Fit-for-purpose bulk materials handling equipment is a unique market. Designing and building the perfect solution to suit your company’s precise needs is high-tech, detail-oriented work. And an investment in custom machinery is one of the most significant your company will make in terms of capital expense — because it’s designed to continuously operate for decades.
Once your machine is up and running, keeping it in good shape means taking a proactive approach to maintenance to maximize its operating efficiency and minimize unplanned downtime. Research shows 90% of unforeseen machine downtime comes down to three factors — all of which are manageable. The main contributing factors to unplanned downtime are:
- Manual intervention outside of safety guidelines.
- Inconsistent preventive maintenance.
- Subpar replacement parts.
Machine operators and other industrial personnel get to know their machines, and they gain a level of expertise regarding the machine’s function and operating capabilities. So, it may seem like common sense for someone who works with, or in proximity to, a machine to “take a look” when something seems to be going wrong. They may even try to make repairs. But maintenance, repairs, and other “adjustments” performed by untrained personnel are a safety hazard — and can cause bigger problems than they were meant to solve. Unplanned downtime is a serious problem, but unplanned downtime exacerbated by employee injury and/or extensive, and potentially expensive, repairs is catastrophic. It’s safer — and cheaper — to have your machine attended to by a professional who knows it inside and out.
Preventive maintenance is a part of every industrial machine’s lifecycle. Think of it as you would your regular checkups from the doctor or dentist. Preventive maintenance keeps your machine in good health and operating at peak performance and efficiency. Regular checkups can identify abnormal levels of spillage, unusual wear, or other potential issues and apply “early intervention” to avoid costly repairs, and the specter of unplanned downtime, down the line. Preventive maintenance is vital to optimizing, and even extending, your machine’s operating life.
Subpar spare parts
Spare parts are another inevitability of life with industrial machines. Machines, and their parts, are designed to work within specific parameters for a specific period of time. When properly maintained and operated, machines perform and wear in predictable ways. With custom bulk materials handling equipment, and all its varied and various moving parts, there will come a time when one or more parts need replacing. Ideally, this will occur precisely on schedule and coincide with a planned maintenance downtime.
Fit-for-purpose machines are literally one of a kind. So, where do you source quality spare parts for your machine? Since every business is in business to make money, cutting costs is a frequent area of focus for boosting profit margins — and spare machine parts are a tempting target. But it’s not a good idea.
Let’s assume your custom bulk handling machine has been in place and operating as expected for the expected operating period. It’s time for your machine’s scheduled downtime for preventive maintenance — it’s “checkup” — and in this case, you need to replace a part approaching the end of its wear life. You have a choice to make. Do you source the part from a third-party vendor at a lower price, and lower quality standard, or do you capitalize on the relationship you’ve built with the company that designed, manufactured, and installed your machine?
Remember, your machine has worked to your expectations thus far — with parts in place from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Third-party parts may save you a little money now, but in the long-term, low-quality spare parts can contribute to more costly repairs and yet more unplanned downtime. The OEM is as invested in your machine’s successful operation as you are, which makes them the ideal source for high-quality spare parts.
The OEM difference
When you understand the implications and repercussions of unscheduled downtime, you make informed decisions for optimal machine operation. Trained technicians, regular service, and OEM spare parts make all the difference.
$10 in preventive maintenance is preferable to $100 in emergency repairs and downtime — every single time.
AMECO Group’s machine portfolio boasts 400+ machines. Half of them have been in continuous operation for 20 years or more, and each one is unique to the customer’s bulk handling requirements and operating conditions. Because we design, manufacture, install, and service our custom, fit-for-purpose machines, we know each one from the inside out and the ground up, and we assist with on and offsite spare parts management to ensure you have the parts you need. AMECO Group’s value-added maintenance and service program — and high-quality OEM replacement parts — protect your machine from unplanned downtime, extend its operating life, and provide you with the same source of reliable expertise for its entire lifecycle.
At AMECO Group, we pride ourselves on the longevity and dependability of our machines. Our success depends on yours, and our expertise is at your service.
Learn more at ameco-group.com/services.