Proactive maintenance is a good idea for warehouses, distribution centers and facilities of all kinds. If you can prevent important assets from breaking down, that means avoiding the extended downtime and safety risks that can come with equipment failure. It’s surprising, therefore, that so many companies are not participating in this highly logical and straightforward approach to improving a facility. More than half of facility operators solve their equipment issues exclusively through reactive maintenance. These companies may be motivated by inertia, hesitant to change long-held practices. However, by staying with a maintenance approach that does not prioritize proactive attention to problems, they are perpetuating issues within their facilities, potentially increasing the risk of costly or dangerous machine failures. It’s not difficult to find ways in which proactive maintenance could improve the way your facility runs. Getting a strategy together is a relatively straightforward process which starts with identifying potential problems and creating a customized approach to keeping all assets functioning at peak capacity. The following are a few of the key points on the road to comprehensive proactive maintenance strategies.
Determine which assets in your facility need attentionThe heavy equipment within a warehouse or other industrial building poses major risks in the case of a failure. When you begin working with maintenance experts to develop a proactive strategy, the process will involve inspecting the facility’s assets and determining which should receive attention. These may include:
- Commercial doors: Doors both within facilities and connecting those buildings with the outside world are susceptible to wear and tear. A door failure could put employees at risk and bring operations to a standstill. Proactive maintenance can inspect all elements of doors, from tracks, motors and electronic controls to seals and the door panels themselves.
- Loading dock equipment: Loading docks are some of the most risk-prone areas of warehouses. Accidents involving installed assets such as lifts, gates and doors, as well as moving equipment such as forklifts, were responsible for 110,000 injuries in 2018. Proactive maintenance strategies that involve inspecting the integrity of equipment – and the use of safety precautions – can help bring that number down.
- Any automated or motorized assets: Ensuring that every element of motorized equipment is functioning correctly should be a top priority for facility operators. Control systems, motors and the assets themselves need frequent checks to ensure everything is operating within safe parameters.
- Environment control solutions: When companies need to maintain a particular temperature, such as a shipper creating an uninterrupted cold chain, every piece of related equipment deserves attention. From the seals on cold doors to the temperature control systems and air circulation fans, an unexpected failure of such an asset could damage a massive quantity of goods.