Organizations worldwide are always working towards higher margins, lower costs, better efficiency, and higher market shares. To achieve that, they need to make sure that all equipment is always working reliably without hiccups – something for which equipment maintenance is a must. Preventative maintenance, for example, ensures that the equipment receives regular maintenance, cleaning, and lubrication, as well as emergency maintenance and repairs. These activities help minimize unexpected equipment breakdowns, reduce unplanned downtime and production disruptions, boost productivity, curtail workplace safety incidents, and lower costs down the line.
However, organizations can sometimes make preventive maintenance mistakes that ultimately do more harm than good. That being said, let’s explore some of the common equipment maintenance mistakes that organizations and maintenance managers should avoid to improve asset reliability.
Common Equipment Maintenance Mistakes Organizations Must Avoid
Not Cleaning Equipment Regularly
One of the most common equipment maintenance mistakes is the most obvious one – failing to clean the machinery regularly. Dirt and debris from the environment often result in overheating and may cause the equipment to fail. Machinery isn’t designed to run with a layer of dirt, and heavy machinery can become quite dirty if not cleaned properly. Dust and dirt act as insulators as well as block the vents, leading to the equipment overheating, malfunctioning, or worse.
As a result, organizations and maintenance managers must ensure that regularly cleaning equipment becomes a part of maintenance activities to boost asset reliability.
Not Ensuring Effective Equipment Lubrication
Right off the bat, no, machine lubrication is not as easy as it sounds. Maintenance technicians can’t just lubricate the equipment whenever they want with whichever lubricant the organization finds most convenient – it would be a recipe for disaster.
Different pieces of machinery require different types of lubrication and at different times. Certifications, such as MLT (Machine Lubrication Technician), show what an important part of maintenance lubrication management is.
Organizations must thus ensure that they use manufacturer-recommended lubricants for a smoother and more reliable performance, reducing unexpected breakdowns and wear and tear in the process.
Not Ensuring Accurate Work Order History
Unfortunately, not all organizations are properly recording work order history. Many are still utilizing ancient tools, such as binders, spreadsheets, and obsolete CMMS solutions. If work order history isn’t accurate and concrete, organizations and maintenance managers can’t ensure effective maintenance, no matter how robust the maintenance plan is.
Maintenance managers must thus ensure that the technicians accurately record everything regarding work orders. Using a robust and modern CMMS software like CloudApper CMMS helps with that. It ensures accountability, as the technicians have a platform to update all the information easily and quickly right from their smartphones. They can highlight the cause of failure, the duration of the task, the parts and inventory required, whether the components were available, and any other necessary feedback. All of this information is added to the work history of the equipment automatically, kept in a centralized location for later use, and can be viewed by authorized personnel whenever necessary.
Not Sticking to Scheduled Equipment Maintenance Tasks
A common problem that causes equipment reliability issues is when the routine maintenance tasks aren’t executed on time. This can happen for several reasons: budgetary constraints, lack of technicians, emergency maintenance tasks, lack of spare parts and inventory, or mismanagement. Many routine maintenance tasks consist of inspections, servicing, lubrication, and cleaning. When put off for long, this can lead to more wear and tear of the equipment, overheating, worn-out spare parts, and so on. All of this will cause the equipment to ultimately break down in the future and require repairs or even replacement – something that’s quite costly for the organization.
Organizations must thus take the necessary steps to ensure that the routine maintenance tasks are performed timely and efficiently. Not only will it help get the equipment the maintenance it needs to run reliably, but it will also ensure smoother operations, fewer breakdowns, and reduced downtime.