Downtime will happen. But, will it be on your terms, or will it be a late night call from a production supervisor alerting you of a problem? Failures (even from single components) in a hydraulic system can lead to productivity loss. Worse yet, it can even threaten the safety of workers, the public and the environment. A preventive maintenance program mitigates these risks. The program establishes scheduled service times to keep equipment operating at peak performance. And, it saves you from the dreaded midnight SOS calls.
Not sure where to start to build your program? There are two things you need: Your staff on board and an equipment database.
Gain Staff Buy-in with a Proactive Approach
How does a company transition from a run-to-failure mindset to a proactive approach? The value of the valve preventive maintenance program must be communicated throughout the organization. Highlight specific benefits that target individual audiences.
For the front office, emphasize the impact on profitability. Industry data shows that scheduled maintenance costs three to five times less than the repairs to fix broken components.
Take a different approach for the maintenance crew. They might view preventive maintenance as more work heaped on them. Win their support by showing that the program reduces unexpected failures. That should cut down on fixes that need to happen on a weekend or holiday.
The goal is to get everyone to understand that the program benefits the whole company.
Building a Solid Foundation with Your Equipment Database
The foundation of any preventive maintenance program is an equipment database.
Follow these four steps to create yours:
1. Identify and assign a label for each valve in the system. 2. Log every valve into a database-management program. It can be a complex CMMS program or a self-made spreadsheet. 3. Be sure to include the valve type, date of installation, manufacturer, location and function. 4. Give each industrial valve a designation and label it in the field using a tag, barcode or signage.