Sustainability Is A Choice: 4 Steps To Preventive Maintenance Of Heavy Machinery
When it comes to Heavy Machinery in the construction industry, maintenance is a valuable approach
that dictates the future of equipment functionality and on a larger scheme: the project at hand.
Maintenance in simple terms, aims to eliminate any unnecessary downtown due to equipment failure
and helps deliver efficient and qualitative service.Although many equipment users and manufacturers
have substantial access to standard maintenance practices, it is rarely that the sustainability factor is
taken into account. The real question isn’t whether or not the equipment undergoes standard maintenance practice, but whether these practices are sustainable and can be upheld for a substantial duration of time. Often in the name of equipment servicing, repairs and other miscellaneous procedures, users contribute to large amounts of waste material that can have adverse effect in the long run. Ensuring a more sustainable approach, will not only conquer the needs of the present but will also ensure doing so without comprising future generations.
As outlined by INTECH’s research on sustainable maintenance practices there are mainly four internal
practices that every organization must adopt, followed by three external practices. According to the
author Kaniyesuru, these internal and external factors go hand in hand while developing a checklist for
every organization. The internal factors of sustainable maintenance practices include:
Record keeping,the use of prognostic tools, Diagnostic tools and Machine and Technology condition monitoring.Whereas, the external factors can be identified as: Functionality, Manufacturability and EnvironmentalImpact. It is easy to get lost in the technicalities of the process, but the most important aspect is toensure that approach taken is customized to fit organizational needs as well as the external elements that come into play. For instance, depending on the budget allotment and time limits imposed on a project, or the use of equipment one might choose to take a Reactive, Preventive, Improvement or a consistent maintenance strategy. With the vast amount of strategic measures that can be taken it also essential to keep in mind the ABC’s of maintenance suggested by every manufacturers’ model.
The construction industries as a whole can however, agreeably find common ground on one thing: i.e.,
sticking to the schedule. Time is a very important factor in every project and organization and for this
reason; many opt for a more preventive strategy.
A Fool-proof approach to sustainable preventive maintenance for every organization:
- Record Keeping: As outlined earlier, record keeping is the initial step for every maintenance strategy. The goal of this step is to document every activity on the machinery which would effectively form a baseline to determine performance behavior. Keeping a record of assets and failures can help stabilize the integrated management system, especially with large inventory of machinery that each company possesses.
- Routine Checks: Routine checks are inclusive of regular inspections, cleaning and adjustments. This approach does not involve disassembling or replacement of parts is therefore carried out on an hourly, daily or even weekly basis. Cleaning equipment can go a long way in terms of adhering to health and safety standards and can therefore protect the equipment from accumulating dust and infiltrated particles such as microscopic organisms.
- Scheduled Servicing: Scheduled servicing is more involved with oiling, greasing, disassembling and replacement of parts. This a more thorough routine that should be done so at fixed intervals, or as suggested by the model’s manufacturer. These are particularly important to avoid downtime at the job site, and increase the life cycle of the machinery.
- Condition Monitoring: Condition monitory is crucial to avoid unscheduled repairs. Often times, minor repairs that could have been tackled during inspections, pile up and end up costing the organization big bucks. Condition monitory can prevent this by studying functionality such as vibration and temperature, in order to assess the possible development of a failure or repair.