By Todd Lewis
Downtime happens in every industry and is always expensive. In hydraulic service, downtime can result in a huge loss in profit, as well as increased spending on personnel and equipment. But what does it mean to reduce downtime? Meaning, what measures can you put in place to avoid downtime in the first place, and what can you do to reduce downtime and its costs when it can’t be avoided?
Hydraulic repair services, like those offered by Cylinders, Inc., can assure a quick turnaround, and in this article, we’ll go over that and all the most relevant methods for reducing hydraulic downtime and its resulting costs, so you can maintain efficiency and budget in your facility.
Preventative hydraulic maintenance is a tried and true method for reducing downtime and its costs. Regularly servicing your hydraulic system components will help extend their lifespan, as well as reduce the chances of an unforeseen shutdown or failure. Whatever your industry uses hydraulics for, it's important to know that these systems are especially prone to catastrophic failure if not maintained properly, and you won't notice something is wrong until it is too late.
Manufacturers have manuals that include guidelines and timelines for regular maintenance, and following these recommendations is essential. Schedule preventative maintenance and make it a part of the team's routine to ensure it never gets skipped. Perform maintenance and check each part for equipment reliability, from hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fluid to rods to pistons.
Also, be sure to document the maintenance you complete, as well as any problems you detected during your preventive maintenance program. That will help you and future staff know what to look for when completing their upkeep. With this maintenance schedule, you will be able to catch any problems before they lead to full failures and do corrective maintenance to avoid downtime and its resulting costs.
Keep in mind that this maintenance doesn't just help reduce downtime costs, it will also reduce employee hazards and create an overall safer working environment.
Nothing works without proper communication, and a hydraulic maintenance program is no exception. Everyone involved, including every manager, hydraulic technician, engineer, etc., should be involved in regular communication through staff meetings. Staff meetings are an easy way to disseminate important information quickly and efficiently.
If the operations and maintenance team are not discussing the machinery regularly, important updates will get lost in the shuffle. When they are effectively communicating regarding production shutdowns and maintenance, it will reduce the amount of downtime and unnecessary delays, and, in turn, the costs involved. If your team stays focused on the agenda and the work that needs to be done, the meeting is a great tool.
Another important form of communication is with your repair company. Regularly communicating with those repairing the cylinders will ensure there are no time delays or misunderstandings regarding needs or requirements. The team at Cylinders, Inc. is always ready to talk with clients through their concerns regarding repairs, answering any questions and putting them at ease.
Maintaining accountability is an essential part of every working relationship. Hydraulic component service is a very involved field, and keeping everyone involved accountable for their actions is essential. When it comes to timelines and schedules, quality, and efficiency, staff must be held accountable from the very beginning.
When everyone knows their responsibilities and you make it clear that they are expected to complete them, it ensures that projects get done on time and within budget. When this loss of communication and accountability occurs, it will inevitably lead to mistakes that will cost you money, team cohesion, timeliness, and potentially your reputation.
When every member of your team, from managers to secretaries to technicians, is on task, taking ownership of their time, and being held accountable for their job, downtime will be significantly reduced — and so will costs.
Having to repeat a task a second, or even a third, time can be a huge drain on resources. It will cost you time, money, and labor. Every part of the process slows down when mistakes are made, and it can be a huge inconvenience. No one is perfect, and mistakes will always be made, but ensuring that the team has the information and instructions available to them will reduce the likelihood.
There are many types of hydraulic systems, each with its maintenance and system requirements, and employees should know how to work them. Setting proper expectations for tasks will ensure that precious time isn't wasted re-doing tasks.
There are many components of a hydraulic system operation that take time, which is why strict scheduling is paramount. Maintaining this punctuality will ensure that each project is completed successfully and within the schedule, and thus, there will be less downtime and associated costs.
Establishing a set timeline for each step of the process and each member of the maintenance personnel team will help you track the progress of the project, as well as the finances while helping to hold everyone accountable. Make sure each employee is aware of the schedule and can always access it.
Repair time is often the biggest downtime you will encounter. With so many types of hydraulic systems, sometimes the best choice is to outsource your repairs to a repair company. This will ensure the quickest turnaround, and you will be able to get back to work sooner, reducing the inevitable downtime costs.
Cylinders, Inc. is an expert repair company ready to complete your hydraulic cylinder repairs on time. We pride ourselves on our efficiency and reliability, and you can trust us to give you the best service in as little time as possible.
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