Maintaining Ageing Equipment in Your Business

When it comes to maintaining important business equipment, an old saying comes to mind: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s true; preventative equipment maintenance is the only way to reduce the risk of equipment failure and eliminate the need for costly corrective repairs.

If you wait until equipment breaks down, you will end up paying for lost production, higher cost for parts, overtime, labour and all the “collateral damage” that comes with equipment failure. To establish a system for maintaining your business equipment, have a look at the following ideas.

Ensure cost effectiveness of preventative maintenance

While in most cases preventative maintenance will cost you less in the long run, this determination may be different depending on the type of equipment you are assessing. In some cases, equipment may end up costing more to maintain than to replace, so it’s your job to decide whether or not this is true for the equipment you have. Start by calculating the probable rate of failure for your equipment without maintenance, and use this to compare the costs of repair, replacement and maintenance. Remember that preventative maintenance isn’t a one-time expense, so always consider the lifetime of the system you’re assessing.

Create an appropriate maintenance schedule

For each system or piece of equipment you want to maintain, develop an appropriate maintenance schedule. For example, company vehicles often come with manufacturer suggestions that outline the best intervals for scheduled maintenance, and contractors can help you find a schedule for systems like plumbing or electrical wiring. Since your maintenance schedules may get complex, consider using maintenance management software to keep it all in order.

Create a system for tracking your maintenance schedule

It is one thing to have a schedule in place for your equipment, but it is quite another to actually keep track of the time elapsed between maintenance appointments. Using your maintenance management orpreventative maintenance software, you can set reminders so that you know when a maintenance appointment is due. Keep in mind that, as your equipment ages further, you may need to constantly update and revise your schedule as well.

Use proper storage techniques

Part of preventative maintenance includes caring for your equipment when it’s not being used. Using the proper storage techniques for your equipment can add years to the life of the equipment, especially if it’s quite old already. Proper storage could be as simple as avoiding dust build-up by keeping unused equipment covered, or something more complex like disassembling equipment at the end of each work day to clean and store it in appropriate containers.

Hire a maintenance manager

Especially when you have equipment that is getting old, it could be worth your while to hire someone to keep a constant eye on its performance. This way, the maintenance schedule is being adhered to properly and you will be warned if any equipment is reaching the end of its days. Hiring a manager to maintain your equipment will not only keep your systems running smoothly, but will also free up your time and energy for focusing on core business proceedings.

Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your systems running well, especially if your equipment is already quite aged. Putting a system in place now will ensure you get many more years out of your equipment, and will keep your overhead costs to a minimum.