3 Tasks of Industrial Maintenance

Operating and maintaining a manufacturing facility or other industrial plant requires equipment that enables day to day operations. The machines that support operations activities in an industrial setting take all forms and vary in complexity. Each process or task relies to some degree on the consistent availability of this equipment. Efficient upkeep of these machines generally falls to a specific department in the organization.

A warehouse setting, for example, involves storing and moving products. Forklifts are a common piece of machinery used to support that activity. These mechanisms include hydraulic and electrical systems that enable lifting and repositioning heavy loads. The maintenance department within the warehouse is tasked with keeping the fleet of forklifts running. Routine maintenance of these mechanisms requires the replacement of consumable parts like gaskets and switches. One function of maintenance department personnel will be to find forklift parts, requisition them and maintain an inventory to support equipment upkeep.

Efficiently carrying out the maintenance function within an industrial setting can be viewed as a series of tasks. These include an understanding of the most common modes of equipment failure and having the necessary skills and spare parts to minimize production slowdowns or downtime. There are 3 main tasks within this process.

Researching Equipment

Complex machinery manufacturers publish information about operating and maintaining their equipment. Using this resource, maintenance departments must develop training programs for technicians that work on these machines. Monitoring updates to the information and regularly having refresher training is another part of this task.

Requisitioning Parts

The parts department within the maintenance organization must constantly seek out the lowest cost sources for necessary items. Original equipment manufacturers and after-market suppliers form the network of resources that must be scoured to accomplish this task. Daily activities of this function include issuing and tracking orders for spare parts and monitoring inventory levels.

Scheduling and Performing Maintenance

This is the main supporting task that is required to maximize up-time and production. Often, this activity is supported by a maintenance database of some kind. Requests for repairs are processed and assigned to technicians who perform the work. Prioritizing tasks is an essential function to ensure that the most critical machinery remains in service.

The maintenance function in industrial settings is a key component of the organization’s success. It requires constant attention and resource allocation but is an essential part of remaining competitive as a company.

3 Tasks of Industrial Maintenance
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