When conveyor systems break down, the costs add up quickly, especially during peak seasons. According to a new white paper from Intelligrated, “How to Maintain Your Conveyor System Like a Pro,” if one minute of downtime stops 350 cases from going out, and a case is worth $40, that one minute of downtime could cost a company $14,000 in lost opportunities.
The authors state that well-trained operators and maintenance technicians can reduce the risk of conveyor downtime by executing a preventive maintenance plan. But while the main responsibility fora PM plan is on the maintenance crews, a certain amount of responsibility for equipment care and management must be assigned tosystem operators. The paper offers the following suggestions:
• Train. You’llnot only ensure that equipment is being used properly, you’llalso increase the number of eyes and ears capable of noticing discreet clues that indicate a problem.
• Communicate. Talk to operators daily to see if anything out of the ordinary is happening with your system. Ask about any package or throughput changes, particularly during peak season.
• Slow down. When possible, operators should run conveyor systems as slow as throughput requirements allow. Constantly operating at full speed can result in premature equipment wear.
• Report damage immediately. Many times, maintenance is not notified until a system component is completely broken and the operation is compromised.
• Plan for emergencies and breakdowns. Practice a contingency plan so everyone is well prepared in case of a conveyor breakdown or loss of power.