For operations large and small, gaps of time when equipment is not running optimally are dangerous to productivity in short and long-term scenarios. The results of system downtime range in severity based on how integral the equipment is to the system, how significant the damage is, and how the system is specifically designed. Decreases in the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) cause a loss in planned production time or increase costs to replace or update equipment. Machine downtime can take the shape of equipment failure, maintenance, inadequate supplies, or even an aspect as routine as changeovers. Whatever the difficulty might be, in order to see OEE improvements, it is essential that an operation prepare itself for the future.
How to Prevent Automation Failure
System downtime that emerges due to spontaneous maintenance, machine breakdowns, or deficiencies in supplies are often the result of either inadequate training or a lack of predictive and/or preventative maintenance. Changeovers may be unavoidable, but they can be monitored and adjusted. Like maintenance and breakdowns, other causes of downtime can be averted by incorporating the following two solutions.
In order to protect the safety of employees and equipment, it is imperative that only trained employees operate equipment. An individual attempting to use a piece of machinery with which he or she is inadequately experienced, could result in damage to equipment, production decreases, system downtime, and more importantly, an unsafe environment for the employees.
To prevent this, the first step is to strictly adhere to all regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although more costly, another solution is to ensure that all staff are trained to operate all essential equipment. This way, the operational downtime will decrease, and the project will be prepared for emergencies or unexpected conditions.
Predictive and Preventative Maintenance
Performing regular maintenance ensures that equipment continues to operate as effectively as possible. Preventative maintenance is typically a routine task such as an equipment tune-up, while predictive maintenance involves monitoring equipment for changes in its overall performance. Maintenance accounts for automation problems such as wear and tear over time, glitches, and other potential accidents. If routine maintenance is not performed on an operation, unforeseen risks can arise and damage to equipment can go unnoticed, which may eventually lead to a loss of production and system downtime.
In order to avoid these setbacks, equipment checks should be performed regularly. This maintenance should occur preemptively, while the equipment is still in operating condition. Machinery that is integral to the project or could become damaged with an increase in use or time should be of particular focus. The cost of regular diagnostic testing is up-front. However, over time, preventative and predictive maintenance will improve equipment and employee safety, decrease the costs of potential repairs, and increase the quality of the output. The US Department of Energy reports that predictive maintenance is responsible for:
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Reduced System Downtimes
Aligning with a company that values reliable manufacturing equipment through predictive maintenance can protect your operation for the future. AMT is an authorized integrator of FANUC equipment, a producer of individualized predictive maintenance equipment. Their instruments are designed with the purpose of locating and addressing equipment breakdowns when needed. FANUC’s smart technology enables a user-friendly integration of robotics into any system with the help of regulated maintenance and maintenance reminders. This way, your operation is prepared for every scenario.
See Your OEE Improve
Automation failure can have minor or very devastating consequences for any project. In order to prevent unnecessary safety risks, damages, and costs:
- Follow OSHA regulations
- Allow only trained employees to operate equipment
- Perform regular predictive and preventative maintenance
- Protect your operation with predictive, smart technology
For a project looking towards the future, establishing a safe, effective environment for your operation is paramount. These recommended solutions are fundamental to protecting any operation from manufacturing downtime in the future.