The Profit-Boosting Benefits of Planned Maintenance

Posted On: June 24, 2015 in Maintenance

Today’s modern warehouses place an emphasis on efficiency. Technology improvements have increased throughput, sped up inventory turns and improved worker productivity. Maintaining efficiency in this fast-paced environment requires highly reliable material-handling assets.

Equipment failures are expensive events. The cost of repairing equipment is often miniscule compared to the direct costs of lost time and productivity resulting from the failure. Consider the case of a forklift with a broken hydraulic pump: The pump is a relatively minor repair, but losing forklift productivity for a day can cost thousands of dollars in missed shipments and performance penalties. In high-speed environments, the cost of unplanned downtime is high.

Don't wait until your equipment fails.
Don’t wait until your equipment fails.

The Solution: Planned Maintenance

In response to the need for improved asset availability, planned maintenance (PM) has emerged as a facility management best practice. Whereas traditional maintenance programs wait until equipment fails before intervening, planned maintenance takes a proactive approach to maintenance, using scheduled inspections and servicing to detect and correct issues before they cause failures.

Implementing a PM Program

Developing a PM program is not hard. With a little effort, any shop can implement and benefit from one. The steps below will help you set up your PM program:

  1. Identify equipment that needs regular servicing. Walk through your facility and make a list of all items that need periodic attention. While motors, drives and moving equipment are obvious items, don’t forget to include often neglected assets such as overhead doors, dock levelers, balers and compactors
  2. Determine the maintenance interval. For each asset on your list, determine the type of service and service interval. This information can be found in manufacturer’s product documentation, online or by contacting a trusted vendor.
  3. Decide who does what. Review your internal resources, workload and skills to decide who will perform each maintenance task. While maintenance employees are well suited to perform common maintenance tasks, certain tasks require unique expertise. For example, fire safety systems (e.g., fire drop doors or fire suppression equipment) can require specialized equipment, licensing and skills to maintain. These types of maintenance tasks are best outsourced to professionals.
  4. Develop a master maintenance schedule. Steps one through three help develop a list of what needs to be maintained, when to conduct the service and who will perform each task. Now you need to compile this information into a master schedule to keep track of the maintenance tasks. For smaller shops, paper-based or spreadsheet tracking will often suffice. For larger shops, a number of software packages are available to help you keep track of your maintenance schedule.
  5. Take action. You know what to do, when to do it and who is going to do it. Congratulations on developing a PM program! However, without action, the best laid plans will not deliver results. Stay on top of the scheduled PM activities to ensure you realize the full benefit.

McKinley is committed to our customers. In addition to our comprehensive product offering, we also provide a range of maintenance services. These maintenance services are not limited to our product line—we are able to service a wide-range of warehouse assets from most major manufacturers. Contact us today to learn how our service packages can keep your operation running smoothly and lower your overall cost of equipment ownership.