All businesses working with earthmoving equipment understand the importance of timely maintenance on each and every one of their tools and appliances. Doing so ensures that they last for as long as they are needed, keeps the need for expensive repairs at bay, maintains a safe working environment, limits wastage and much, much more. With so many reasons to keep up with upkeep, there is no denying the importance of this much needed task. But did you know that there are in fact different types of maintenance, each as important as the next? No! Well, let’s explore them together right here.
Total Productive Maintenance
Developed by the Japanese car industry, this strategy concerns itself with three key areas of maintenance with the goal of no downtime from faulty equipment. Typically, the approach makes use of three stages of maintenance which will be discussed in the following paragraphs; namely, reactive, preventative and predictive maintenance.
Reactive maintenance is conducted only once equipment breaks down. While it is a widely used approach, it isn’t always the best one. Each time reactive maintenance needs to be conducted on equipment, it is because it has already become faulty, which means that downtime has already been suffered as a result. Seen as some to be short-sighted and the result of poor planning, proactive maintenance is often seen as a far better solution. However, in the midst of running a business that is fraught with many crucial tasks and processes, proactive maintenance isn’t always a viable option.
This type of maintenance, as its name would suggest, is best used to prevent breakdowns from happening in the first place, but requires careful planning to conduct properly. The statistical lifespan of equipment and their components are carefully measured and mapped out beforehand so that the appropriate maintenance can be scheduled; while inspections, lubrication and cleaning form part of a crucial and routine task.
Much like preventative maintenance, predictive maintenance strives to deal with faults before they occur by taking the lifespan of the equipment into account. Unlike preventative maintenance, predictive maintenance does so by analysing the use of the equipment in real-time, and under specific operating conditions. There are many tools and techniques used for this type, and while it is effective, it does require highly skilled staff and even more specialised tools and strategies. Still, it allows owners to make informed decisions about maintenance schedules, as well as when repairs and replacements can be expected.
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