If you’re running the daily operations of a production facility, you most definitely know how important it is to have all your machines and systems operating optimally. Any productivity declines will be reflected in production output, making the case that all fluid systems should be regularly maintained to reduce downtime or eliminate it.
Here’s a list of practical measures you should practice to ensure your plant is as efficient as possible at all times.
Inspect the system to ensure the valves installed are the right ones
Research from Emerson Process Management shows that most industrial pumps fail due to the poor sizing of the control valves. Oversizing of valves is very common. An oversized valve causes excess power not used to pump fluids can damages valves. A poorly sized valve makes the system fail, especially during transitions from one state of operation to another. An improperly sized control valve causes damage to the fluid system, even under stable operating conditions, because vibrations from excessive power and pressure make the system leak.
Ensure fluid systems are lubricated properly.
If you want your fluid system to be as efficient as possible to save your plant time and money, proper maintenance is essential. Lubrication is an essential maintenance activity that, if not done properly, can render your system inoperable. Ensure all lubricants are labeled properly to avoid using the wrong one and potentially damaging your equipment. You can also opt to make some simple modifications to your containers to optimize performance. Gauges or breather systems are also used to optimize performance.
Perform routine preventive maintenance
While it’s recommended equipment is checked regularly to prevent losses associated with downtime, most plant operations personnel only perform maintenance once a system has failed. Having a qualified fluid systems maintenance expert is key to ensuring your systems are operating optimally by performing regular checks at defined intervals saves you money in the long run by avoiding time lost to system failures and interrupted production.
Utilize predictive tools and computer technology to foresee failure
Invest in monitoring systems such as a Computerized Maintenance Monitoring Systems (CMMS) to continually monitor the performance of your system. These systems provide data about maintenance issues before they happen, which help to eliminate downtime because troublesome equipment can be fixed before it goes down completely, cutting costs related to unnecessary downtime and lost production.
Use data analysis to calculate the cost of downtime
Data analysis provides you with insights into the operational efficiency of your plant, including fluid systems. This data gets down to a granular level and provides insights into factors such as associated labor costs and losses associated with lower productivity when equipment goes down.Having raw data at your disposal provides you with insights into the value of routine maintenance and the importance of having efficient plant systems.
Technology is available to keep your plant systems running optimally. Deploying it successfully requires a focus on understanding the ins and outs of your daily operations, and that includes having procedures in place to perform routine, predictive maintenance to ensure your plant and employees operate as efficiently as possible.