Five things manufacturers can do to prevent unscheduled machine downtime

By Lancashire Business View

02 Aug 2017

In association with

Whatever you manufacture, unscheduled machine downtime is a nightmare and can cost companies thousands per hour.

By Stuart Park, managing director, Northern Industrial.

Time and time again, machine failure is a direct result of faults occurring on industrial automation equipment and is often preventable.

Here are five tips to help Lancashire manufacturers combat unscheduled downtime.

1. Cleaning

It sounds obvious but keeping installation areas clean and free from dust and dirt ensures heat is dissipated properly and avoids overheating, one of the biggest causes of failure.

2. Carry spares

You might not need it now, but when a critical part breaks down, having it on the shelf to swap out in minutes will have you highfiving yourself. Consider the cost of downtime and work out which parts are critical, spending a few hundred pounds now could save thousands in the future.

3. Yearly service

Take advantage of scheduled shutdown periods by having items like drives and HMIs serviced. Replacing aged components dramatically reduces the risk of downtime.

4. Backup

If you do need a replacement part having a backup of programs and parameters is the difference between a quick, hassle-free installation and taking hours or days to program from scratch.

5. Audit

Understanding the problem is key. Audit your machinery on site so that you know what is obsolete and at high risk, what you should carry as spares and what you can do to mitigate risk. Don’t be afraid to ask for specialist help. Established in 1978, Northern Industrial is an award-winning industrial solutions provider who specialise in helping manufacturers tackle downtime and obsolescence with new and obsolete automation parts, onsite support and repairs.

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