In 2020, the manufacturing industry in America contributed to over 10% of the total GDP of the country. This sector of industry employs approximately 15.7 million people in the United States and is currently in a period of growth. Manufacturing plants produce an immense variety of goods and products every day that satisfy global demands for these commodities. It is a fact that the equipment and technology that is used in such factories and plants are an integral part of their ability to mass produce products to such a high level of output. Without such machinery, it simply would not be possible to produce a wide range of goods to the volume that takes place in modern manufacturing. All machinery and technology in plants and factories will require a regular schedule of inspections and potentially subsequent maintenance tasks to ensure that production lines continue to operate smoothly and efficiently. This article explains three key reasons for the importance of regular inspections of manufacturing machinery.
Identify Problems Sooner
In the world of manufacturing, a machine or production line will develop faults or issues over time. In the initial stages, the problems may not be immediately noticeable and may not affect the functioning of the equipment. Problems that are caused by natural wear and tear of pieces of equipment may not become apparent until they cause a component to break completely. For example, many production plants use a series of pumps to move the flow of liquids from one stage or machine to another. Over time, pump cavitation can occur. These can lead to eroding key components in machinery and may lead to damage to the pump seals. By regularly inspecting key equipment, problems that are beginning to develop may be identified sooner and can result in smaller remedial maintenance actions being required to rectify them rather than the replacement of components or entire machines. This proactive inspection routine can save a manufacturing company significant sums of money in the long term.
Protect Worker Safety
Employees who work in factories need to be assured that the equipment they use regularly is well maintained and that routine inspections take place. It is a fact that defective machinery can be a direct factor in workers sustaining a wide range of injuries at work. If an employer is found to be negligent in adhering to a reasonable schedule of machinery inspection and routine maintenance which has caused the accident to occur, they could be liable for legal action. Worker safety should be of paramount importance for any employer in the manufacturing industry and, as such, all machinery should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that it operates safely.
Minimize Downtime of Lines
Regular inspection schedules for production equipment can save time in manufacturing processes. If a problem is noted during a routine inspection, it is often likely that remedial repairs or maintenance can take place to rectify the issue. Whilst this takes time, it is likely to be significantly less time-consuming than replacing key pieces of equipment or vital components. New components and machinery will need to be ordered and delivered and a serious problem will cause the production line to cease operation until the fault has been fixed. Put simply, proactive inspections can significantly reduce the downtime of production lines which results in less time wasted and greater efficiencies.