Heavy machinery is the most costly construction equipment you can own. Even minor repairs and part replacements can be quite expensive. The good news is that you can enhance the life of your heavy machinery and save money in the process by adopting some best practices for large equipment.
These areas of maintenance are often overlooked by several construction companies. Here are some simple things you can do to extend the life and value of your most precious equipment.
Even the most powerful machinery requires some basic care and attention to keep running optimally. A proactive approach allows you to incorporate maintenance as an ongoing activity in your schedule. Regular maintenance is key to reducing downtime due to a faulty part or from complete machine failure.
Adopt preventive maintenance
A preventive maintenance program works ahead of time and anticipates conditions that may require maintenance like wear and tear. Take corrective actions continuously to ensure performance and reliability. Ongoing systematic inspections and parts replacements are part of a successful PM program.
PM enhances the life of your heavy machinery and minimizes unscheduled downtime due to machine failure.
PM offers the following benefits:
- Improved reliability of system and equipment
- Reduced unforeseen breakdowns and failures
- Lesser parts replacement
- Enhanced equipment life
- Higher resale value
- Better inventory management
PM offers maintenance protocols for every stage of a product’s life-cycle from the time you purchase it to the end of its life.
A preventive maintenance program can include:
- Historical repair data
- Inspection program
- Maintenance and repair agreements
- Parts rebuild
- Training videos
- Safety protocols
- Specialized repairs
- Failure analyses
Identify causes of machine breakdown
A solid PM program involves identifying potential causes of equipment breakdown. Machine failure can be of three types:
Sudden failure: The machine breaks down without a warning. The machine is brought back to service after repairing or replacing the faulty part.
Intermittent failure: This happens from time to time. Identifying the reason for failure is more complicated. This can cause costly downtimes.
Gradual failure: This can be prevented by performing regular inspection and maintenance.
Additionally, a failure can be:
Thermally-induced: Extreme temperatures are responsible for inducing this type of failure.
Mechanically-induced: This kind of failure is usually easy to trace. It can also be prevented through timely maintenance.
Erratic: This is the most difficult to anticipate. It is difficult to identify the behaviour pattern of this type of failure. It may occur due to excess pressure on an electrical or hydraulic system. Software malfunctions may also cause erratic failures. Running diagnostic tools can minimize the chances of erratic failures.
Know your machinery inside out
Without a deep understanding of the product, you cannot devise a robust preventive maintenance program. Take the time to read the manuals and guides that come with your machinery. It also helps to visit the manufacturer’s website for model-specific tips and instructions.
Train your employees
Trained employees are more productive than untrained workers. They also cause less machine wear. They tend to keep everyone’s safety in mind when working on the floor. They also take better care of equipment.
Quality Millwright & Machine Services (QMMS) is a locally owned millwright shop located in Edmonton. With over two decades of experience, we take pride in knowing that we are a competent mechanical contractor, serving the industrial and manufacturing sectors throughout Alberta. Contact Quality Millwright today.