Reactive or proactive when it comes to the maintenance of your lifting equipment?
Better safe than sorry, as the old saying goes. Well, it applies very well to overhead cranes maintenance. An urgent service call for a critical piece of equipment can quickly become a productivity killer! An unexpected production stoppage often has far greater consequences than the efforts we would have put into proper preventive maintenance. Why is that?
Reactive or proactive? The choice is yours!
A breakdown on a critical crane leads to an inevitable reaction: a service call. This is an obvious and necessary reflex. But this is referred to as being in reactive mode. And in terms of productivity, this type of call can result in significant costs and painful results for a company. For example, if the production line is affected, we find ourselves at the mercy of our service provider. Furthermore, parts availability and unforeseen events can also affect the resolution process. Basically, we have no control. Will we have the necessary resources to act in a timely manner? With shortages and delays in multiple sectors, will we get replacement parts on such short notice? And if there are unexpected complications, what is our plan B?
In addition, it is not uncommon for a lack of preventive maintenance to result in abnormal or premature wear of parts, which can even lead to the failure of essential components that are normally designed to last. The costs associated with this collateral damage are often overlooked, but they are very real.
On the other hand, preventive and planned maintenance, which could be described as proactive, suggests efficient production and sound management. On the surface, it may seem time-consuming and costly to establish this type of maintenance plan. But it is worth it, because it will considerably reduce the aforementioned setbacks and increase productivity. Here are some examples of the benefits associated with proactive maintenance:
Faster and better delivery times for your products since you control when maintenances are scheduled;
Pressure is reduced so better work relations with employees as well as suppliers;
Reduction in crane breakdowns;
Increased health and safety at work;
In any case, embracing preventive maintenance is a choice, and a profitable one. But when you decide to take this approach, what solutions can you implement to make sure you benefit from this change in strategy?
As simple as it may seem, inspecting lifting equipmenton a regular basis and by a qualified professional (see the Repairs and Maintenance section of our website) is crucial to prevention. Some might say, “No problem, I have my cranes inspected annually!”. But true prevention is not just a routine inspection to comply with a standard. It’ s about anticipating potential problems and acting before a breakdown disrupts the entire planning. For this reason, some lifting equipment may require more frequent inspection because of its critical nature in your production line. Also, in such a context, needless to say that post-inspection repairs must be executed as soon as possible, otherwise the inspection will be a waste of time!
Another smart option is to elaborate a contingency plan. When it comes to production-critical lifting equipment, this option should be seriously considered. Do you have a plan B if one of your cranes fails? Can a 2nd piece of lifting equipment take over? Is having a replacement hoist in stock an option? If your productivity is reliant on specific hoists, it would certainly be wise to have a stockpile of critical parts in order to react quickly. Times change, and as we now know, delivery times can be affected by all sorts of events beyond our control.
Replacing certain parts as a precautionary measure should not be ruled out either. It is not a matter of wasting money by replacing parts that are still within tolerances. It is rather about intelligent preventive interventions based on observation and anticipation. For example, if 2 hoists work systematically in tandem, their wear and tear should be similar. If a part has to be replaced on one them, it is logical to assume that a replacement will be needed shortly on the other. Will the next downtime cost more than this proactive repair? If so, then the immediate intervention is more cost-effective. The first breakdown was a warning of trouble to come… but you can take advantage of this warning and turn it to your advantage! Why not capitalize on this unplanned downtime to do a targeted inspection?
Your efforts are rewarded
Being proactive requires organization, planning and commitment. So why be safe instead of sorry? Put simply, to avoid long and unnecessary down times. A company’s productivity suffers more and longer from an emergency service call than from prevention. Can your production line afford to endure this much stress? If the answer is no, choose proactive maintenance for your cranes! Premium will be happy to help you implement these solutions in your environment.
What we can do to help
Here are multiple ways Premium can assist you in implementing proactive maintenance efficiently: