Scheduling machinery maintenance

Creating an equipment maintenance schedule to ensure that machines provide peak proformance. January 16, 2002

I run a 9-man shop in Montreal, Canada. My machinery is abused every day and is starting to get tired. I divided the different tasks of cleanup, oiling and adjusting between my employees, and they try to take care of these tasks every Friday.

Does anyone have some kind of maintenance chart or experience to share? I would like to establish a log book with all the different tasks (weekly, monthly, etc.) for each piece of equipment.

Forum Responses
I think you should have a daily period, say the last 15-20 minutes of a shift, for cleanup and minor adjustment, if necessary of each machine. If you wait until the end of the week, a lot of dust, dirt and no lubrication will start affecting your accuracy and the quality of your products.

For a schedule, check with the manufacturer of each machine. They should have a detailed description of recommended daily and periodic maintenance and adjustments.

When I worked in a factory many years ago, there were a few people assigned to lubrication and machine adjustments. They did first morning lube, etc. I believe they started work 1/2 hour earlier. It is key to have the same people or person doing the maintenance. Study all your machine manuals and create your own schedule.

I used to be in the landscape maintenance business, and maintenance of equipment was very important, as my equipment ran anywhere from $300 to $10,000. The suggestions above are outstanding.

Have at least one person maintain your equipment first thing in the morning, about 1/2 hour early. Train two people to do this, so you can rotate them. For the afternoon, hire a high school student to do your cleanup. Often schools have a program to give outside training.

Check the manual for each machine to see what it requires. Get a clipboard and some graft paper. On the left side of your paper, list all your machines and draw a line under each one all the way across your paper. List across the top of the paper all the maintenance required, such as oil, grease, drain water (of air tanks), wear, etc. Now draw lines down your paper by each requirement. Use an extra piece of paper for notes. Date each chart and provide a place for the signature of the person doing the maintenance.

We developed spreadsheet-like paper forms that our in-charge guy used as a checklist when daily - weekly - monthly chores were performed. He'd complete a task and check off the appropriate block in a column for the appropriate day of the month next to a particular machine.

All our manuals and safety information was stored in one place and was appropriately indexed and book marked for the more difficult or obscure maintenance procedures. The system worked well, especially when a new guy had to be trained for the tasks.