The Upside of Uptime in Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry, having the line up and running at any given time is imperative. As any business owner knows, there are times when the equipment is going to fail or when minor repairs are going to be necessary.

This would cause the assembly line to be down for a time, although there are ways to limit this issue. One of the ways in which it can be limited is through preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, many production supervisors are often resistant to preventative maintenance, because they do not want to have any downtime on the assembly line. Is preventative maintenance truly unnecessary?

In order to fully understand the benefits of maintaining manufacturing equipment instead of repairing it after it fails, it is necessary to determine the true value of preventative maintenance. This can be done by establishing a baseline price of how much is going to be spent to maintain the equipment. That number can be compared with the prices of repairing equipment that is broken or, if necessary, replacing it. It will not take much calculating to determine that preventative maintenance is going to save money in the long run. Avoiding preventative maintenance in favor of production time is a shortsighted view. What are some of the primary benefits of maintaining manufacturing equipment in advance?

Better Performance – When manufacturing equipment is maintained properly, it will help to boost performance. The benefits will not only be seen in the quality of the end product, it will also help to save time. When the equipment on the line is up and running at peak efficiency, the entire operation will run smoothly.

Reduced Repair Costs – The cost to repair equipment is typically much higher than the cost of preventative maintenance. If no maintenance is done until the equipment fails, it will likely take much more to get it back up and running again. According to Uptime Magazine, maintenance costs diminish as maintenance practices improve. Preventative maintenance does take time and money, but the benefits of doing so will pay off in the long run.

Longer Equipment Life – One of the larger expenses that any manufacturing business will have is the replacement of equipment. If the equipment is maintained properly, it will have a longer life.

Reduced Downtime – A reduction in downtime will be seen when the equipment is maintained properly. Although it may be necessary for the line to stop temporarily while the preventative maintenance is being done, it is a controllable situation. When equipment breaks down due to lack of preventative maintenance, there is no control as to when it will happen.

Equipment Warranty – If the manufacturing equipment is under warranty, it may be necessary to do preventative maintenance in order to maintain the warranty. Even if a warranty does not exist, it is a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for preventative maintenance.

Although there is no avoiding some degree of downtime on the manufacturing line, controlling it is possible to a large degree with preventative maintenance. By establishing a program of preventative maintenance now, long term benefits will be seen.