Between home and work, we come across different types of equipment and machinery. These may include basic farm equipment such as a tractor to workplace grinding machines, woodworking machinery, and so many others. The point is that if you don’t know how to look after these machines, you may end up using them for a very short time. Don’t even think about equipment warranty because poorly maintained machines rarely qualify for a warranty.
While each machine will have its own maintenance guide which you should be given at the time of purchase, there are a few basic maintenance principles that apply to practically any machine around the world. These are the tips you need to master first.
- Ensure ongoing machinery operator training
If it’s a large machine, there is a chance that you have more than one person operating it. The most likely scenario is that you have a team of skilled operators taking shifts to keep the machine running. Of course, for a smaller machine, you may only have one operator, most likely yourself. Nevertheless, correct operation of the machine is very important. Ensure that the machine is inspected right after the purchase and operator training done at that point. But that’s not all. Employees come and go, skills become rusty and poor operation leads to inefficiency and eventual breakdown of the machine. So, ongoing operator training is vital.
- Add and test lubricants frequently
Lubricants are the lifeline of most machines. Much like blood to the human system, a machine depends on lubricants to run smoothly. Lubricants reduce friction around the machine’s moving parts. Where there is no lubricant, there will be a lot of friction and the moving parts will wear off at an unprecedented pace. Lubricating all moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer extends the life of equipment. Don’t forget to use the right lubricants. Each moving part will only work optimally if lubricated with the right oil or grease.
- Keep your machines clean and their environment cleaner
At Icon JDS, they say that their equipment increase production by 50 percent while decreasing labor by between 30 and 40 percent. But you’ll also realize that they stress the need for proper maintenance of the equipment by keeping them clean all the time. The bottom lines is that machines comprise of several parts joined together to form the greater whole. These joints should be regularly inspected for dirt and cleaned accordingly. The same applies for filters and sealers whenever present. If the filters are too dirty, replace them.
- Check for signs of wear
Vibrations, shocks, friction, and high temperatures can all easily cause the wear and tear of machine parts. Even if you use the machine exactly as the manufacturer recommends, a time will come when a few parts start to wear out as a result of age. At this point, it’s important to remember that worn out machines are not only inefficient but also a real danger to your life and the lives of any other operators. Should you discover any signs of wear and tear such as loosened bolts, warped belts, and cracked seals, replace/adjust these parts immediately.
- Keep a maintenance and repair schedule
Finally, machines need to be checked and maintained on a regular basis. You can’t just wait until you have oil leaking from a joint before checking your machine. Tires, tracks, electrical parts, and fluids are just a few examples of components that may need checking on a daily basis for preventive maintenance.
If you can follow all these tips, rest assured of significantly extending the life of your machinery.