The ultimate goal of any preventive maintenance is to eliminate downtime and establish operational continuity.
The continuity it provides allows you to have the most productive plant possible. And yet, the last job anyone wants to do is to generate more paperwork. But recordkeeping is essential to every business, and with preventative maintenance in a grain handling/processing plant, it is essential.
Record keeping will help in a number of the following ways:
- It will help to determine how effective the current maintenance program is.
- It can help determine how well the equipment is ‘lasting’, and whether replacement equipment will have to be budgeted for in the near future.
- It will assist in scheduling replacement parts supply so they will be on hand when required.
- The records can also serve as a ‘who touched it last’ source if any questions arise later about the effectiveness of previous maintenance work done.
Your recordkeeping need not be complex - preferably keep it as simple as practical so that the important information is clear. You must, firstly, know what equipment and components you have in your plant. Not everyone can remember the model, type and brand of each piece of equipment. Document that information and keep it in a place where anyone can get to it. A large, inexpensive three-ring binder is a good place to start. It should include installation and operations manuals, parts lists, service and maintenance details, etc. It is also prudent to have a current equipment and process flow chart.
This helps in quickly identifying equipment and its relevant information. Of equal importance is a current electrical layout drawing. This is a tremendous help to the electrician who may be repairing, modifying or extending the electrical circuits.
Maintenance should be scheduled at regular intervals, ideally at your least busy times. It can be established either on a date or operational time basis. Set up an applicable wall chart or whatever is appropriate to your situation, so that there is a visual reminder of what is to be done and when.
Some companies may raise works orders for maintenance work, others may use a ‘verbal instruction’. However, the most important thing is to keep a record of what was done.
You will find that this will help you identify future maintenance requirements and will be like ‘an early warning system’ for what to expect next time. It is difficult to recognise a problem if no records are kept on the extent and frequency of maintenance.