Have you ever wondered why some equipment lasts for decades while others break down after a few years? How you care for your industrial equipment considerably impacts its lifespan. Here are a few tips on how to keep your equipment last longer.
1. Avoid Exceeding Performance Specifications
It’s vital to stop overworking your industrial equipment to keep them running for as long as possible. Exceeding the recommended performance specifications stresses components and shortens lifespan.
Avoid Overloading Equipment
Pushing equipment past its load rating forces final drive motors and other parts to work harder than intended, causing them to wear out prematurely. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maximum load to prevent damage.
Provide Adequate Rest Periods
Just like people, equipment needs rest. Don’t run equipment continuously for long periods. Follow the recommended duty cycles and allow for cool-down periods.
Keeping equipment within safe operating parameters, allowing for adequate rest, and diligence maintenance is the key to getting the most helpful life from your industrial investments.
2. Ensure Regular Lubricant Replacement
Lubricant replacement is vital to keeping your industrial equipment running strong for years. As machines age, their lubricants break down and become less effective.
Check and Change All Lubricants Regularly
It’s recommended to check your equipment’s lubricant levels and conditions at least once a month. Replace lubricants every 3-6 months or per the manufacturer’s specifications. This includes changing the following:
- Oil in Engines, Pumps, and Hydraulics
- Grease in Bearings, Chains, and Conveyors
- Coolants and Cutting Fluids
Old lubricants won’t properly reduce friction and heat, which damage parts. Fresh oil will keep components moving freely and prevent overheating.
Look for Signs of Lubricant Breakdown
Some indicators that it’s time for new lubricants include the following:
- Increased Noise From Pumps or Engines
- Thin, Watery Grease
- Overheating Components
- Dark, Gritty Oil With a Burnt Smell
New lubricants are a small investment that can add years of life to equipment. Work with your lubricant supplier to choose products specifically formulated for your equipment and operating conditions for the best results.
3. Document Your Preventive Maintenance and Servicing in Detail
Keeping detailed records of routine care and checkups helps identify declining performance before significant issues arise. When it’s time for servicing, your service tech will appreciate having a complete history to reference. If problems do come up, detailed documentation makes troubleshooting and repairing much more efficient.
Note preventive maintenance’s time, date, and specifics, like lubricating or cleaning parts. Record the results of regular inspections, including any minor tweaks or replacements. Log any error codes, strange noise or smell, or drops in efficiency – even if they seem insignificant. These details, no matter how small, provide valuable context over time.
In your records, describe the work done in enough detail that someone unfamiliar with the equipment could understand precisely what was serviced or repaired. Note the specific parts, components, or systems affected. Include any measurements, test results, or readings taken. The more thorough your document, the better.
With comprehensive documentation and diligent recording, you’ll have the whole story of your equipment’s service lifespan at your fingertips, and that means you can make the best decisions to keep it running for years.