The new financial year isn’t just a time to get things sorted for the Australian Tax Office. It’s a prime opportunity to review your business and look for ways to work more cost efficiently in the coming year.
The good news is that Australian manufacturers don’t need to look far for the answer.
Consider this fact: The true cost of a machine breakdown has been estimated to be between 4 to 15 times the maintenance costs.
Failures and downtime happen in every manufacturing environment. That’s the reality when you’re dealing with equipment that’s running for hours every single day.
But if you are waiting until your equipment breaks down before doing repairs, you are adding unnecessary costs and inefficiencies to your business.
Not only do you have the price of an emergency repair call-out, you have to pay for any unplanned loss of productivity and wasted resources too.
What you need to know about preventive maintenance vs breakdown repair.
Unplanned downtime can lead to delays, which in turn results in unhappy customers or even the loss of customers and a direct hit to your bottom line.
According to Industry Week, “Unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion annually.” And equipment failure is the cause of 42% of this unplanned downtime.
But it’s not just the downtime that hurts your business. If your equipment starts to deteriorate without detection, your business could be distributing products of lower quality without realising it.
We’re talking about inspection equipment that lets contaminants slip through undetected, checkweighers that let containers pass through with too much or too little inside, labels with unscannable barcodes and illegible product codes, and more.
Before long, this will cost your brand in lost trust and customers.
What is preventative maintenance?
Preventative maintenance, also known as planned maintenance, is a proactive maintenance strategy designed to ensure your equipment is operating at peak efficiency at all times.
Think of it like giving your car a service – most people book their vehicle in for a service every 10,000 kilometres or so, rather than waiting for it to breakdown.
Depending on the equipment, preventative maintenance might include:
- quick daily inspections
- cleaning equipment
- lubricating equipment
- minor adjustments
Because you are monitoring the equipment, you can plan for maintenance to be carried out during less-costly times.
How important is total productive maintenance to Australian manufacturers?
Benefits of preventative maintenance
- Reduced waste
According to a McKinsey report, you can benefit from 10-20% reduced waste. How? Because if your equipment is running at a sub-optimal level, it will produce more waste. We’re not just talking about raw materials, but also energy, labour costs and machine time. Preventative maintenance processes can uncover and solve issues that can result in waste.
- Increased equipment life and lower TCO
This is the big one. Routine maintenance keeps equipment running safely for as long as possible and lets you ultimately benefit from a lower TCO, which improves your bottom line in the long run.
- Uncover improvement opportunities
With automated data collection from equipment and insights into how the equipment is performing, Australian manufacturers can uncover new opportunities for on process optimisation.
- Detect and solve minor problems
Because staff are continually monitoring and maintaining equipment, they can detect and solve minor problems before they become bigger, more expensive problems.
- Improved quality and precision
For coding, labelling and inspection equipment, preventative maintenance is especially important for quality control. It ensures labels are always printed to the highest quality and coding and weighing is always precise. This prevents you from supplying products that aren’t up to quality standards, and may be rejected by customers.
- Reduced spare parts and service charges
Without the need to for emergency repair call outs, you can substantially cut spare parts and service charges. Unexpected failures can mean having to pay technicians overtime and having to pay extra for overnight delivery of parts.
- Ongoing training for your staff
Delegating maintenance and care tasks to members of your team ensures they are well trained on your equipment, so they are well equipped to identify any potential problems.
Training can be the difference between equipment that works seamlessly without missing a beat, and equipment that causes downtime. Make sure your staff know how to use your equipment properly.
- Optimise employee productivity
Planned maintenance means you can better manage your resources, staff and production schedules for optimal productivity. Think about breakdowns from an employee’s perspective: downtime can impact output and employee morale. Breakdowns are stressful and disruptive, but predictive maintenance means employees can be more productive.
Preventive maintenance offers many important benefits, but the most important one is that it can improve your bottom line. Make preventative maintenance part of your plan for the new financial year. Talk to Matthews about our preventative maintenance service plans. We have designed a range of scheduled service plans to match our customers’ needs.
Image credits: iStock/ Smithore (main); iStock/ Roger Arnaud (second)