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Preventative Maintenance Aids Metalforming

Beck Low Rez

Minimize downtime, increase production and profits

In today's economy, it is more important than ever to protect your investments, and one of the largest investments a company can make is their capital equipment.

One of the best ways to protect your metalforming equipment is by performing regular preventative maintenance. The benefits of preventative maintenance are keeping downtime to a minimum, which increases production, and in turn, increases profits while keeping your customers happy by providing on-time deliveries. This can include a multitude of tasks on your metalforming machinery from greasing components, to sharpening or replacing dies and blades, to retracing or replacing roll tooling. To make sure the machine is running at peak performance with the least amount of down time, it may be worth having spare parts on the shelf so they are readily available for replacement.

Since machine manufacturers all have different recommendations as to when this work should be performed, it can become quite cumbersome to create a procedure to make sure everything is being maintained correctly and on time. Preventative maintenance can be performed in-house by a maintenance staff or can be contracted out to a third party to ensure it is being performed properly and on schedule. While in-house maintenance can be the most economical, it can also be the least effective if it's not being performed. The biggest question is when and how to perform these tasks. Advantages of preplanned maintenance can be longer life of the metalforming equipment, less unexpected downtime, or could result in an extended warranty by the manufacturer.


Technology Solutions

In the past few years with preventative maintenance taking a bigger role within a company's normal operating procedures, technology is there to provide solutions. With today's technology, your machine can notify both maintenance personnel and management when specific preventative maintenance is due, past due or has been performed. This can adhere to the manufacturer's specifications, whether it's based on time, lineal footage or press cycles. Once the maintenance staff is notified a procedure is due, the staff can easily pull up procedures as to how the task needs to be performed, whether it's basic instructions, pictures or even a video. It can also tell maintenance personnel how long it should take to perform the task. By providing staff with the information they need to complete a task at its fingertips, it is more likely it will be completed correctly and on time.

An added benefit of having preventative maintenance technology is being able to easily track what has been performed, when it has been performed, and how long it took to perform it so there is accountability. Management can easily track what has been completed and what is coming up, which helps schedule around production. Trends can be discovered so corrections can be made. Knowing how long it will take to perform preventive maintenance, a schedule can be developed to incorporate it with production, upgrades and modifications to your metalforming equipment.


Investment Return

What does all of this mean for your company? It means that you can get more return out of your investment with more throughput, less downtime and more out of your employees by providing better direction as to what is expected from them. Ultimately, equipment uptime means happier customers, which is what every company tries to achieve.

Shawn Huffman is sales manager at St. Louis-based Beck Automation, a Bradbury Group company, Moundridge, Kan. To learn more, visit