Predicting how long a piece of equipment will function properly without human intervention is essential for maintaining a stable flow of operations. Equipment that runs without failure for as long as the manufacturer predicted is considered highly reliable.
Conversely, equipment that requires unplanned maintenance due to occasional failure cannot be considered reliable. Naturally, maintaining optimal equipment reliability is vital in many industries because any unplanned downtime can cause delays at different levels of operation.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few critical ways to ensure equipment reliability.
Don’t Exceed the Stated Performance Specifications
In many industries, one of the most important ways to prevent equipment failure and ensure high performance is to avoid putting too much stress on the equipment and its components. As equipment ages, its operating capacity gradually decreases, so the risk of failures and breakdowns rises.
And any malfunction can cause loss of productive time. Depending on the type of equipment, an excellent way to avoid malfunction problems caused by excessive strain is to conduct a stress analysis using a strain gauge.
This tool can maximize equipment reliability by facilitating accurate measurements of force, weight, pressure, tension, and not only. And these measurements can help prevent potential equipment breakdowns and collapses. The technology behind strain gauges can ensure smooth workflow in many different fields of operation.
Reduce External Risks
An excellent way to ensure high equipment reliability is to develop a long-term maintenance strategy centered on failure prevention. First, conduct a thorough analysis of potential risks.
Then, after identifying the risks associated with equipment failure, determine the operating conditions that pose a healthy level of stress on the equipment and its components.
By reducing or eliminating the external factors that affect the integrity and the proper functioning of a piece of equipment, you can expect it to run smoothly far beyond its predicted reliability.
Reduce The Possibility of Human Error
Human error can also cause equipment failure. To ensure high equipment reliability, provide employees with thorough training on proper equipment use and maintenance. It’s also critical that employees only perform tasks that match their level of expertise and technical knowledge.
The project manager should make sure that the employees don’t underestimate the difficulty of a task since this can lead to improper use of equipment. Thus, equipment reliability is, to a certain degree, dependent on human expertise. A close collaboration between project managers, engineers, and maintenance technicians is vital for avoiding equipment failures.
The technicians that perform maintenance tasks should also have all the tools, devices, and instruments they need readily available in case of an emergency. The easier it is for the person responsible for equipment maintenance to fix an issue, the faster you can resume operations.
Use Proper Tools for Assembly and Repair
Equipment reliability can drastically drop if the assembling method doesn’t take into consideration the manufacturer’s recommendations. Using the tools, hardware, and software designed or recommended by the manufacturer when you assemble or repair a piece of equipment can minimize the risks of malfunction.
The proper tools allow you to perform tasks related to assembly, maintenance, and repair with precision so that the equipment performs at the highest level. Precise maintenance can also help you make more accurate predictions about equipment reliability.
The importance of equipment reliability cannot be overestimated, especially in industries where operations are time-intensive and require extensive resources. The best way to ensure equipment reliability is to implement all the strategies above simultaneously. Recording maintenance history can also be helpful because this practice gives you the possibility to identify the most common causes of equipment failure. With this information, you can develop more efficient failure prevention strategies based on detailed statistical data.
Equipment reliability is also tightly associated with safety, efficiency, and productivity. Taking all the measures to avoid equipment breakdown is vital for the safe completion of a project. If the equipment is unreliable and breaks down repeatedly, this can create additional costs. Unreliable equipment makes it challenging to meet project deadlines and thus causes low efficiency and loss of productivity.
In many industries, technology has substantially improved equipment reliability. Technological solutions can transform physical signals into digital data, measure risks, and provide diagnostics and warnings.
Technology can also help in keeping a record of maintenance history. Due to these multiple advantages, the right tech tools and devices can help improve the performance of a piece of equipment and even extend its lifespan considerably. And the Internet of Things applications will make this even easier and more intuitive in the future.