Equipment breakdown, two words maintenance managers dread to hear and yet it is a regular occurrence. One which has and will always be part of the manufacturing industry. Equipment that fails is not just something that negatively affects the manufacturing process, but also the products and delivery thereof. 

So, what causes equipment to break down? 

Equipment-related Causes

  • Mechanical Failure

The loss of a single piece of machinery can bring the whole production line to a standstill. Becoming very costly as resources continue to absorb funds while the breakdown is being identified as vibration, operator abuse, mechanical shock, or collision.  Improper daily maintenance is a costly mistake made by many. Using a Computerized Maintenance Management System will help you avoid this situation by sending you prompts when maintenance on equipment is due before it fails. 

  • Thermal Failure

When your equipment is cold and it warms up as it starts to work, a problem might occur in the process. This could happen if the equipment has overheated in the past or it might just be a random incident. Remember that most equipment is made of metal and metal reacts when exposed to sudden temperature changes. Unfortunately, weather changes might also contribute to this type of failure. 

The best way to identify such a failure is to put machinery through a test where it is warmed up. Operators would have to monitor the equipment closely to see when in this process what part of the equipment causes an issue. 

  • Erratic Failure

Erratic failures are unpredictable and particularly difficult to identify. These breakdowns are often caused by unexpected overloads on either hydraulic or electrical systems. Since these failures are so difficult to find, one way to try and identify what caused them is a part-by-part replacement and inspection process. 

A Computerized Maintenance Management System sends its users notifications that reminds them to do inspections. These inspections help to identify maintenance issues before the machinery fails, meaning erratic failures are less likely to occur. 

Courtesy: Lean Manufacturing, 2019

Other Causes

  • Overworking machines

Even though one would like to get the absolute most out of equipment, running them at their maximum performance level constantly, is one way to ensure machinery will break down sooner than it should. This is because maximum performance puts a strain on machine joints. 

To prevent this, make sure you have read the information document for each piece of machinery, as therein will be guidelines about how to use equipment in a way that ensures it remains in working condition. In addition, one can also use the CMMS to leave notes about different pieces of equipment. This will help prevent an employee from overworking a machine, as they will be read the note on the CMMS and avoid using the machine longer than it should be used. 

  • Inefficient lubrication or contaminated oil

According to Bearing and Drive Systems (2020), most machine-bearing failures occur because of improper lubrication. Lubrication is crucial for machines to work effectively, and a lack thereof will quickly lead to your equipment failing. 

If, however, you use contaminated oil to lubricate machinery, frequent and on-time lubrication will be in vain. Moisture, dirt, and dust are all particles that can damage equipment components. Remember that water in oil is a dangerous and unwanted contaminant and one that must be avoided at all costs. 

A CMMS could prevent both inefficient lubrication and contaminated oil to become a problem, as it notifies maintenance technicians when oil should be changed and when which equipment should be lubricated. 

  • Poor maintenance

Skipping regular maintenance is another mistake that can cause equipment to break down sooner than expected. Remember that each piece of equipment has its own maintenance requirements and by ignoring this fact, components will wear out quicker than they should. 

Some machines will need daily maintenance, such as lubrication. Others need weekly or monthly inspections to ensure parts are working as they should. 

Proteus MMX is a next-gen Computerized Maintenance Management System, which has been designed with machine maintenance as a key requirement in mind, allowing users to schedule maintenance for each piece of equipment and receive automatic reminders when such maintenance is due. 

For more information about Proteus MMX call Eagle at 262-241-3845 or send us an email or schedule a demo.