| 3 months ago

7 Tips to Maximise Equipment Uptime

Every year, unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion(1). For every hour your equipment isn’t operating, your business loses approximately $260,000(2).

This puts companies under immense pressure to maintain top-quartile operational performance. Not only does maximising equipment uptime keep the operating costs down, but it also helps companies to stay competitive.

But how do you manage this? In this blog, we’ve covered the top 7 ways you can maximise your equipment uptime.

Tip 1: Undertake a compliance audit

A site compliance audit is one of the most effective steps you can take to ensure your equipment is operational. Not only will it highlight key problem areas, a good audit will also offer solutions to minimise the risk

The key factors considered during a compliance audit include:

  • Visual checks on all components of the fuel system
  • Checking pressure testing records
  • Ensuring calibration verification
  • General housekeeping and functional testing

More extensive audits can also include detailed internal and external checks of fuel tank shells, thorough statutory compliance checks and proactive replacement of key parts.

Tip 2: Calculate the cost of downtime

$260,000 per hour in company losses is an average in the industry – but is it a true representation for your business? More to the point, do you know how many hours you’ve already lost this year in downtime?

By keeping an accurate record of and considering all factors in your report, you’ll have a true understanding of the impact of downtime – and therefore be able to increase your budget for preventative measures.

Factors to consider in your calculations include:

  • Staff productivity
  • Loss in production of actual goods
  • Number of man-hours devoted to rescheduling
  • Unexpected costs of repairing equipment
  • Damage to company reputation

Tip 3: Manage critical spares

Your equipment is made of hundreds of individual parts. These parts are often manufactured in factories around the world. And in some situations, they may not be readily available. By keeping an inventory of business-critical spare parts, you’ll be in a far better position should something go wrong.

If you don’t have the resources to manage critical spares in-house, you should absolutely consider finding a partner who can manage the supply for you.

Tip 4: Stick to a preventative maintenance schedule

Equipment won’t last forever – but a preventative maintenance schedule will certainly increase its lifetime. Gone are the days of ‘run it until it breaks’ – to maintain a healthy production environment, it’s vital that you take regular stock of your equipment and systems.

Preventative maintenance is favoured by 80% of maintenance personnel as part of a multi-faceted maintenance strategy(3). Not only does it keep you prepared for any potential failures, but it also leads to fewer unplanned breakdowns.

Additionally, it’s also recommended you monitor your equipment before and after use for any possible wear and tear, including abnormal vibrations or heat.

Tip 5: Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach

While it’s important to maintain a maintenance schedule – it’s also important to recognise that not every piece of equipment is the same. Approximately 30% of maintenance activities are carried out too frequently – which is only costing you unnecessary dollars(4). But it’s not simply a matter of going through a list and ticking each box. A compliance audit should be handled by an expert who can factor in the variables relevant to your environment. These include:

  • Identifying truly critical components
  • Understanding typical operating conditions
  • Determining the optimum frequency of inspections

All of this is aimed at keeping systems operating efficiently and within legislative requirements.

To ensure you’re maintaining best practice with your maintenance schedule, you should engage with an expert.

Tip 6: Think proactively

Proactive thinking is key to ensuring you adopt the systems and habits needed to prevent problems before they occur. Maximising equipment uptime is not simply a matter of arranging a preventative maintenance schedule. It’s also acting on any of the advice from experts when audits are conducted, as well as training staff to report anything out of the ordinary so it can be addressed.

This ultimately comes down a culture shift throughout the business. What can you do to encourage people to think long-term and be more proactive?

 

Tip 7: Have a partner you can trust

Looking through this list, optimising equipment uptime is no easy feat. It takes a lot of buy-in from both employees and stakeholders. And then managing the audits, maintenance schedules, repairs and spare parts inventories can take up a lot of resources.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. With the right partner, keeping equipment running can be a reasonably hassle-free process. At Fuelfix & Tanks2Go, we provide a customised solution that fits the unique needs of your business. We can design a preventative maintenance program to keep your system operating both efficiently and within legislative requirements.

As a nation-wide company, we have depots all across Australia. If your site is within 100km of these depots, we can help you get started maximising your equipment uptime with a free site compliance audit. Simply give our team a call on 1300 734 364 today.

 

Sources:

  1. https://partners.wsj.com/emerson/unlocking-performance/how-manufacturers-can-achieve-top-quartile-performance/
  2. https://www.aberdeen.com/techpro-essentials/stat-of-the-week-the-rising-cost-of-downtime/
  3. https://www.plantengineering.com/articles/2018-maintenance-survey-playing-offense-and-defense/
  4. http://www.plant-maintenance.com/articles/PMCostReduction.pdf

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