Industrial machines are the heart of companies that produce in large volumes. Just as we take care of our bodies with preventive health measures, equipment that is used to manufacture all varieties of goods also needs special attention in advance to avoid damage and deterioration over time.
Preventive maintenance in manufacturing is an action aimed at preserving machinery in good and operational condition so that it can function at 100% efficiency. Doing so saves maintenance costs due to unexpected failures and downtime that can occur and have significant consequences on a company’s bottom line.
This type of preventive maintenance in the manufacturing guarantees the correct operation and performance of industrial machines. What does it consist of? What kinds of maintenance exist? How and why is this action executed?
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance in manufacturing is a set of actions that are carried out in a comprehensive and systematic way to verify that the operation of a machine is developing in perfect conditions. This means without setbacks or breakdowns that could cause major failures in the future in production in the future.
It consists of the timely review of components related to safety, calibration, mechanics, and electricity, among others. These are the things that guarantee that a given machine works efficiently and effectively and that the expected results are obtained. It would be of little use to install some type of conveyor belt if later we do not carry out the necessary preventive maintenance. Failing to do so would incur higher expenses if these pieces were to suffer significant deterioration.
This type of maintenance is usually carried out under specific parameters and protocols that are established in a particular plan devised in advance. The goal of such a preventive maintenance program in manufacturing is to avoid serious damage to production machinery in the future.
Types of Preventive Maintenance in Manufacturing
- Scheduled preventive maintenance based on time
When the revision of a component that presents a condition of risk of failure is carried out periodically, which would permanently affect the production process in the event that it deteriorates.
- Scheduled preventative maintenance based on usage
This consists of carrying out the evaluation or review of a part that has already been used for a long time and that requires maintenance after a specific time. This is done before it has an opportunity to break down. Thus, the inspection is carried out to avoid unexpected failures.
- Non-stop maintenance
It is a type of preventive maintenance in manufacturing that is carried out when the machine is in operation. This maintenance guarantees that the production process of the equipment is not interrupted.
- Predictive Maintenance
It is carried out when the estimated period of use of the components or equipment has ended.
- Scheduled maintenance
Scheduled maintenance is executed according to the established time and measures in hours or kilometers of machine operation.
- Passive maintenance
It is one mode of maintenance that is carried out with the aim of installing a safety barrier so that the machine can work in optimal conditions without its operability being affected by external agents such as bad weather and work accidents.
- Active maintenance
It consists of constant monitoring of the operation and wear of the machine components. This is done to verify that everything is working correctly and there is no risk of serious failures.
All these types of preventive maintenance in manufacturing are beneficial so that the machine can operate smoothly, efficiently, and in compliance with all the phases of the production process. Operation of the machinery continues until planned objectives are achieved.
Why carry out preventive maintenance on industrial machinery?
It is expected that with its use or operation, equipment tends to wear out until it collapses at some point. The objective of preventive maintenance in manufacturing is precisely to avoid irreparable damage that leads to the total stoppage of the machine.
Well-planned preventive maintenance prevents machine problems during production processes when tasks such as cleaning, lubrication, component adjustment, or part replacement are carried out. Its efficient use is optimized.
The records obtained in each phase of this type of maintenance will allow technicians and operators to ascertain the state of the machine.
How to do preventive maintenance in manufacturing?
Good planning is the starting point for carrying out quality preventive maintenance. It is also necessary to implement tools that facilitate the development of each process in an optimal way to avoid the need to take corrective actions.
The first thing to do is record an inventory of everything that needs to be included in the maintenance. Secondly, it is important to establish a budget and start the initial review, taking into account whether previous work has been done or if you are starting from scratch.
While performing preventive maintenance, it is essential to have the machine manufacturer’s manual and any other type of information required at hand.
Another task is to define the type of maintenance and delegate the responsibilities to the appropriate worker or workers so that they are carried out efficiently while the plan is executed, with its respective control and monitoring.
It is necessary to implement an automated process that allows the registration of all activities and inputs used during the inspection, detection, correction, and prevention phases of the maintenance that are executed.
How to implement a Preventive Maintenance Plan?
One of the most effective ways to develop an optimal Preventive Maintenance Plan is the use of computer software that automates tasks and all processes.
These programs will allow you to have immediate and safe access to all the assets and components involved in the maintenance process, as well as obtain instant information in each phase of the operation.
A well-formulated preventive maintenance plan guarantees greater organization. Thanks to the use of software, you can create a mapping of assets to inspect equipment when necessary through a programming module that executes work orders.
Seven benefits and advantages of preventive maintenance in manufacturing
The advantages of carrying out a calendar of preventive actions in industrial machinery are numerous.
Here we summarize the most important:
- It guarantees knowledge of the status or condition of each machine and its components.
- It prevents unexpected stoppages because it identifies faults quickly.
- It guarantees the operator and his entire environment work safety.
- It ensures the proper functioning of the machine permanently.
- It reduces unforeseen work stoppages.
- It reduces expenses and corrective maintenance costs due to subsequent failures.
- It creates greater durability of machinery and higher overall production levels.
How often does maintenance have to be done?
For correct industrial maintenance, it is advisable to have a long-term vision and to plan well in advance. The characteristics of each industry must be taken into account.
For instance, if a company has an automated production system, the scheduled maintenance and revision of machinery will be easier and faster.
Furthermore, if a company has processes with seasonal production peaks, it is always recommended to conduct preventive maintenance at the beginning of the season to avoid problems during the busiest months.
During the summer, it is usual that in some sectors such as chemical, electrical, automotive, agri-food industries, etc., production drops, and there are technical stoppages. Also, a high percentage of the workforce is on vacation, and activity drops. It is normal to use times for maintenance and other tasks such as improvements, extensions, or new installations. The summer months are an excellent time to review how a company’s processes in order to update them.
On the other hand, there are companies that do not close in summer. In this environment, high ambient temperatures force many machines to work to the limit. It is vitally essential to carry out proper maintenance and cleaning of all equipment that may be at risk of failure.
Finally, the internal and legal regulations in force for each type of manufacturing installation establish the frequency of both maintenance and mandatory inspections related to preventive maintenance in manufacturing.