PM checks. Ask yourself what is more valuable to your business, five minutes of daily downtime or hours, if even days to fix a down machine.
Just like a bike, your material handling equipment has many moving parts and can’t run forever without the necessary maintenance. At the end of the day, your machine is only as good as the operator and scheduled maintenance. Plan your PM process and implement it with precision. The machine, or in my case the bike, will operate faster and longer if a little love is provided.
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