Preventive Maintenance (ARC) in Industrial Machinery

Preventive maintenance (ARC) refers to scheduled maintenance activities carried out on equipment or machinery to reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns.

The benefits of preventive maintenance have led many companies to adopt it as a strategy to reduce long-term costs and minimize the risk of production interruptions. However, what does it take to implement it successfully?

 

Fundamentals of Preventive Maintenance

Companies that apply preventive maintenance (ARC) do so through a personalized plan, which should not be confused with a maintenance manual. This plan details the specific requirements of the organization and the machinery that must be regularly inspected.

So what is preventative maintenance in a nutshell?

To summarize it, its main foundations can be listed:

  1. It is based on regularly scheduled inspections. Preventive maintenance dates are determined by the condition of the equipment or its use/age.

  2. Its goal is to anticipate major breakdowns, identifying and solving small problems before they get worse.

Additionally, specific actions are carried out during preventive maintenance activities, such as:

  • Replacement of parts.
  • Adjustment of equipment conditions.
  • Restorations to prevent depreciation.
  • Inspections to ensure optimal performance.
  • Lubrication and cleaning, among others.

Objectives of Preventive Maintenance

Through preventive maintenance, the following objectives are sought:

  1. Extend the useful life of assets.

  2. Avoid surprise expenses on unforeseen repairs.

  3. Detect errors in the installation of equipment.

  4. Reduce production interruptions caused by technical problems.

  5. Identify recurring failures.

  6. Minimize the risk of injuries and accidents at work.

Especially in companies with heavy machinery, preventive maintenance provides safety for workers and, in many countries, is mandatory.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Preventive Maintenance

Like any type of maintenance, preventive maintenance has its advantages and disadvantages that companies should consider before implementing it.

Advantages:

  • Avoid surprise costs due to unexpected repairs.
  • Reduces overtime expenses for maintenance personnel, since inspection and repair tasks are scheduled.
  • They reduce waste and customer complaints due to delays or quality problems.
  • By focusing on extending the life of equipment and ensuring maximum performance, the company can invest less in new machinery and allocate resources to other important areas.
  • Allows you to calculate repair costs in advance.
  • It is flexible and can adapt to the needs of both large and small companies, since there are different types of preventive maintenance.

Disadvantages:

  • Determining the frequency of preventative maintenance often requires expensive equipment, such as vibration analyzers and other operating sensors or radars, which require initial investment and ongoing maintenance to ensure accurate readings.
  • The company must hire or train personnel with advanced technical knowledge to interpret the data provided by this equipment.
  • Records of repairs, part replacements and associated costs must be maintained at each maintenance session.

Maintenance of Specific Components: Motors, Sensors, Pistons and Electronic Panels

In this section, we will address the maintenance of specific machine components, such as motors, stop sensors, pneumatic and hydraulic pistons, electronic panels and other critical elements. These components play a fundamental role in the operation of machinery and require special care to ensure optimal performance and avoid unexpected problems.

Engine Maintenance:

Motors are the heart of many industrial machines. To maintain its efficiency and durability, the following maintenance activities must be carried out:

  • Regular inspection of electrical cables, connections and contactors for signs of wear, corrosion or overheating.

  • Proper lubrication of bearings and moving parts according to manufacturer's specifications.

  • Monitoring engine temperature and vibrations to identify possible problems.

  • Periodic cleaning to avoid the accumulation of dust and dirt that could affect cooling.

Stop Sensor Maintenance:

Stop sensors are critical safety elements in industrial machines. Proper maintenance of these sensors is essential to ensure worker safety and trouble-free operation of machines. Maintenance tasks include:

  • Regular verification of sensor functionality through emergency stop tests.

  • Visual inspection for physical damage, corrosion, or loose connections.

  • Immediate replacement of faulty or damaged sensors.

  • Training of personnel in the correct use of stop sensors and in the identification of emergency situations.

Maintenance of Pneumatic and Hydraulic Pistons:

Pneumatic and hydraulic pistons are essential components in many industrial machines. Proper maintenance guarantees optimal performance and prevention of leaks. Maintenance activities include:

  • Visual inspection of pistons, seals and connections for air or hydraulic fluid leaks.

  • Replacement or repair of worn or damaged seals and gaskets.

  • Verification of pressure and adjustment of pneumatic or hydraulic systems according to manufacturer specifications.

  • Cleaning of components to avoid the accumulation of dirt and contaminants.

Maintenance of Electronic Panels:

Electronic panels control many critical functions in modern machines. Maintenance of these panels is vital to ensure trouble-free operation. Maintenance tasks include:

  • Visual inspection of electronic components for signs of wear, corrosion or faulty welds.

  • Software and firmware update according to manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Regular backup of data and programs in case of unexpected failures.

  • Training staff in the proper use of electronic panels and basic problem solving.

These are some general guidelines for maintaining critical components in industrial machines. It is important to note that exact specifications and procedures may vary depending on the type of machinery and specific manufacturers. Therefore, it is essential to always consult the manufacturer's recommendations and have trained personnel to carry out these maintenance activities safely and efficiently. Proper maintenance of these components contributes significantly to the reliability and life of machines, as well as improving workplace safety.

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