One of the worst things that can happen in an industrial facility is the breakdown of machinery. Unscheduled downtime is costly. Not only is there the cost of fixing the broken machinery to get it up and running again, but there is also lost profit because that machinery stalled production.
Overall equipment effectiveness, or OEE, measures the percentage of planned production time that is productive. While shooting for 100 percent OEE is unrealistic, most manufacturing lines are only producing an OEE score of around 60 percent with tremendous opportunity for improvement.
Oftentimes, the reason industrial facilities don’t have higher OEE scores is due to being reactive rather than proactive. Rather than implementing tasks to keep industrial equipment online longer and producing more efficiently, managers tend to wait for breakdowns and other complications to occur. Not only does this directly impact the company’s bottom line, but it could have been prevented.
Here are some ways to prevent your industrial machinery from breaking down and causing unscheduled downtime.
1. Take the Time to Train Machine Operators Properly
A common issue among industrial manufacturing facilities is the lack of continual training given to machine operators. A manager providing a quick “how to” is not sufficient when it comes to teaching an operator how to run the machine, check it as it operates, clean the parts, and troubleshoot issues.
Operating manuals are a great place to start. By giving machine operators access to the manuals for the industrial equipment they will be manning, these operators are being set up for success before they even hit the factory floor. Then, time spent with the manager is more productive because they have a stronger base of knowledge to ask questions and review the machinery.
However, initial training is not enough. Ongoing training is important to ensure employees are following proper procedures for operating and cleaning. There is always room for improvement.
2. Schedule Regular Downtime
Regular scheduled downtime is imperative to the longevity of an industrial machine and its parts. During scheduled downtime is when any intensive equipment inspections take place, minor repairs can be caught and made, lubricants can be added where needed, and other required preventive maintenance is completed.
Without scheduled downtime, these items are often not caught or overlooked until it’s too late and the machinery fails.
In addition to saving your machines, scheduled downtime will also make a positive impact on your OEE. Scheduled downtime is scheduled loss - there was never any intention of running production during that time. When calculating OEE, plants only take into consideration unscheduled downtime as that is a loss in time and money.
3. Implement a Thin Film Coating to Protect Machine Parts Long Term
When it comes to industrial machinery, parts will last much longer when they can be protected from extreme wear-and-tear. Parts needed to be protected from corrosion with an agent that is highly wear resistant, highly lubricant and conformal to the substrate.
Further, the thin film needs to maintain its properties even within the extreme operating temperatures that industrial machinery reach. Diamond-like carbon coating, or DLC, is that thin film.
Diamond-Like Carbon Coating by IHC
Industrial Hard Carbon’s DLC coatings allow industrial machinery to reach its maximum lifespan, and increases machine uptime as its characteristics protect parts and keep them clean.
For example, IHC DLC coated machine components life spans have exceeded 12 years in a continuous manufacturing environment. Some coated machine parts can last the life of the machinery depending on the specific application. Maximize critical machinery part life spans with high performance DLC coatings. Drive cost savings, higher productivity, and increased profitability for your business today!
Regardless of the equipment your industrial facility has or what your direct needs are, IHC can help. Our team of trained thin film engineers can help you derive the custom coating solution for your specific machinery applications. Call 704-498-1488 to speak to an engineer today, or download the free eBook below to learn more about improving OEE in your industrial facility.