Having the RIGHT Spare Parts are Vital to Your Total Maintenance Program
We hear that request often at Innovative-IDM, and we are happy to oblige when a maintenance manager needs a part quickly. But we sometimes ask: “Why not go ahead and purchase TWO of them. One for now, and one for the NEXT time the machine breaks?”
Ah yes, spare parts. Walk into any maintenance store room and you’ll likely see they have something in common: plenty of spare parts. But are they the RIGHT spare parts? The ones that cause you the most trouble?
Having the right spare parts in your store room helps you establish an effective Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program. A Total Productive Maintenance program means you need to invest ahead of time in your maintenance program, not just troubleshoot after things go wrong.
When your machine is down, you’re losing money. Worse yet, if the broken machine is a “bottleneck machine”(all production flows through it), then you’ve got a total productivity SNAFU on your hands. It’s a worst-case scenario.
Before your equipment breaks down, invest in spare parts for your store room. Spare industrial repair parts may seem like misplaced resources as they sit and gather dust. But having them on hand when failure strikes is priceless.
When planning your parts store room, consider stocking parts not readily available within 24 hours. Consider parts that have caused you problems in the past. Check your equipment’s operating manual for a recommended spare parts list. Keeping equipment repair histories on hand will help you decide what parts are commonly used for repairs. For instance, if your industrial controls system cooling fans go out frequently, it makes sense to keep a ready supply fan repair parts available.
Talk to your repair colleagues, too. They know the equipment and should play a vital role in developing a spare parts strategy. Listen to their needs and ask them to help identify your current strategy’s shortcomings. If your team lacks repair equipment or training, all the spare parts in the world will be worth nothing. Make sure your staff has everything they need for the job, including offsite training when needed.
Spare parts are an overlooked facet of many TPM programs. Preventative maintenance helps ensure your equipment lasts. But inevitably, friction, heat and other factors will cause failure. Minimize your downtime with an effective and well-planned spare parts program that will leave you with one less thing to worry about. — Robert Dominguez