Material handling is an industry that features a wide variety of equipment and machinery. Many of these machines are involved in the transport of very heavy materials and payloads, which often leads to wearing and malfunctions. Maintaining these machines is a difficult and expensive task, which is why so many businesses are looking into ways to keep the functional for longer periods. To achieve this, they have to pay special attention to the equipment and how it’s used.
Offer adequate training
Employees must be able to operate machinery properly. One of the most common causes of early equipment wear is improper handling. If a piece of machinery is used for applications it wasn’t meant for, it’s a lot more likely to sustain damage.
Establish protocols that help increase employees’ knowledge of equipment handling. Excess weight and improper configuration should be avoided for machines that are used to lift items. Conveyor systems should only be loaded with materials that they were suited for and are of the appropriate weight. With adequate training and supervised practice, employees should be able to better maintain the machinery that they work with.
Communicate with operators
Often, machine operators find it difficult to communicate with their supervisors regarding issues with machinery. If any changes are noted in how the equipment handles the material, this should be immediately relayed to the supervisor and repair specialist.
Encourage proactive communication between operators and supervisors. Should an issue arise during shifts, the safety of employees and machinery should take priority over workflow. This helps limit the extent of damage to equipment and it keeps employees safe from malfunctions.
Follow manufacturer guidelines
Equipment in the material handling industry has to be handled with care. The good news is that manufacturers care about keeping their equipment functional as long as possible, which is why they produce guidelines and manuals for maintaining them.
Even if employees have experience handling a certain piece of machinery, you have to emphasize the importance of sticking to the manual. Equipment will vary from one manufacturer to another, which is why you can’t always trust experience. Stick to the guidelines and the equipment will remain functional for much longer.
Choose quality equipment
The best way to ensure that your equipment will be easy to maintain is to get the right kind of equipment for the job. Any savings you might get from a cheap investment in machinery will quickly be lost to maintenance and replacement.
This is especially important when it comes to machinery that is constantly in use, such as conveyor belts. Parts such as the roller are likely to wear out if they’re not made from sturdy materials. Using composite conveyor belt rollers guarantees that the conveyor will function longer and require less maintenance over time.
Similarly, using quality materials for transport machinery is just as important. You don’t want trucks and forklifts to start breaking down while carrying extreme weights. Good tires and warning systems go a long way in terms of safety.
Do preventative maintenance
In some cases, you don’t want to do maintenance only when something breaks down. In the case of forklifts and cranes, a malfunction certainly means danger for personnel. This is why maintenance has to be done ahead of time, to prevent dangerous situations from occurring.
Preventative maintenance is just that. At the first sign of inconsistency, you should contact maintenance personnel to take a look at the machinery and replace anything that might have worn-out, even if only slightly. This can help avoid headaches for employers and employees while handling dangerous equipment and it keeps the workplace safer.
There’s no shortage of methods you can use to improve your maintenance strategy. Using equipment and machinery properly while paying attention to signs of damage are the keys to longevity. It’s made a lot easier with the help of experts and quality choices when purchasing the equipment. As long as you pay attention to your equipment, it’s going to reduce the costs of maintenance significantly.