The Impact of Manufacturing Machinery Downtimes
All manufacturing companies undergo machinery downtime, whether planned or unplanned. Planned machinery downtime is generally reserved for maintenance, upgrades, and reconfigurations or optimizations and are often designed and scheduled to have minimal impact on operations and to prevent machinery breakdown. However, around 82% of companies suffer from unplanned breakdowns, which often results from machinery breakdown or accidents, which can cost a company up to $260K per hour.
However, regardless of when it’s planned or unplanned, there’s no question that downtime can cost a company in terms of lost productivity, and unplanned breakdowns can necessitate costly repairs or replacements and may even result in accidents resulting in injuries or worse.
As such, manufacturing companies need to take note of the following tips to minimize both planned and unplanned machinery downtime, or at least reduce its impact:
#1 Start with the Right Machinery and Parts
Using the right machinery for the job ensures efficiency, safety, and longevity of the machinery. Consequently, if you’re not utilizing the proper machine for a specific task in your manufacturing operations, not only will be compromising quality, efficiency, and safety, but your machinery may end up suffering from expedited wear and tear since it’s not designed for the job. Likewise, the ‘right’ machinery should also utilize the appropriate spare parts for it to work properly and last longer. It’s also just as important to ensure that you use high-quality machinery and parts as they generally work better and last longer, while also having safety features that prevent breakdown and accidents.
#2 Have Machinery and Parts Suppliers (and Repairmen) on Speed Dial
You’ll want to have your machinery and parts suppliers (and repairmen) in your company’s emergency contact list to ensure a quicker response time if an unplanned repair or parts replacement is needed. If your company has skilled workers that can perform the repair themselves, you must have access to parts suppliers in case they’re needed. Likewise, it’s essential to ‘know’ the parts you might be needing for all your manufacturing firms’ machinery, and find out which suppliers will be able to supply you with those specific parts.
Additionally, you have to remember that certain parts may need to be fabricated or custom-made, so if you need a worm gear with specific dimensions, you’ll want to have the contact information of local custom gear manufacturers in Wisconsin that can fabricate your custom worm gear.
#3 Avoid Too Much Maintenance
Regular Preventive maintenance is essential to ensure that your manufacturing company’s machinery is in top working condition. However, one of the most common mistakes you can make that may result in an unplanned downtime due to machinery breakdown is by doing too much preventive maintenance — which sounds ironic, but hear us out. Every time you open your machinery for inspection, cleaning, and maintenance, there’s always the risk of doing something wrong — like not placing the parts back properly, or failing to configure the machine prior to starting up again properly. As such, you’d want to follow your user’s manual as to how often preventive maintenance should be done to avoid overdoing it.
Downtime will always be a part of manufacturing industries, but with these simple tips, you can save a lot of time and money when minimizing the frequency of downtimes, reducing the risk of unplanned ones, and even optimize your operations.