Best Practices for Industrial Maintenance

February 15, 2016

Industrial maintenance is a crucial element for the success of industrial facilities. Proper industrial maintenance keeps machinery running at optimal efficiency, prevents unplanned outages and increased repair costs, and most importantly prevents dangerous safety hazards. Optimal efficiency and safety are also key to improving output and quality with better maintenance. To reap these rewards facilities must take an active, diligent approach to industrial maintenance – whether that means doing it in-house with their own team or outsourcing the task to an industrial maintenance company. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for industrial maintenance.

Create a Detailed Maintenance Plan

Industrial companies can prevent excessive downtime and potential worker injury with a carefully set maintenance routine for their facilities. The plan should be comprehensive, detailed, and accompanied by a set schedule. It is not enough to take a reactive approach to industrial maintenance that only seeks to address problems as they arise; for best success it is crucial to enact a proactive plan that ensures all key pieces of equipment are well maintained and that minor issues are resolved before they can turn into major problems. A detailed plan is a cornerstone of a proactive maintenance strategy. Delve into the importance of a proactive approach to industrial maintenance.

Secure the Maintenance Resources

In order for a detailed maintenance plan to be successful, adequate resources must be in place to facilitate it. This will include establishing a realistic maintenance budget. It will also require that the company either hire and train a maintenance team, contract with a 3rd party industrial maintenance company, or establish a hybrid of these approaches. For example the facility may have a small maintenance crew on hand to handle minor issues and day-to-day repairs but have a specialized industrial maintenance company come out for larger, more complicated or time-consuming maintenance tasks.

Name a Point Person

After a professional maintenance provider has been contracted or other resources have been put in place it is important to name a point person who will oversee maintenance. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with repairs, replacements, and the maintenance schedule and will also ensure that someone is accountable. In addition to a point person at the industrial facility itself, if a third party industrial maintenance company is being used it is also important to establish a reliable point of contact (POC) at the company.

Plan for Emergencies

Sometimes, anticipating a worst-case scenario is an effective planning tool. Planning ahead can increase worker safety and reduce the amount of time the facility is offline. The maintenance crew or company should also make sure to have all necessary parts and equipment on hand to quickly and effectively handle maintenance emergencies. Likewise it is important to have an adequate maintenance workforce either on hand or on call who can quickly mobilize to address emergencies.

Perform Periodic Assessments

Because every facility is different in its routine needs, managers should reassess the maintenance plan on a periodic basis to see what’s working, what can be improved, and what’s no longer necessary. It’s important to stock key maintenance materials and not skimp on quality or quantity. The service provider might also offer some insight into what routine work should be added to the overall plan. Plus, this is a good time to look at which equipment might be getting due for upgrades or replacements.

The importance of high quality, routine industrial maintenance cannot be overstated. STI Group is proud to provide consistent, high quality industrial maintenance services. We will work closely with our clients to implement and adhere to a comprehensive industrial maintenance plan.