When it comes to grease, we know lubricants reduce friction around moving parts. Therefore, a schedule of good lubrication maintenance extends the life of large machinery and parts. Preventive maintenance is more than regular maintenance like lubricating and changing and filters. A proper preventive maintenance (PM) program is all-inclusive. It’s an intentional approach to equipment management from the time equipment is purchased until the end of its useful life.
Being proactive in your maintenance schedule helps prevent expensive downtime. Regular maintenance also helps predict when failure is likely to occur, allowing you to find a solution to problems before they happen. In real dollars, preventive maintenance can reduce machinery repair bills by 25 percent.
Fluids, oils and grease are among the components that have to be checked regularly for preventive maintenance. It’s important to know what needs to be inspected and when. Here are a few examples:
- Gearboxes need to be checked for lubrication, vibration and damage to parts.
- Friction materials, seals, gaskets and bearings all should be inspected for wear and replaced if necessary.
- Bearings are vital to large machinery performance. Check their lubrication often. Maintaining the bearings well extends their life.
- Following these steps can significantly extend the useful life of your machinery, improving your return on investment by avoiding costly repairs and downtime.
Add and Test Lubricants Frequently
Lubrication is one of the first and most important of maintenance checks. Look for signs of excess oil or grease build-up on pistons. Check for leaks around seals.
Be sure to use the right lubricant. There are specific types of grease for each component. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Having the lubricants checked by an expert is also a good way to diagnose problems with machinery. Experts analyze particles in the used oil. The makeup of any contaminants will indicate which part may be suffering from wear or breakdown that can be looked into before a machine goes down, saving significant time and money.
Check for Signs of Wear and Keep Records
Vibration, shock, high temperatures, friction and age all contribute to the breakdown of parts in machinery. Age also affects many key components. Over time, belts will warp. Seals will dry and crack. Bolts loosen. Be sure to factor in the age of your equipment in your preventive maintenance program. And if you do discover wear and tear on any moving parts within your equipment, be sure to quickly perform the necessary replacement of any worn parts.
Implementing an all-inclusive preventive maintenance program, paying extra attention to lubrication, checking for signs of wear, leakage and keeping records of age and signs of wear, are steps you can take to save money on machine maintenance by avoiding the cost of downtime and machinery repairs.