Businesses are spending millions of dollars annually to buy/build machines and equipment to make their operations safer, more productive, and to reduce the cost of manufacturing.

Unfortunately, the reliability of these machines can be at risk, if not properly maintained.

An unreliable plant seriously affects productivity, resulting in high costs, poor use of resources, and product supply insecurity. Failure to deliver products can damage your brand and erode hard-won customer confidence.

Lost production and repairs

When a machine fails unexpectedly, the first reality is the lost production that results from the ‘down time’ and the cost that this will have on the business’s profitability. The cost of machine repairs including the extra labour, replacement parts, and resources required to bring the machine back into production could be very expensive. Production lost can never be recovered.

Risk to other processes and equipment

Failed critical machinery, which might have to supply other manufacturing stages in a continuous stream, will cause these other processes to come to a halt for lack of material for them to process. A failed machine can potentially cause the loss of millions of dollars by causing damage to other process equipment that relies on an uninterrupted supply of material from the failed machine. This “Domino effect” can be much greater than just the initial machine failure.

Workers Safety

There is a significant risk to workers, who as a consequence of machine failure, could be seriously injured or even killed. Failures of some critical machinery could result in fire, the release of dangerous gases or chemicals, electrocution, injury to machine operators from impact with failed machine parts or even explosions. Threats such as these will have a major effect on the business and its employees. There can be no acceptable price for worker injury.

Raw material loss

When critical equipment fails, particularly when processing expensive or hard to source materials, the loss of these materials can seriously increase manufacturing costs, as replacement raw material must be sourced. Delays caused by the loss of raw materials could threaten relationships with customers relying on a timely supply of products or materials.

Capital expense increases

If machines are allowed to fail regularly and production output is always running lower than required, more machines will have to be purchased and operated, to maintain a target output. This will increase the capital costs of running the business, reducing profits and potentially threaten the viability of the business, particularly if competitors are able to produce their like products with lower costs of production than you.

Environmental Impact

Resources lost, energy lost and poor productivity will mean that more potential environmentally damaging emissions and wastes are created. Environmental damage can also affect other workers and the community around the production facility. This should not be permitted nor accepted if we are to be socially responsible citizens.

If the company is continuously spending time and money on repairs, maintenance, and hiring extra employees just to meet requirements, it will miss the opportunity to use these resources to grow the business. All these avoidable costs hinder the business and prohibit it from reaching its maximum potential.

A well developed Preventative Maintenance and Condition Monitoring Program can help avoid and even detect impending equipment failure – before it happens.

Being proactive will enable the business to reach its maximum potential.

Read the following Tips to Reduce Downtime in Industrial Manufacturing Operations