We all know the revenue needle flat-lines during unexpected equipment downtime. That’s why preventive maintenance is critical to your business. Although wear issues can develop with all equipment over time, you must answer one simple question about your maintenance plan: Is it better to be proactive or reactive?
If you’ve experienced a machine break down that could have been avoided by following your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, then you know the frustration of lost time and more importantly, lost revenue. Your ability to protect your assets and prolong their useful life is largely dependent on creating a consistent maintenance plan that covers two basic areas, which are outlined below:
1. Properly assess your machine capabilities to meet your manufacturing needs
2. Anticipate wear by following recommended maintenance intervals
1. Assess capabilities.
At Marion, the first step towards a proactive approach to maintenance is assessing how you will use your horizontal mixer. Key questions to ask are: How long are your mix times? Do you keep your batches under the designed capacity of your mixer? What kind of environment is the mixer exposed to?
If your mixer is used for batches it’s not designed to handle, you are more likely to have a machine that may need frequent repairs. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s rated capacity guidelines to purchase the correct size of machine, and use it within those guidelines.
2. Anticipate wear.
Next, get to know the maintenance sections of your machine’s Operation and Maintenance Manual. If you need help or are missing a Marion Process Solutions manual, call 800-397-6371 to order one today. Depending on your application, and the amount of hours it is used in a week, you’ll find that maintenance intervals can vary greatly. For example, you may need to perform normal lubrication of your main shaft bearings as frequently as once a day, or only once a month, depending on usage.
Routine service intervals for fluids, lubricants, seals, and wear parts should be followed during normal working conditions and temperatures – as conditions become more demanding, machine service requirements should mirror this change. Frequent visual inspections of the seals and agitator components can help determine if wear is developing or damage has occurred, and requires immediate attention.
The old adage is says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Understanding the maintenance requirements of your equipment begins with the emphasis you place into evaluating machine capabilities and anticipating wear rates, and ends with implementing a repeatable plan. Be Proactive!