Everyone is familiar with the adage that time is money. That principle is true in many industries, but perhaps auto manufacturing exemplifies this truth. Some estimate that unscheduled equipment downtime costs the industry tens of thousands of dollars every second.
All machines require downtime at some point, but when that happens due to equipment failure through a lack of adequate auto factory maintenance, it’s a cost that could be avoided. With enormous pressures on the economy, it’s inevitable that some will be tempted to take short cuts to save money.
In this article, we will talk you through 7 auto factory maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them. Seeing these in black and white will give you the clarity of thought needed to makes the right decisions when it comes to maintenance.
1.Failure to Plan
The key to meaningful maintenance is planning ahead. It should already be known what the maintenance needs of equipment are. Those maintenance tasks should be scheduled well ahead of time so that you can calculate the planned downtime.
Planned downtime and the cost impact on production can be viewed as a planned expense. Unplanned downtime from unexpected maintenance needs is like an unplanned and unexpected expense. Obviously, you want to avoid the latter as much as possible.
2.Lack of Clarity and Accountability
When there’s no clear relationship between what we do and what we’re accountable for, then motivation and performance can deteriorate. We’re not talking about the equipment here but the actual maintenance team and your personnel. Poorly motivated and performing personnel can be a big challenge in the maintenance industry.
Sometimes it’s not a simple option to change people, but you have to re-design the way they work so that processes drive improved performance. One way to do this is to clearly define the tasks your maintenance team will do and clarify their accountability. Bringing your maintenance team into closer harmony with the rest of your workforce will help them to be more motivated and united in purpose and function.
3.Responding Rather Than Preventing
It is helpful to do an analysis of what the majority of your maintenance activity comes from. Are you responding to problems rather than proactively preventing them from occurring? The majority of your time should be spent on prevention maintenance.
A useful comparison is looking after your teeth. Your teeth work every day in chewing food and in some ways, can be thought of as a factory. How often do you go to the dentist? If you’re doing your preventative daily care as you should be, then a visit to the dentist every 6 months should be uneventful.
In the same way, there will always be a need for more time-consuming maintenance tasks periodically, but if you keep on to the smaller maintenance tasks, this will help prevent bigger problems from developing.
4.More Problems More People
It could be tempting to think the more machinery you have or, the more problems you seem to have, you should employ more people. While this has some merit, it doesn’t serve to solve your real problems. Instead of pouring more people into a maintenance gap every time, it’s wiser to invest time to find the root source of the problem.
Identifying the root cause and addressing those issues will save your factory a lot of time and money in the long run. This will also allow your maintenance team to gather intelligence about the way their system works and how to improve it.
5.Lack of Technology
Auto manufacturing has undergone incredible developments over the years both in terms of technology but also workflow and process design. Optimizing these elements of production has required the use of technology. Yet, when you consider the maintenance routine for your factory, how involved is technology?
The use of excel and a tick sheet isn’t going to cut it in the modern age. There are sophisticated software platforms designed for the maintenance industry that allow you to gather data from your maintenance processes, including daily logs so that your maintenance program is ‘intelligence-lead.’
6.Unintelligent Budget Cuts
During times of economic pressure and reduced sales, it’s tempting to cut costs by culling the maintenance budget without careful thought. Controlling and reducing costs is a normal part of any business, but to do it without the needed insight, is just short-sighted and will cost more in the end.
If you’re following the advice in this article, then you will see the need to move to a more intelligence-led model of maintenance provision. This will also help you to model or predict where you can make temporary cuts and what the impact will be. Using data is the beginning of being able to identify more efficient ways of working, so work the numbers first before cutting the budget.
Manufacturing requires high volume production to meet standards within defined quality parameters. You can find out more about quality control systems that are available in the auto industry.
7.Failure to Train to Maintain
One of the most basic principles of good maintenance is keeping your auto factory clean and safe. Unlike the production line, this element is not automatic.
Time and resources need to be channeled into training so your workers will keep the equipment and facilities clean and safe. A clean and safe environment will help keep production at its best and positively affect the attitude of your workforce.
Successful Auto Factory Maintenance
In this article, you’ve read about 7 mistakes in auto factory maintenance. However, more than that, you’ve read about some of the things you can do to avoid them. If you take to heart the advice in this article, you will see how successful your maintenance program can become.
In the production industry, the success of maintenance is closely linked to the overall success of your business. Check out more insights from other industries on our site that will keep your mental factory producing great thoughts.