In the factory environment, continuous improvement is part of the job. The factory that’s getting smarter, better, and faster is the factory that’s coming out ahead of its competition. In this highly competitive arena, the smallest differences give manufacturers the biggest edge. In this way, improving your industrial maintenance’s quality has the power to set you apart in terms of efficiency, reliability, quality, and production capacity.
These improvements don’t just come from stricter adherence to maintenance. They come from better maintenance. Here are five ways to get ahead of the competition, focused exclusively on improving the caliber of maintenance in your factory:
1. Educate your techs. Ultimately, the best maintenance will come at the hands of qualified professionals who can deliver it with thoroughness, precision, and foresight. Tools in the hands of educated maintenance techs see better, more efficient use than in the hands of someone who knows only the bare minimum. Even more important, ongoing education better equips maintenance techs to troubleshoot the obstacles of new technologies your factory may adopt.
2. Use proven OEM parts. Sticking to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts is a sure way to do right by your machinery. Using OEM parts ensures a level of maintenance or repair that’s on par with factory standards and specifications. While aftermarket components may promise better performance or results, they’re often not a direct replacement for OEM components. OEM parts also come with the manufacturer’s warranty and benefit from servicing by factory-trained techs if required.
3. Recognize preventive maintenance opportunities. Routine inspections and check-ins with equipment are simple tasks, yet highly effective at reducing instances of failure and downtime. Learning to capitalize on preventive maintenance opportunities is your team’s key in delivering a better standard for maintenance overall. When rolled into routine, scheduled maintenance, preventive approaches compound your efforts to keep machinery functioning efficiently and with peak uptime.
4. Create KPIs for maintenance. Without a benchmark for quality maintenance, how do you know if you’re meeting expectations? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential in bringing better maintenance standards to your facilities. Determine and track the variables that are important to you, document approaches toward improving them, and track tangibles that gauge improvement or regression. KPIs create accountability in your maintenance operations, which sets a higher standard for excellence among techs.
5. Invest in maintenance. Quality maintenance can only go so far without the latest tools, technologies, and practices. To boost your maintenance results, make sure you’re empowering maintenance operations within your facilities. Invest in state-of-the-art tools and equipment, lean studies and integrations, and data collection systems. Adopt this mindset: Maintenance is not a cost, but an investment.
Maintenance goes beyond doing the right thing at the right time. To truly achieve better results and a higher standard of quality in your facilities, make sure you’re observing these five critical steps.