Daily plant maintenance is key to keeping equipment productive. It’s easy to forget these tasks when you’re busy, but when overlooked, the tasks are more likely to cause unwanted downtime.
Joel Werly, an aggregate product support rep for the Environmental Division, suggests creating a checklist of daily tasks—including checking grease points and removing waste material around the conveyor—for employees to follow. A list makes it easy to see what needs to be done and more effectively ensure maintenance is performed.
“Laminating or taping a maintenance checklist to the control panel encourages follow through as well as accountability,” Werly said. “Every day before the plant is fired up, employees do a walkaround of the plant, perform the required checks, and initial the checklist.”
To create a checklist, consult your machine’s maintenance and operations manual. Look at the specifications for what needs to be done daily or weekly and note important information, like the correct grease for your bearings. Include a space where employees can make notes, and document the need to replace a part, for example.
“Everyone who works with the plant should know what maintenance needs to be done and how to do it,” Werly said.
Along with specific daily maintenance, your plant will benefit from daily cleaning. The areas most likely to need cleanup are at transfer points, were material comes off the conveyors. When material is allowed to pile up under the conveyor, it can cause belts to come off track and tear. Built-up material can also get into bearings and cause premature failure.
When you clean up daily, you are far more likely to notice items—such as missing flashing—that need to be addressed. “You’ll also notice if you’ve got an unusual buildup, which can help you locate a problem,” Werly said.
“Neglecting maintenance will inevitably create unnecessary downtime over the long haul,” he added. Spending 5 or 10 minutes a day on maintenance and cleaning is a small price to pay to reduce service calls and cost, and keep your machinery performing at peak production.