Production uptime in glass processing factory: gain your competitive advantage (1/2)

If your glass processing equipment is not running, it’s costing you money. No matter what production technology you have. You’ll miss your delivery times, probably risk losing your customers or at least lower their satisfaction. It’s worth taking a look at your maintenance process. In essence, the main purpose of maintenance is to ensure that your equipment is operating at full production efficiency at all times – which simply means that it is continuously making you money.

Choosing the right maintenance strategy – your way to keep your money-maker running.

Before going into maintenance solutions, the first thing for you to decide on is your maintenance strategy, in other words, the way you manage your maintenance.

In short, there are two main things to consider:

  • Who will do the maintenance?
  • How it will be done?

The question of who is about whether you will carry out maintenance with your own people or if you will outsource it. Both can get you excellent results. The best solution depends on your overall situation. Here are couple of points to consider:

  • Overall costs: Which way will I reach the most cost-efficient and professional solution that guarantees my equipment uptime?
  • Fixed vs. variable costs: My own staff will be a fixed cost that is difficult to reduce when business is slower. Is it of value to me to have cost flexibility?
  • Forecasting the costs: A full-scale maintenance contract can work as an insurance policy with a pre-fixed price. Is it important for me to know the exact cost of maintenance upfront and avoid any unpleasant surprises?

The most important point is to keep the equipment running. The cost is practically always secondary to the importance of keeping your machinery up and running. This is the case in 95% of all processing factories.

The question of how you handle your maintenance has even more of an impact on the actual result than who is doing it. There are three main options for how to carry out maintenance:

  • Corrective / reactive
  • Preventive
  • Condition-based / predictive

The traditional strategy for industrial equipment has been corrective or reactive maintenance. This “run-to-fail” strategy is appropriate for assets whose failure will not compromise operations and which can return to service quickly and easily.

Some equipment failures, like those of a tempering line, can shutdown the entire glass processing factory. A different maintenance strategy has evolved to avoid asset failures. This is called preventive maintenance. This strategy aims at preventing equipment failure from happening before it actually occurs. Preventive maintenance actions, such as a scheduled maintenance program, reduce the probability of unexpected downtime and are always equipment specific.

Full-scale preventive maintenance can be expensive. Therefore, a new maintenance strategy was developed known as condition-based or predictive maintenance. Using this strategy, the condition of the equipment is monitored regularly until it begins to show evidence of deteriorating performance. Maintenance is then performed “just-in-time” to prevent equipment failure. For example, predictive maintenance is often based on the analysis of the bearing heat signature, lubricant condition and rotating equipment vibration.

The most effective maintenance strategy should be selected by you, the person in charge of business performance – and the maintenance experts who have sufficient knowledge of the equipment and application demands.

When you consider the how for your tempering line maintenance, you need to check:

  • How important it is to me to keep the equipment running? If this is a high priority, how will I make sure to do the preventive program as guided?
  • What kind of maintenance programs do different tempering line suppliers have? Can I do these with my existing organization?
  • Do they have ready and clear preventive programs?
  • What predictive maintenance possibilities do they offer?

 Get a strategist for your maintenance – and maintenance can turn into your competitive advantage!

Stay tuned for the second part where we go through how you can increase your productivity and production uptime with spare part arrangements and continuous knowledge building.

If you want to learn more today, contact us to get free guidance on how your maintenance can be handled.

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Sobre o autor

Pyry Ollonqvist

“Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Professional with over 10 years of experience in the fields of international business development, marketing and sales. Holds a MSc in Mechanical Engineering. Strongly believes in new business models, e-commerce and Internet technologies.