Your ability to operate a successful manufacturing operation relies on the effectiveness of your material handling equipment. Conveyors, sorters, and a wide variety of other devices transport your inventory to the correct areas in your facility and help guarantee an efficient and effective operation. If that equipment malfunctions or breaks down entirely, you can be looking at a serious loss of productivity.
Below, you'll find a guide to some steps you should take to maintain your material handling equipment. Following these suggestions will help guarantee that your manufacturing operation functions at its highest possible level of efficiency, allowing you to maximize your profits and provide the reliable customer service that your clients desire.
If you haven't recently inventoried your material handling equipment, you may be unaware of potential redundancies and sources of trouble. Small issues are often fixed by implementing ad hoc procedures, and while these temporary fixes may get your line moving again, they may also mask deeper concerns.
Before you undertake a full maintenance check of your equipment, make sure that you develop a comprehensive inventory of the items available to you. This may allow you to dispose of outdated equipment and even reconsider the layout of your facility, creating a streamlined approach that could significantly improve your output.
Playing catchup is never an effective tactic for establishing an advantage. When it comes to maintaining your material handling equipment, waiting until you notice belts slowing or sorters functioning incorrectly will almost certainly result in forcing you to stop production and roll back whatever progress may have seemingly been made in a given work day.
Instead, using a break in production as an opportunity to develop a maintenance planning strategy will allow you to keep things on schedule. Setting up regular inspections and part rotation will allow you to spot potential sources of trouble before they mature into serious, time loss incidents.
Friction is the ultimate enemy of all material handling equipment. The daily stress caused by moving conveyors, rotating metal parts, and a wide variety of other mechanical components can leave your machinery crying out for lubrication if you're not vigilant about maintaining appropriate levels. Refer to your manufacturer's instructions to make sure you're applying the correct lubricant at appropriate intervals, and highlight the necessity of proper lubrication when talking with your maintenance staff in order to drive home the exceeding importance of this vital task.