Do unforeseeable factory downtime and the costs of such surprises annoy you? Do such maintenance breaks negatively impact your production schedule and the satisfaction of your clients? Would you like to get rid of these problems? It’s possible with a maintenance program that covers the whole precast plant of yours. Let’s take a look at why such a program makes a big difference to your precast business.
First things first
Is your precast equipment cleaned daily? If not, this is the first habit that would benefit you in the long run. Why? When the machinery is washed at the end of each manufacturing day, there won’t be any dried up concrete stuck on the machine. This not only makes your life much easier but also keeps the machine in good condition much longer. While you are washing the machine, it’s also easy to conduct the daily check-ups at the same time. What’s more is that we humans tend to respect clean and maintained machines more compared to the ones that we consider old and already broken.
Also, it’s important to have trained staff that knows how to use the machinery and knows when something is not working as it should be. For example, a well-trained employee knows when they hear an unusual sound when casting, and understands that, the casting should be stopped and the machine checked immediately. If production is continued without any check-ups, it is likely that you may face a longer production stop due to machine breakdown even though the problems could have been avoided with simple adjustments. Prevention is cheaper than repair; hence the machinery should always be kept in a good condition.
But daily check-ups are not enough to avoid production downtime. A well-planned maintenance program is needed to keep the machinery up-to-date for years to come.
Do you have a maintenance program for your precast plant? During the nearly 60 years in the precast business, we have learned that having an efficient maintenance program is the key for cost-efficient production. Thus, we recommend that you create one for your plant if you don’t have one in place already. Think about it: if an extruder, for example, breaks down in the middle of a casting bed, you will be paying for your employees for standing and, waiting for the machinery guys to finish their job. It’s not cheap – and when you can finally start casting again, you need to prepare the beds again, which also creates unnecessary costs.
When you have an efficient maintenance program in place, you will avoid all these costs. For example, a maintenance break of an extruder can be scheduled so that all necessary casting is conducted with another machine while one is being maintained. You can also ensure that a trained maintenance team and tools are available when needed. During the maintenance, the machine can also be adjusted if needed, according to the casting requirements. We are happy to give you advice about how to go about it, or a ready-made program through our service agreements.
We have made some recommendations for maintenance in the Elematic equipment owner’s manuals. You have received them in print format, but they can also be accessed online through the spare parts web shop – E-shop. However, these recommendations are only general guidelines, because each factory is different and, for example, used stone materials affect the durability of the parts differently.
Stocked spare parts
We advise you to stock a selection of spare parts at your precast plant. Even though they can be quickly ordered from Elematic sales engineers or through E-shop, the delivery will always take some time. After you have gotten used to a specific machine, you will notice how often certain spare parts need to be changed, hence you can have a few of them stocked to avoid factory downtime. It’s also good to be prepared for accidents that may result in a factory downtime. For example, now and then we hear stories about accidentally mashing the touch screens of the machines, even though they are of industrial grade and have a protective cover. The screens are basically the hearts of electrical automation features; hence it’s advisable to have one screen in stock just in case.
In addition, it’s extremely important to change spare parts before it’s too late, because over-worn parts can decrease the quality of your products and damage the machine.
Preplanned maintenance breaks boost the efficiency of your factory and create a safer working environment for your employees! If you have any questions about maintenance programs, spare parts or anything alike, we would be happy to reply.
Eija Aimolahti, Customer Support Manager