Why your Industrial Equipment Doesn’t Last

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By Brian Richards, freelance writer.

The investment in industrial equipment is often a significant one, and the success or failure of that equipment in the long-term could have serious ramifications for the business as a whole. To put it another way, you want your tools to be able to last the distance. Often, ensuring this is a matter of simply taking the right steps.

Improper Maintenance

Your equipment is not going to last if it isn’t properly looked after. In some cases, caring for equipment in the wrong way can actually reduce its lifespan, rather than prolong it.

Preventative maintenance should be scheduled regularly, and reviewed, too. A paper trail should be left whenever this maintenance is carried out so that any problems can be pinpointed after the fact. The maintenance should be carried out with the aid of quality tools from reputable manufacturers. Dewalt grease guns, for example, might be deployed to keep things lubricated.

There are a number of reasons why maintenance might not go to plan. One is that replacement parts being installed are not up to the required standard. Sometimes, replacing a given part can be enormously disruptive to the surrounding machinery, with the result that the whole procedure can actually cause more problems than it solves.

While it’s important to be proactive when it comes to preventative maintenance, it is possible to have too much of it. Moreover, equipment which is taken offline too often is equipment that you’re not getting the best possible use from.

Excessive Use

Every piece of equipment on your premises is designed to be pushed only so far. If you end up using yours for prolonged stretches, or push it beyond its operating capacity, then you risk having it fail prematurely.

Excessive use is often a result of short-termism and tight company targets, which incentivise workers to cover up major problems. Bearing failure, corrosion, metal fatigue and misalignments all tend to cause gradual decline – and then very sudden decline.

Improper Operation

If your machinery is being used in the wrong way, then it’s a near certainty that it will fail prematurely. Operator error often results from inadequate training, poor procedures, or poor recruitment processes. As well as posing a threat to production, improper operation might put your workers at risk. As an employer, you have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide a safe working environment. As such, failure to correct substandard practices might result in legal risk, as well as the other sorts of risk we’ve mentioned.

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