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LubriSource Blog

Is Your Maintenance Reactive or Proactive?

Posted by Kevin Morrow
Kevin Morrow
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When it comes to equipment maintenance, is your operation relatively more reactive or proactive? Too often, valuable assets are put at risk because maintenance budgets are thin. When this occurs, maintenance is primarily a reaction to costly breakdowns. Stop-gap measures get the equipment up and running, but at a cost.

Sometimes, understaffed maintenance departments have no choice but to use a “band-aid” approach. Proper repair and parts replacement is deferred to some point in the future.  Reactive maintenance often drives up long-term costs associated with future breakdowns and more extensive parts replacements.

Many Breakdowns Are Lubrication-Related

It is easy to understand why quick repairs are popular. In many settings, serious downtime costs begin to accrue in hours, if not minutes. Machinery Lubrication says studies suggest that a full 70 percent of breakdowns are related to lubrication issues, yet maintenance departments spend, on average, one dollar in 20 on the materials and labor associated with lubrication.  

 These lubrication problems include:

  • Using the wrong lubricant
  • Inadequate or excessive re-lubrication
  • Lubricant contamination

Your next scheduled plant downtime is an opportunity to take your plant’s maintenance program closer to world-class excellence. Adding lubrication specialists to your team during your shutdown gives you the expertise to develop, implement and maintain an efficient, cost-effective lubrication program that guards against breakdowns.

Unique Benefits Related to Plant Shutdowns

A lubrication specialist is uniquely qualified to survey your plant and its equipment in order to introduce improvements that may reduce costs, improve safety and extend the life of equipment. But there are even more benefits to adding professional lubrication experts to your team during a shutdown.

Even the best-planned plant shutdowns present certain risks. Adequate staffing during planned downtime can be an issue. Employees may be asked to perform tasks they are not familiar with. In many instances, OSHA-certified lubrication professionals are a safer and more cost-effective alternative for handling your lubrication needs. Their experience with multiple downturns works to your benefit. Their familiarity with the process means they are able to handle tasks more efficiently.

Machinery Lubrication SystemsWhen unexpected challenges arise - as they always do during plant shutdowns - and serious troubleshooting is required, professionals who specialize in lubrication are uniquely equipped to provide rapid responses that help you avoid the delays that drive up costs associated with downtime and decreased production.

Sometimes, avoidable production delays require a subsequent investment in overtime to meet production goals. Relying on contractors to fulfill your lubrication requirements simplifies staffing and streamlines payroll and benefits. The freedom this gives plant managers allows them to better focus on production. Plus, a contractor can adjust staffing more nimbly than the plant can itself.

Collaborative Partnerships: A More Proactive Approach

The benefits continue accumulating after production returns to normal. Today's equipment is more sophisticated than ever. Certified lubrication specialists are skilled tradesmen capable of calculating lubrication frequency and the amount of lubricant required. They are up-to-date on the latest technology, and they have access to the specialized tools often required to get the job done right.

Lubrication specialists are also uniquely qualified to improve reliability, reduce consumption and cut parts costs. They also provide overall optimization, program surveys, training and even recommendations to modify equipment for enhanced performance.

In many instances, a minimal investment in lubricants, filters and breathers now will more than pay for itself in less downtime and more extensive repairs later. A highly efficient approach to proper lubrication proves cost-effective for the entire plant’s operations.

Outsourcing Is Already a Popular Alternative

Partnering with third-party specialists is already a more mainstream solution than ever before. Machinery Lubrication reports that 40% percent of its site visitors say their plants outsource lubrication and maintenance needs.

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Image Source: Machinery Lubrication

LubriSource brings over two decades of experience to enterprises interested in outsourcing routine precision lubrication maintenance  in  weekly, monthly, quarterly  and during plant turnarounds. We have established relationships with a cross-industry portfolio of precision lubrication manufactures, ensuring that we’ll have the correct solution for every one of your unique needs. We offer periodic service contracts, oil analysis, equipment inspections and much more. For prompt and professional assistance, please contact us today.

Plant shutdown survey

Tags: Industrial Maintenance