Unexpected downtime is the main culprit of high costs and production loss in the manufacturing sector. Unplanned downtime costs the manufacturer $50 billion annually. The main culprit of unexpected downtime is poor maintenance.
The criticality of maintenance is clear in the fact that unexpected downtime costs producers $260,000 per hour. Maintenance is needed on the production floor hence addressing maintenance interference can boost production.
Maintenance managers can play an important role in reducing breakdowns leading to downtime and improving the factory’s productivity via maintenance management and scheduling. In this article, we are going to look at some tips that maintenance managers can apply on the production floor.
Make maintenance strategies for the facility
Most factories still depend on reactive maintenance methods that wait until the machines show damage or breakdown so that maintenance can be done on equipment. It causes unplanned downtime and major inconveniences. In the end, costs are incurred and production runs low.
To avert reactive maintenance issues maintenance managers have to design unique maintenance methods for their facilities to prevent unexpected downtime. As part of the plan, the facility needs to have key performance indicators and clear objectives to track progress. All deadlines should be realistic and should be achieved without interfering with operations.
For smooth equipment maintenance employees must be allocated clear duties and responsibilities. This averts misunderstandings that can keep machinery waiting for maintenance despite the availability of workers. Workers should be trained to conduct regular inspections on machinery when they are not running to check any problems that might have recently come up.
Maintenance managers can employ predictive maintenance to benefit from emerging technologies. Making contingency plans with minimal resources is beneficial in keeping the factory productive.
Look for new technologies to optimize factory maintenance
Proactive maintenance needs technological advancements that help improve accuracy and scheduling. A great idea is interconnecting the factory using IoT for better asset information. With Ai and machine learning using predictive maintenance can help prevent breakdowns and achieve minimal unexpected downtime within the facility.
Introducing new technological innovations for maintenance optimization is a gigantic change for the facility due to the costs. As the manager, you have to select the technologies and assets that need upgrading.
This will be easy if you have an updated inventory with important assets separated from the least important ones. You need to strike a balance between the predictive maintenance costs and the profit you are planning to get from the improved production process. Depending on the outcome you can purchase more equipment with time.
Focus on your critical assets.
Critical equipment is always top of the list on the production floor. If not maintained properly they can cause critical damage to the production process. Regular inspections of wear and tear help stay on track to achieve the goals of production.
Maintenance managers should regularly update their critical assets list according to the experiences and changes on the shop floor. More time should be allocated to the maintenance of critical assets to keep the list updated and relevant. Frequent checks and timely replacements for this machinery guarantee zero breakdowns and increase productivity.
A critical asset list is important especially when you are figuring out which equipments to incorporate with IoT. Giving priority to different types of critical assets based on their repair cost and downtime ensures that the machine operates optimally whenever you want them to produce.
Inventory management is critical
Inventory management is closely related to maintenance. All maintenance duties need spare parts, tools, and other resources that are gotten from inventory. To have a better idea of maintenance activities you need to keep an accurate, visible, and frequently updated inventory.
To ensure that maintenance has the required resources employees should be trained to update inventory when a tool is bought or lost. Regular updating of the inventory by employees makes it become a habit and ensures accuracy and easy finding of equipment when needed.
Stay ahead of deferred maintenance interruptions
Unplanned downtime can interfere with a maintenance routine. Most facilities experience a different maintenance backlog due to many reasons. Being on top of these backlogs is very vital for maintenance managers. It makes sure that no critical assets lack inspection for long and that all machinery is repaired within the set time.
Practice total productive maintenance
This is a strategy that incorporates all departments in participating in maintenance. The workers are tasked with the responsibility of inspecting and repairing the machinery that they operate daily. This fastens routine maintenance and makes it easier by removing some duties from the maintenance department.
Total productive maintenance improves communication among departments which consequently saves time during unexpected downtime. Production learns about maintenance and maintenance can also get to understand the reasons for machinery breakdowns and problems faced by different equipment during production. Total productive maintenance
can make considerate improvements on productivity when combined with correct resources and training.
keep upgrading and improving
With technological advancement and a competitive environment strategies of tech and maintenance are changing at a faster pace. Incorporating these technologies can help your facility stay ahead of the competition and produce more.
With alterations in production design, methods of manufacture, and product design, maintenance has to be adjusted to incorporate the new workload and system. Managers need to keep figuring out new methods to optimize factory maintenance schedules and achieve almost nil unexpected downtime.
In summary, maintenance managers play a big part in improving production on the shop floor. When the maintenance management plans with high productivity as a motivating factor it makes a big difference. TPM, IoT, and predictive maintenance can be important tools for closing the gap between maintenance and operations departments close. The tips discussed in this article can be the basis of planning your way to zero downtime.