Find out how simple preventative maintenance can keep your presses running at peak levels and head off costly downtime and quality issues.
By Rick Fuqua
Extra capacity, such as a second machine, may relieve some of this stress—but a second shift does not. Instead, second and third shifts add to this stress for multiple reasons. Aside from the obvious effect of double or triple losses during a single 24-hour downtime period is the less tangible effect of neglect and abuse that can occur when multiple operators run a machine. Feeling less individually responsible for a machine can tempt some operators to misuse the machine knowing blame can be difficult to assign. Also, when a problem does arrive or builds to a point of failure, there may be a reluctance to identify the problem for fear of being blamed for its existence or perhaps the task of correcting it. Thus, the unidentified problem may fester into a larger problem that becomes more costly to fix with greater downtime.
A small or a big shop that relies on quick turns while at the same time working at near capacity is ripe for a maintenance program. The more stress or demands placed on productivity, the more comprehensive the program should be. An ideal program should have the following components:
Record keeping This involves tracking when service was last done last and when it is due again. Tracking ensures that service was completed, who did it, and when, as well as assigning responsibility. These records will also help in the resale of the machine should you decide to replace it with something newer, larger, or with more capabilities. Potential buyers always feel better when proof of maintenance is available. Maintenance can be tracked with charts, checklists, or software. Software is helpful in ensuring better tracking when alarm functions are used, letting you know that an interval is coming up or has passed, as well as for better communication in the correct location of inspection areas, procedures, and materials needed.
Part identification This involves an understanding of where the wear points are and how to check them, as well as knowing the cleaning, oiling, greasing, and tightening points and how to perform the maintenance procedures. These include details as simple as how to take a cover off to get access to a maintenance point, such as a grease fitting, to knowing the right type of grease to use along with the right type of grease gun and how much to add. Manuals, drawings/schematics, and videos.
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