By: David Roberge on June 28th, 2019
Why Preventative Maintenance is Important for Packaging Line Machinery
Equipment | Technical Service and Support | Plant Performance
Your packaging line is one of the most important parts of your production line. This is where you protect your product and where the visual display for your product line in the market place comes to life. The packaging machines that comprise your line need to be kept in good repair if you want to have a successful production.
Having a plan for regular preventive maintenance (PM) should be a requirement in your plan for many reasons. Here are a few of the top reasons that preventative maintenance (PM) is important for your packaging machinery:
Unexpected and unplanned downtime brings unexpected and unpleasant costs. These costs are often comprised of productivity loss to additional costs of damaged parts that could have been avoided if proper preventative maintenance was performed.
In some cases, additional costs may include missed shipments and unhappy retailers and customers. Additionally, an un-maintained machine becomes a ticking time bomb that can cost hundreds of times more in repairs than it would had the issues been recognized and remedied during a regularly planned PM.
A machine that is down when it should be running gets very expensive. Consider the cost of your labor force that now is sitting around on the clock because they are not able to perform their job duties. Also take into consideration the small part that became worn that would have been caught during a planned PM. That small part will often cause a larger repair bill, damaging other parts as it breaks.
Keeping up with regular maintenance on your packaging line can mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime and keep your production schedule on target. Once you begin a PM program you can plan downtime around your production needs. Performing PM's should be built in to your production schedule so your packaging line doesn't go down when you need it most.
Scheduling regular Preventative Maintenance gives you the control of your production and a major reduction in how much you will spend on maintenance and repairs in the long run.
Do you have a packaging machine that is questionable for repair or refurbishment? Take our quick quiz to determine whether the cost of repair/refurbishing is worth it or if you are better off purchasing new machinery here!
Better Machinery Efficiency
There will be times when you don’t expect your machine to break down and it does, unfortunately this does happen. Scheduling regular PM’s helps you minimize these unscheduled break downs. It shouldn't stop at regular maintenance either, you can become more efficient with that scheduled downtime with regular care of the packaging machinery by operators as well.
A great way to make your PM's and ultimately your entire packaging process smoother and more efficient is to develop a daily checklist for your machine operators to perform before starting and ending their shifts. This checklist can include machinery wipe-downs and checks for proper operations at the start and end of each shift.
Your machine operators should be experts in the machinery that they work with. Provide them with the training and hands-on work that will help them to fully understand the machinery they use to package your products. Training documents that show the basic cleaning and visual checks they should perform with images are ideal.
The regular operators should be able to identify where there may be issues with the machines they work with based on visual and audible cues. They should also know how to remedy them if it is an easy fix or to ask for help before causing further damage if they notice something more complex.
Knowledge of your process and what each of your packaging machines are being used for allows for better preparation of what parts will wear and how much run time you can expect to get from these worn parts. This also allows you to change them before they slow down your production.
When your machines are well-maintained, you can rely on their efficiency and the parts running in top-performance. Whether through past experience or working with your parts supplier or technician, gain an understanding of what parts wear fastest on your machinery.
Gather a list of spare and replacement parts to keep on hand to reduce the length of time you would be down if these parts were to wear unexpectedly. The more prepared you are with spare and replacement parts on hand, the less your overhead cost will be and the less your production schedule will be impacted.
Properly maintained machinery doesn't just benefit your business internally with reliability, but your customers will be confident in their reliance on you to meet their needs for product and replenishment. Don't forget that proper preventative maintenance keeps your customers happy as well!
More Safety And Less Risk Of Hazardous Environments
Safety should be number one in your book, for your employees and your customers. Keep your machines from failing and causing a hazardous work environment.
Regular preventative maintenance allows your technician the time to inspect the electrical and safety features for proper operation and to do more in-depth digging to find potential hazards that your machinery could create. When your machine operators perform their autonomous duties while cleaning the machinery on your packaging line, they will only be checking for obvious visible or audible issues. They aren't going to be able to catch the hidden issues that your technician can while performing an in-depth PM.
Preventive maintenance not only saves costs, but it improves your reliability as a business and provides a safer work environment for your employees. If you're interested in learning more about protecting your capital investments with one of our experiences Service Technicians, start a conversation with our team today.
Not sure if your packaging machine is ready to kick the bucket? Take our quick quiz to determine without question if you should repair, refurbish or buy new packaging machine replacement!
About David Roberge
I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.