6 Tips for Maintaining Manufacturing Facilities
by Sumona Business Development 17 November 2022
Owning or running a manufacturing facility involves a lot of logistical work and attention to detail. You need everything to be delivered on time to clients and shipping destinations, and you need to do that while considering a number of factors.
Those include your staffing levels, possibly emergencies, shipping issues, and equipment problems. One of the best things you can do to keep your facility up to speed is to make sure that it is well-maintained at all times.
A poorly maintained facility is asking for trouble. You may have yet to have problems, but when something goes wrong, your entire system could be disrupted, leading to delays in production and angry clients and bosses. Maintenance can be a safety issue as well.
Workers could slip on debris or get electrocuted by exposed wires, among other things. Therefore, keeping your workplace safe and well-kept should be your top priority since everything you do can be negatively affected otherwise.
Here are 6 tips for maintaining manufacturing facilities that you should follow
1. Have a Plan
To be effective at maintaining your workplace, you need a plan. It should be detailed, and it should outline all of the roles and responsibilities that everyone has. It is a team effort, and everyone must do their part. This includes regular cleaning, inspections, and monitoring.
If you don’t have a plan, things will be done haphazardly, and your employees will not make maintenance a priority daily. It’s much easier to stay focused on your daily production tasks and neglect maintenance tasks if they are not a part of your job description.
In addition, your maintenance plan can be updated regularly as things change or if you notice something that is being missed.
2. Make Sure That Tools and Equipment Are Always Well-Stocked
Your maintenance plan should be ongoing, and any disruptions to that plan should be avoided. This means you have to avoid delays caused by a shortage of supplies or equipment. For example, mopping the floor should not be put off because you don’t have any floor cleaners available.
Or, if parts need to be adjusted on your equipment, the tools needed to do so must be kept somewhere permanently, so they are less likely to go missing.
You are well-stocked, including parts for your equipment. If there are parts that wear down or break regularly, then have replacements ready to go at all times. Your workers can then make a quick fix and get production back on track again. If you don’t have a part in-house, then you will have to deal with long delays while you source a part and have it shipped or even during the time it takes for someone to run to the store.
3. Easy Disposal
One thing that is very common in manufacturing facilities is the accumulation of debris. It could be wood, metal shards, or large pieces of material that should be disposed of. This can create safety hazards as workers could trip on them.
It can also cause production issues if workers need to keep working and navigating around the debris to do their jobs. You need to make it as easy as possible for workers to put refuse into the appropriate containers.
You should have trash cans around the facility for quick access. Having one at every workstation would be ideal. To make things even more efficient, you can have self dumping hoppers available for easy disposal and transport out of the facility. The easier you make it on your employees, the more likely you will get buy-in from everyone.
4. Have Service Agreements
If something breaks in your facility, then it can cause big delays and big costs. You will have to pay for the repairs, and you will lose money on the delays of getting your products manufactured and out the door. Investing in service agreements for your equipment and utilities is always a good idea.
The providers will regularly come to inspect your machinery, HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical. You can also have safety professionals check on your safety protocols and equipment. Regular inspections and maintenance allow you to catch any problems before they get too big, and you will save by preventing large repairs down the road.
5. Plan Maintenance and Deep Cleaning Around Low-Volume Times
There may be times during the year when you need to shut certain equipment off to provide it with maintenance or when you need to do a deeper clean that goes beyond the everyday jobs. Try and plan these for when your facility is at low capacities, such as seasonally or even overnight.
Some maintenance for equipment can take several hours. Switch up some schedules so that you have people working on preventative maintenance when things are slow so that you disrupt your production schedule as little as possible. This will also place less pressure on workers to get those jobs done quickly so that they are more likely to pay attention to details.
Communication is key when it comes to an effective maintenance plan. Make sure you have regular meetings and updates, so it is always at the top of everyone’s minds. There should be signs indicating broken equipment, unsafe areas, or wet floors.
You can also put up signs around your building to remind people about regular tasks and habits that they should be doing every day. Make sure your team has an open door to come and talk about any issues they are having since they are the ones on the front lines. They may know more about what is going on than you do.
Maintenance is vital to any manufacturing facility. You need to make sure that you are running efficiently and effectively at all times with as little downtime as possible. Use these tips to make it happen for your workplace.