How To Minimize Unplanned Downtime With Preventative Maintenance

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For a manufacturing or industrial operation, every lost minute of production time is critical. Unscheduled downtime can end up costing significant time and money and businesses need to find ways to stop, or at least, minimise delays and disruptions.

Despite the obvious negatives arising from unplanned downtime, many operations see ongoing equipment

testing and inspection as a burden. In reality however, it is a business imperative and very often, is a competitive advantage.

The issue shouldn’t be approached from the linear perspective of ‘we need to keep our equipment running at optimum production levels, so what must we do to prevent break downs?’ Instead, it needs a dynamic, positive problem-solving mentality that incorporates every aspect of the business, but most importantly, which focuses on the human element.

Preventative maintenance isn’t new and there have been many different incarnations of the concept over the years such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), total productive maintenance (TPM) and reliability centred maintenance (RCM). But because people make things happen in the workplace, it’s so critical that organisations create a culture where everyone understands their roles and responsibilities AND follows through on them.

Even if the business relies on automated equipment – it’s impossible to avoid production losses simply because you have the right testing instrument, or because you have drawn up reams of detailed maintenance policies or procedures. The human element is ultimately responsible for making sure that things run smoothly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

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