Common Industrial Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Industrial settings have a lot of specialized equipment that must be inspected and repaired on a regular basis. A failure to do so could result in significant downtime, crippling expense, or, worse, accidents and injuries. Companies that don’t have a comprehensive industrial maintenance plan or who don’t hire a knowledgeable industrial services provider such as STI Group to do routine work are at a significant disadvantage. We’ve created this list of common maintenance mistakes and what companies can do to avoid them.
Maintenance Mistakes: A Reactive Approach
Perhaps the most common pitfall of maintenance is simply ignoring it. Industrial companies that don’t make routine inspections and repairs a priority tend to take a reactive approach – dealing with major breakdowns as they occur – instead of a proactive approach that prevents the breakdowns in the first place. Unfortunately, when major emergencies come up, they can mean extended downtime for the facility along with costly repairs and the potential for injured workers.
Industrial facilities can help avoid these dangerous situations by putting these solutions into place:
- Creating a comprehensive maintenance plan and schedule
- Implementing a system by which workers can report broken or breaking equipment
- Establishing a responsible and realistic maintenance budget during financial planning sessions
- Contracting with a highly trained industrial services provider such as STI Group
Maintenance Mistakes: Lack of Training
Because providing maintenance in an industrial setting requires service professionals with a specific set of skills and knowledge, a business that chooses to contract with an inadequately trained provider, or who attempts to do the work in house without the proper expertise, puts itself at risk. Repair personnel who aren’t familiar with the specific needs of the specialized machinery may try to work on the equipment anyway, leading to even worse breakdowns or injury. Service workers who are unsure of their skills may also cause delays and create greater expense.
When hiring a maintenance provider for a facility, these are the attributes owners should to look for:
- Large base of industrial-specific mechanical knowledge
- Desire to reduce downtime and make repairs safely
- A commitment to safety and quality
- Calm and effective in high-pressure situations
- A strong reputation in the industry
Maintenance Mistakes: Poor Communication
Few things are more frustrating than not being able to find the right person to talk to in emergencies. Industrial facilities will almost certainly want to talk to the same service staff person every time to make sure messages and directions are clear. Communication that takes the long route to find the right ears often tends to be inaccurate or incomplete and can lead to delays.
Reputable industrial maintenance providers such as STI Group place a high importance on good communication. Here are the key qualities to seek out:
- A single point of contact who is helpful and knowledgeable
- A communication system that expedites repairs
- A provider who is open to feedback, suggestions, and concerns
Maintenance Mistakes: Subpar Industrial Service Companies
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes a company can make when it comes to maintenance is to put its trust in an industrial services company that is not interested in creating long-term partnerships. A here-today-gone-tomorrow service provider will not be around long enough to truly get to understand the day-to-day culture of each industrial facility and to have its best operating procedures at heart. Workers will never be trained adequately because the company will have a constantly shifting set of employees.
In order to avoid subpar companies facilities should look for maintenance companies who:
- Prioritize the facility and work with diligence and professionalism
- Want to create a long-term relationship
- Make sure workers are trained in the different specialized equipment used at each facility
Unfortunately some facilities do fall victim to some of the maintenance mistakes discussed above, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With some planning and responsibility, companies can partner with reputable maintenance and industrial service providers who can help keep the plant up and running smoothly. STI Group is proud to offer industry leading industrial maintenance services.