A conveyor system is the backbone (almost literally) of many a factory or processing plant, so it’s vital to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. This prevents time-consuming and expensive breakdowns and also keeps the system running for longer before it has to be replaced. Here’s how to look after your conveyor.
Look after your technician!
Many companies don’t have a full or even part-time machine technician, or if they do, they are vastly under-appreciated. A good, skilled, motivated techie will anticipate problems and get to them before they grow – in size and cost. Think about it, a sudden failure or breakdown could cost your company the equivalent of a month’s salary for your technician. Not to mention lost orders and goodwill from your clients.
Keep a collection of spare parts
Just like you can predict death and taxes, you can guarantee that at some point, a component or part of your conveyor system will fail – it just will. It’s the law. Think about which parts fail most frequently, which are the hardest to get hold of and how much time you’ll lose if you have to wait for parts delivery. Then, keep these parts in stock for the inevitable failure so you’re good to get going again ASAP! Manchester’s Renold chain manufacture company is a good source of components, for example.
Prevention is better than cure
Don’t plan to fix things when they break, or you’ll be busy fixing them all the time when you should be churning out products! Set aside time for a regular and comprehensive maintenance schedule, preferably outside your core working hours, and this care will keep your system working for a long time when it needs to be working. It’s all about the up-time.
Perform a system audit and document it
Your conveyor system must be constantly inspected and audited to keep it happy. It’s possible to hear or smell something going wrong before you see it, but the people working on it day after day might not notice changes in sound or smell as they happen gradually. Bring in an outside techie to run an audit, from infeed to output, to make sure all parts are working as they should.
Beware out-dated parts and equipment
You can’t always replace your entire system in one go, as it’s very expensive indeed. What you can do, however, is keep track of which components and parts are no longer being made. If you know a vital
component of your more mature (ahem) system is no longer in production, buy as many as you can while they’re still out there, so that you can delay a total system replacement as long as possible.
Do strategic repairs
Managing a big conveyor system is a big job, so you should always think in terms of time – specifically downtime – when carrying out a repair. Say one bearing out of a set fails – this probably means its friends will fail soon, too. So, instead of replacing just the worn one, replace all of them in one go so you’re not stopping the machine for another afternoon just a month later!
Think smart and think ahead and your conveyor will be with you for a long time yet!