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6 tips for better conveyor maintenance
In the midst of a challenging economy and shrinking capital budgets, many companies are faced with the daunting challenge of keeping ageing conveyor systems up and running well past when they’d ordinarily be heading to the scrap yard. Unlike a fine wine, mechanical equipment doesn’t usually get better with age.
However, there is hope for those who don’t have the luxury of upgrading to a brand new, state-of-the-art conveyor system anytime soon, and hopefully this article will help.
Here are a few conveyor maintenance tips to keep those belts moving...
1. Maintenance technician
The most commonly underappreciated heroes of every facility are the men and women wearing tool belts. One of the biggest mistakes we see companies do is either not hire a maintenance technician or underpay one. Think about it, would you go to the cheapest doctor in town if you were sick? A good technician will correct small problems before they become big ones. In life, it all comes down to how you want to spend your money. Would you rather spend money on lost sales and unhappy customers when your system goes down and you can’t get the product out the door, or on a great maintenance technician?
2. Spare parts
Despite manufacturer’s promises finding a mechanical part that never needs to be replaced is probably rarer than finding a set of ‘hen’s teeth’! There are only few things in life you can pretty much bank on like the sun coming up again tomorrow... However, mechanical parts are eventually going to fail (most likely at the worst possible time) and depending upon which part fails, a breakdown can halt production for a long time. Go for prolonged periods without replacing a failed part and serious damage could be inflicted on other parts of the system. It’s highly recommend that you keep a safety stock of all critical and long lead time conveyor parts on hand. If this is not in the budget, then work with a supplier who will ensure that your critical parts are kept in stock at all times.
3. Preventive maintenance
If you only plan to fix stuff when it breaks, you’re going to be very busy fixing stuff. Mechanical equipment–including conveyors–must be maintained. Different parts of your system require different levels of preventive care. It’s no different than your car. Follow the recommended service schedule, and it will run a very long time. Don’t perform service on the car, and you’ll constantly be sitting on the side of the road. A competent supplier should be able to work with you to develop a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan. By following this, you will ensure yourself maximum system uptime.