Downtime is one of the most challenging periods for manufacturing plants. It comes with both tangible and intangible costs. For tangible costs, the company loses revenue from reduced products. They can also lose revenue from customer churning due to missed deadlines. For the intangible costs, the company risks losses through employee responsiveness. Instead of delivering on their work, the employees would be forced to look for ways to repair the damages. There are safety risks from leakages and other damages.
The best way to avoid downtime is to implement a detailed equipment maintenance program. Install various software to help you develop preventive and predictive maintenance protocols.
That is not to say you will never experience downtimes when you have a proper maintenance regime. Damages are inevitable, whether it’s from human error or other causes. How first you react, however, determines how much the company loses. An extended downtime period will hurt the business operations and might take some time to recover.
You need efficient repairs to get you running as fast as possible. Here are some of the ways to ensure proper repairs in your company.
Understand the repair and breakdown challenges
The only way to efficiently manage repairs is when you understand the challenges you are coming up against. With the challenges in mind, you can prepare beforehand on how to tackle them.
One of the biggest challenges with the current manufacturing plants’ machines is the complexity. Most of the machines currently used for production are way advanced to ensure efficiency and faster production. The complexity however makes it harder to repair in case of damage or breakdown. You need specialized tools and labor to help correct the damages.
Getting the specialized tools and labor for the machines can be quite costly. It might also take some time which means a longer downtime hence more losses. It can get out of hand if you had not expected such cases. For example, imagine having to import a spare part from another place before setting it up. You would have lost unrecoverable days, at the same time incurring labor costs.
With the knowledge of repair and breakdown challenges, you can prepare promptly. Source for the various spare parts for any eventuality. You also have a qualified expert in place in case of a breakdown.
Avail appropriate repair training
Given most of the machines require special attention, the maintenance engineers tend to be external experts. It won’t make sense to keep them full time when damages don’t occur all the time. However, there is always the risk of not finding the experts immediately you need them. That means the downtime can last longer as you lose time and money.
The best way to reduce the downtime period is to train your employees on the common repair and replacement options. As the first line of action, the employees will get everything running as fast as possible to ensure productivity.
Letting your employees understand the various components also improves safety. Without the proper knowledge, the employees can still want to repair the various parts which is risky. However, with the right tools and knowledge, they will do the right thing. You also won’t have to call for a specialist unless necessary hence saves you money.
Avoid temporary fixes
The most essential thing to do during downtime is to find the quickest solution. To resume operations fast enough, some companies would go with quick fixes. While it might seem to work at the moment, it comes with more underlying challenges.
The temporary fixes might come with more extensive damages and inefficiencies in the future. Without proper repair, even the machines that are currently running will get damaged. With time, the downtime periods will increase due to more extensive damages. The temporary fixes are risky as they encourage leaks and other future damages.
Only use temporary fixes while waiting for the specialist to fix everything. While one-time repair might seem costly, it saves you from future losses due to extended downtimes.
Develop and implement maintenance schedules
While some repairs are inevitable, most of them are avoidable. Invest in predictive maintenance to help you manage the machines before the damage. By preventing the damages you avoid any possibility of downtime which might lead to several other losses.
Invest in extensive RMO best practices to ensure your machines are operational most of the time. Given the complexity of most of the machines, you might have to invest in maintenance software. It is the only way to keep up with the various components of the machines.
Proper maintenance also helps in faster repairs in case damage occurs. You most probably must have anticipated it and prepared beforehand.
Effective repair within your manufacturing system is the only way to ensure limited downtime. Train your employees on the various training ideals and avoid temporary fixes. You should also invest in a proper maintenance system.