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Preventative Maintenance: The Key to Fast Equipment Breakdown Recovery

Deon McHatton, (3 min read)

Times are hard for the manufacturing industry. As we know well, the Australian manufacturing sector of the future will feature specialised, innovative companies that recognise the importance of productivity and efficiency.


In this context, machinery breakdown has to be handled quickly and effectively. Production downtime is damaging to productivity. Whenever and wherever breakdowns occur they need to be overcome as quickly as possible. Businesses must have plans in place to get production back up and running as soon as possible.


As it stands, however, downtime is at the same level today as it was 30 years ago. And, as CIO notes, 78 per cent of Australian organisations are not fully confident in their ability to recover after a production disruption.


This is unsurprising, given that the failure of a single item can be enough to cause total plant shutdown. Looking at a whole system and diagnosing the problem, pinpointing that one faulty component, is not an easy task.


Once the part is identified, the next task is to determine why the failure has occurred. Those responsible for maintenance have to ask why the part is not doing what the task is designed to do; or why a process is not having the desired outcome. On top of that, today’s manufacturing plants are becoming more and more reliant on data. Thus, plant shutdowns can be the result of either operational or network failure.


It is not necessarily economical for manufacturers to devote full-time resources to maintenance planning. On one hand, they don’t want to have full-time staff without enough work to keep them occupied and, on the other hand, they don’t want to go without an optimised maintenance plan and try to do without the expertise of qualified engineers in this area.


For that large majority of Australian businesses which are not confident in their maintenance action plan, obtaining the assistance of a third-party provider in this area makes good sense. It can help them plan and understand how to coordinate both scheduled and response-based maintenance most effectively.


Maintenance providers deliver Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which outline their areas of responsibility and can leave manufactures at ease in the knowledge that their maintenance need are being met. SLAs typically cover all relevant areas, including rapid response and resolution time target metrics, access and auditing of critical spares, data diagnostics, system back-ups and software updates. 


When a machine stops, it can quickly escalate to calling in external help – sometimes unnecessarily. The Breakdown Checklist is designed to get you back online faster. It will get your team thinking about what caused the breakdown and assess the need for external advice. Download the free downtime checklist here.

Get the checklist!

SAGE Automation delivers agile, scalable and secure solutions that don’t just solve current problems, they preempt and deter future ones, helping your organisation thrive. With years of experience working in defence, infrastructure, resources, utilities and manufacturing we have the expertise you need to custom-build or perform manufacturing maintenance on your equipment for maximum ROI.

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