If you’re in the manufacturing business, one of the things you dread is downtime. This is because it means your company is not producing anything and that means less revenue in the long run. In addition, if one area of your plant goes down, you can expect it to snowball to other areas that need their production. The longer the downtime, the more money you lose. If you want to reduce the chances of it happening or at least cut it down to manageable levels, here are a few tips that can help:
Have Clear Channels of Communication
When something goes wrong, you need to know it immediately. That is why having a clear line of communication is important. You need to be notified, as well as all the other departments, about where the downtime is happening.
Besides helping when an emergency happens, being communicative with your employees is important to prevent downtime from happening. Your workers work with the equipment daily and they will notice if something is wrong or if something can be done to make things better. Additionally, keeping your employees involved makes them happier and more productive.
A well-trained workforce would be able to respond quickly to any potential problem that comes up. This can go a long way in reducing and even preventing downtime. With skilled employees, you can be sure that they are using the equipment properly and taking steps to avoid any damage. The leading cause of downtime is the improper use of the equipment and you can eliminate that with proper training.
Natural wear and tear is hard to avoid for manufacturing equipment. Most factories run their equipment 24 hours a day and this can be a punishing schedule. For example, Grundfos chemical dosing pumps need to be cleaned and tuned up after constant use. Leaving them running can cause problems, as parts degrade and dirt accumulates. This can result in downtime as they break down.
That is why you will need to have some downtime – at least to do some preventative maintenance. Doing it once a year for a controlled period is better than just letting it come out of the blue. Besides ensuring that they don’t break down, preventative maintenance also extends the service life of the equipment. This helps lower costs in the long run and offsets the loss of productivity from the downtime.
Be Ready to Upgrade
You will also need to recognize when a piece of equipment needs a replacement or an upgrade. Most of them are tough enough to last for decades, but changes in technology may require you to replace or upgrade them earlier. In addition, if the equipment has degraded enough that frequent breakdowns are predicted, it is better to pay for a replacement than lose the revenue from downtime and repair expenses.
The best way to fight downtime is to be proactive about it. Taking steps to prevent it and even reduce it is a big help to your company’s productivity. With the right approach, your company will remain operational for a long time with no problems.