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Many businesses use some kind of machinery to operate. However, not all companies look after this machinery. Some of the important reasons to maintain machinery include:
Performance: If machines aren’t well maintained, performance is likely to be affected leading to poor quality products/services. An office compute that isn’t properly maintained could start running slowly, while a manufacturing machine that isn’t maintained may start producing botched products. Major damage and breakdowns could follow leading to delays and downtime. All in all, the success of your business could be at risk.
Safety: Machinery that isn’t well maintained can often become unsafe. Poor cleaning may lead to contamination and could make customers or employees ill. Meanwhile, certain faults could be dangerous to ignore - parts could break and cause injury, or parts could overheat and cause a fire.
Cost: Maintaining your machinery can often save you money in the long run. It can extend the life of machinery and lead to fewer costly repairs. It could also reduce the risk of costs such as lawsuits as a result of machinery faults or loss of income as a result of downtime.
How to maintain your machinery
There are 7 steps to follow to make sure machinery is well maintained:
Clean your machinery
Every machine can benefit from occasional cleaning. With the case of an office keyboard, it could just be a case of wiping it to get rid of bacteria. With something like a commercial dryer, you may want to hire a professional to carry out dryer vent cleaning (this could have many positive effects from keeping air quality clean to reducing fire risks).
Store machinery in the right place
Storing machinery in the right place may be able to prevent the need for regular cleaning or repairs. For example, keeping computers somewhere cool and ventilated can often prevent them overheating or becoming clogged with dust. Similarly, storing a tractor in a dry barn could prevent rust.
Top up fluids
Some machines need to be topped up with certain fluids. On top of obvious examples like printer ink and tractor fuel, consider fluids like oil and coolant that may need to be replaced to keep certain machinery lubricated and cool.
Train staff to use machines properly
Employees may accidentally damage machinery if not properly trained how to use it. Make sure to spend time teaching employees how to use machinery, including how to clean it and top up any fluids.
Monitor and record problems
Machines should regularly be tested to check for any faults. If something isn’t working as efficiently as it once was, it should be recorded in a logbook. A lot of modern machinery will alert you if something is wrong (in some cases, you can even use digital analytics to monitor performance).
Make preventative repairs
Recording issues in a logbook is only constructive if you follow up on these faults by carrying out repairs. Make sure that problems aren’t just being ignored - schedule time to try and address any issues once they are discovered.
Nowadays, a lot of machines have computers integrated. It’s important that this computer software is maintained - this could include installing any necessary updates and getting any bugs repaired by a technician. When it comes to IoT machinery, this could be important for security as well as performance, safety and cost.