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8 Common Machine Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know that factories lose five percent of their productivity due to downtime?

Contents1. Improper maintenance routine2. Using wrong spare parts 3. Improper data capture techniques4. Not encouraging feedback from your technicians5. Not documenting maintenance tasks6. Disregard manufacturer's specifications7. Use a single maintenance plan8. Overmaintaining Your MachinesSay No to These Machine Maintenance Mistakes

Machine breakdowns are the leading cause of downtime in manufacturing. That is why it is very important to keep your machines in perfect condition to avoid frequent downtimes.

Regular maintenance of the machine is one thing, but doing it correctly is another. While you may have the maintenance part down, poor machine maintenance has the opposite effect. Unfortunately, most factory professionals ignore the machine maintenance mistakes they make every day.

Today we are going to highlight some of these machine maintenance mistakes that you must avoid at all costs. This way your machines can stay in top condition and provide maximum return on investment.

1. Improper maintenance routine

A systematic and elaborate maintenance routine is imperative for the success of your maintenance operations. Not having a proper maintenance routine is a maintenance mistake you can't afford to make.

Don't wait for a major machine failure to begin your maintenance efforts. Machine downtime equals a lot of money down the drain. A proper maintenance routine reduces or eliminates machine downtime and ensures maximum profitability.

Predictive maintenance is one maintenance routine you should consider adopting. Predictive maintenance uses data analysis tools and other techniques to detect any irregularities in the machine. This allows you to correct these anomalies before they spiral out of control and disrupt normal operations.

2. Using wrong spare parts

It's normal for people to cut corners when it comes to replacement parts. Replacement parts are expensive and you can get second quality ones for almost half the price. They look identical, so why not save some money by getting counterfeit spares?

Using the wrong spare parts for your machines almost always ends badly. Instead of solving the problem, generic parts could exacerbate it. This means that you will end up paying a lot more for repairs than buying an original part.

Naturally, it is possible to unknowingly purchase generic parts from an imprecise supplier. As such, you need to be very careful where you buy your spare parts. Only get these parts from a reputable supplier with proper online reviews.

It's also a good idea to have these parts on hand, before the machines malfunction. This way you don't have to stop production while waiting for spare parts. Besides spare parts, it is also important to use proper machine maintenance tools when replacing machine parts.

3. Inappropriate data capture techniques

Proper machine maintenance is etched into accurate and consistent data capture. This is why it is very important to refine your data collection techniques to reflect the state of your machines. Proper data capture will help you identify any anomalies in your machines and take immediate action

Fortunately, there are plenty of data analysis tools to choose from. Contact machine operators to find the best fit for your machines. These data analysis tools should be an integral part of your machinery production and maintenance process.

4. Do not encourage feedback from your technicians

Your technicians know more about your machines than you ever will. Whenever you service the machine, encourage suggestions and feedback from your technicians. This feedback will be useful for data analysis, policy formulation and improving plant processes.

Not encouraging feedback from your technicians is incredibly retrograde. Let your technician's feedback guide you in improving machine maintenance.

5. Not documenting maintenance tasks

Documentation of maintenance activities is very important for future maintenance operations. Technicians and repairers will refer to these documents during subsequent maintenance operations. Documents help make the job of technicians much easier and less time consuming.

Apply a strict documentation policy for any repair or maintenance activity. Ensure complete and accurate documentation with no information gaps. Also ensure that all technicians save their documentation in a central database for seamless access.

6. Disregard manufacturer specifications

There's a reason manufacturers include machine specs with their machines. These specs ensure you get the most out of the machines without overworking them. Choosing to ignore these specs can work to your detriment.

Exceeding the manufacturer's specifications will increase machine wear. This means you will have to spend more time and money on repairs and maintenance. Too frequent maintenance also results in a shorter machine life.

It's tempting to ignore manufacturer specs for higher output, but don't. To ensure that your machines perform at their best, follow the manufacturer's specifications exactly. Some key specs to look out for include pressure, weight capacities, and electrical input.

7. Use a single maintenance plan

Not all machines are built the same; a maintenance plan that works for one machine may not work for another. That's why it's best to have a custom maintenance plan for each machine in your factory line. Some machines require minimal maintenance, while others require complex and high-level maintenance.

Adjust your maintenance plans so that the delicate machines get the most attention and the tough ones the least. This approach minimizes machine maintenance costs and facilitates optimal performance.

8. Over-maintaining your machines

That's right; there is such a thing as excessive maintenance. The more you maintain your machines, the better they perform, right? Wrong!

Too frequent loosening and refitting of machine parts only shortens their service life.

Excessive maintenance also increases your maintenance costs and wastes technicians' time. As a general rule, only perform machine maintenance on your schedule. The only time you can break this rule is when your machines suddenly break down.

Use the data you collect to plan your maintenance dates. Respect these dates so as not to wear down your machines with constant maintenance routines.

Say no-to-these-machine-maintaining-mistakes

You can't afford to make these machine maintenance mistakes if you want to streamline your production process. You may already be guilty of already making said mistakes, but it's not too late to change. Implement machine maintenance best practices for the greatest effect.

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