The Benefits of a Proactive Preventive Maintenance Strategy for Your Factory or Logistics Center

 logistics center viewed from above with trucks trailers and cars near streets and a warehouse

Factory and logistics centers are the backbone of businesses all over the world. Keeping them running at peak efficiency and reliability is essential for companies to remain competitive in the market. But it’s not enough to keep your factory up and running; you also need to ensure that it’s maintained properly.

Preventative maintenance is a proactive approach to keeping your factory and logistics center in top condition. This strategy helps to avoid costly breakdowns, reduce downtime, and improve safety. It’s also much less expensive than reactive maintenance or emergency repairs—which often require more materials, labor, and machine time.

Yet nearly half (46.91%) of North American companies surveyed in 2020 reported spending 20%-40% of their operating budgets on what could be avoided with a preventive maintenance strategy. Implementing a proactive approach to maintenance can save companies time, money, and potential safety issues in the long run.

What is Proactive Preventative Maintenance?

Proactive preventive maintenance (PPM) is the process of regularly inspecting, troubleshooting, and servicing equipment to detect and prevent potential failures. This type of maintenance reduces the possibility of equipment malfunctions and any unplanned downtime that may occur due to a lack of maintenance.

It also allows for better monitoring of machine performance so that any issues can be addressed before they become serious problems. Regular proactive maintenance also helps increase the life cycle of machines and can help save money in the long run.

An example of proactive preventive maintenance in manufacturing or logistics centers could include:

  • Regularly checking and replacing worn parts on a determined schedule by trained operators
  • Performing preventive cleaning, lubrication, and alignment of machines
  • Periodic visual inspections of equipment for any signs of wear or tear
  • Regularly calibrating machines to ensure accuracy and reliability

When done consistently according to a predetermined schedule, preventive maintenance can reduce the likelihood of costly repairs or breakdowns and improve a machine's overall performance.

Proactive vs. Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance - as the name implies - is the opposite of proactive preventive maintenance. This maintenance only occurs due to a malfunction or breakdown. Reactive maintenance usually requires rush services, which can result in higher expenses due to the need for additional parts, labor, and materials.

A study from Plant Engineering found a startling 60% of manufacturing companies devote their resources to only reactive maintenance. This leaves little room for proactive preventive maintenance, resulting in shorter machine life and more costly repairs.

Reactive maintenance often requires more time and money than preventive maintenance because it takes longer to fix problems that have already occurred rather than address them before they become serious issues. Reactive maintenance can also put personnel at risk due to a lack of safety protocols or unpreparedness for emergency repairs.

The risks of reactive maintenance can be avoided by implementing a proactive preventative maintenance program. Proactive preventive maintenance programs are more effective at controlling costs, reducing downtime, and improving safety in a factory or logistics center.

factory inspector inspects machinery with clipboard


Key Tenants of a Proactive Preventive Maintenance Strategy

If you are looking to implement a proactive preventive maintenance strategy in your factory or logistics center, here are a few key tenants to keep in mind:

1. Regular inspections and testing of equipment to detect potential problems before they occur.

The first step to implementing a proactive preventive maintenance strategy is regular inspections and tests of all your equipment. This helps identify potential problems before they become critical, saving time and money by avoiding costly emergency repairs.

Example: For machinery that requires lubrication, a regular check for worn parts and proper lubrication can help improve its performance and lifespan. Investing in proper training for operators to regularly inspect and service machines also helps ensure that your equipment is being adequately maintained.

2. Regularly scheduled maintenance tasks such as lubrication, cleaning, or replacing parts to ensure optimal performance.

Next, it’s crucial to set up regularly scheduled maintenance tasks such as lubrication, cleaning, and replacing parts. This helps keep your machines in optimal condition and decreases the likelihood of any malfunctions or downtime.

Example: If your machines require regular lubrication to keep them running optimally, a scheduled weekly greasing session should be set up to maintain their best performance.

3. Establishing guidelines and procedures to ensure that any required repairs or replacements are completed in a timely manner.

