The importance of equipment maintenance.
Safety and Prevention
The maintenance of the equipment in any sector is of great importance, its main objective is to guarantee the production, quality and maintain the proper functionality of the machines increasing their useful life.
In this sense, the maintenance rather than being considered an expense should be seen as an investment: that business unit, regardless of its size or the amount of equipment that forms its asset that adopts a maintenance plan, will have more chances of achieving a competitive advantage in its sector in the medium-long term.
Today there is still the belief that this is something unnecessary and of little relevance, however, problems and equipment malfunction can seriously affect the income or the cost of the exercise, in addition to damaging the reputation of the company.
As we mentioned, maintenance is a serious issue in any sector and it is also for any equipment, then we list the types of maintenance and their scope.
Corrective Maintenance: It is the set of tasks aimed at correcting the defects that are presented in the different equipment and that are communicated as an emergency by their users. Many companies opt for corrective maintenance, that is, the repair of breakdowns when they arise. More than 90% of the time and resources used in maintenance are devoted to fault repair.
Preventive Maintenance: It is the maintenance whose mission is to maintain a certain level of service in the equipment, programming the interventions of its vulnerable points at the most opportune moment. It usually has a systematic character, that is, it intervenes even if the team has not given any symptoms of having a problem.
Maintenance Zero Hours (Overhaul): It is the set of tasks whose objective is to review the equipment at scheduled intervals well before any failure appears, either when the reliability of the equipment has diminished appreciably so that it is risky to make forecasts on its productive capacity. This review consists of leaving the equipment at Zero operating hours, that is, as if the equipment were new. In these revisions all the elements subject to wear are replaced or repaired. It is intended to ensure, with great probability, a well-functioning time set in advance.
- Maintenance In Use: is the basic maintenance of a device performed by its users. It consists of a series of elementary tasks (data collection, visual inspections, cleaning, lubrication, re-tightening of screws) for which a great training is not necessary, but only a brief training.
Bonus: Advantages and disadvantages of corrective maintenance.
Corrective maintenance as the basis of maintenance has some undoubted advantages:
- It does not generate fixed expenses.
- It is not necessary to schedule or anticipate any activity.
- Money is only spent when it is clear that it needs to be done.
- In the short term it can offer a good economic result
- There are equipment in which preventive maintenance has no effect, such as electronic devices.
The most important disadvantages are:
- Production becomes unpredictable and unreliable. Stops and failures can occur at any time.
- It involves taking economic risks that can sometimes be important.
- The life of the equipment is shortened.
- It prevents the reliable diagnosis of the causes that cause the failure, because it is ignored if it failed due to bad treatment, abandonment, lack of handling, natural wear, etc. Therefore, the fault can be repeated again and again.
- There are tasks that are always profitable in any type of equipment. It is difficult to justify its non-performance based on economic criteria: greases, cleanings, visual inspections and adjustments. Certain equipment also needs continuous adjustments, monitoring, lubrication, even to operate for short periods of time.
- The guarantees exclude the risks derived from the non-performance of the scheduled maintenance indicated by the equipment manufacturer.
- Breakdowns and abnormal behaviors not only jeopardize production: they can also lead to accidents with risks to people or the environment.
- Basing maintenance on the correction of faults means having highly qualified technicians, with an important stock of spare parts, with very varied technical means, etc.