Effective preventive maintenance also requires that you have clearly established procedures and protocols to ensure any required repairs or replacements are completed quickly and correctly. This helps eliminate the possibility of further delays due to incorrect repair work or missing parts.

Example: Establishing a clear set of instructions that the operator needs to follow when they find a broken or worn part helps ensure that all necessary steps are taken to repair or replace it quickly. Ensuring all operators have the necessary training and knowledge to identify potential issues will further help speed the repair process.

4. Develop an emergency response plan for catastrophic failures or breakdowns to minimize downtime.

A critical consideration for any preventive maintenance program is developing an emergency response plan for catastrophic failures or breakdowns. This helps to ensure that any downtime is minimized and that personnel is adequately prepared in case of a crisis. Similarly, it is vital to have a plan in place for any necessary repairs that may occur during off-hours.

Example: Establishing a rapid response team that can be called in to quickly diagnose any issues or make necessary repairs during off-hours will help minimize downtime and potential losses.

5. Ensuring workers are properly trained on the proper operation and maintenance of machines.

Those involved in the operation and maintenance of machines should be adequately trained to do their job safely and efficiently. Creating a sense of ownership among the personnel responsible for equipment maintenance can help ensure a safe work environment and optimal performance of machines.

Example: Providing operators with training and resources to help them understand the proper operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of machines will give them the confidence to perform their job properly and safely.

6. Utilizing automated systems for logging repairs, tracking performance, and alerting when preventative maintenance is due.

Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in proactive preventive maintenance. Automated systems - often called CMM systems - can log repairs, track performance, and alert when preventative maintenance is due. This information can identify potential problems before they become critical issues, saving time and money in the long run.

Example: By tracking and logging performance data over time, CMM systems can alert operators when preventive maintenance should be performed and identify any potential problems before they become costly. When used correctly, these systems can help increase uptime and reliability.

7. Developing a culture of safety that emphasizes the importance of ongoing preventative maintenance.

Finally, it is important to develop a safety culture emphasizing the importance of ongoing preventive maintenance. This will help ensure staff understands the importance and value of preventative maintenance and its critical role in keeping factories running in optimal condition.

Example: Regular training sessions and seminars can be conducted to explain the importance of preventive maintenance and help reinforce its value. Additionally, implementing an effective rewards system can help motivate personnel to perform their jobs safely and diligently.

Preventative Maintenance and MRO Supplies

Preventive maintenance (PM) is an essential part of any successful business and requires the use of specific materials, tools, and supplies. And as part of any PM routine, it’s important to have the right maintenance, repair, and operational (MRO) supplies on hand.

MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) supplies are necessary to ensure that machines are well-maintained, operate efficiently, and produce quality goods with minimal downtime. investing in quality MRO supplies is critical to the success of any preventive maintenance program, as it can save time and money in the long run.

Common types of MRO supplies used in preventative maintenance include:

1. Lubricants such as grease or oil

2. Cleaning agents, degreasers, and chemical products

3. Electrical components

4. Gaskets, seals, and other parts

5. Tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers

6. Safety equipment like hard hats and goggles

7. Fasteners such as bolts, nuts, and screws

With a reactive maintenance strategy, MRO supplies can be a significant expense. With preventative maintenance, however, using MRO supplies helps ensure that repairs are done correctly and efficiently, resulting in cost savings over time.

Trust Alta Max for Your Preventative Maintenance MRO Supplies

A successful preventive maintenance strategy requires careful planning and execution. Following best practices such as developing an emergency response plan for catastrophic failures, ensuring workers are appropriately trained on machine operation and maintenance, and utilizing automated systems for logging repairs are essential to keep factories running in optimal condition.

At Alta Max, our team of experts can help guide you through the process of selecting the right MRO supplies for your preventive maintenance program. We understand that no two businesses are alike, so we take the time to get to know your unique needs and tailor a solution specifically for you.

Alta Max has the MRO supplies you need for a successful preventive maintenance program - from lubricants and degreasers to safety equipment and electrical components. Contact us today to learn more about our complete selection of products and services - and start keeping your factory floor or shipping processes running in top condition.