Top Considerations for Successful Spare Parts Management

Top Considerations for Successful Spare Parts Management
  • Opening Intro -

    When you operate an industrial facility, machines are bound to break.

    These are the top considerations for successful spare parts management.

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Manufacturing facilities rely on heavy-duty machines to get products down the line in a timely fashion. With workflow and efficiency as king and queen, there’s little room for downtime errors. So, when machines break down and halt production altogether, it’s a costly affair.

That’s why many industrial plants have their own backstock of spare parts for quick fixes. Though trained engineers will check out your machines from time to time according to your preventive maintenance schedule, you can’t help the unexpected machine breakdown.

However, it’s best to prepare yourself with all the necessary parts and pieces ahead of time so that repairs are quick and the production line can move again. Here are the top considerations for successful spare parts management.

Assess Plant Workflow

Spare parts management begins with an honest and forthright assessment of your plant’s workflow. Which machines do you run the hardest? Which ones do you leave running continuously? What are your oldest devices, and how long do their parts typically last? Asking questions such as these will help you narrow down a list of risky candidates.

As you perform your workflow walkthrough, be sure to ask the technicians who operate the machinery about their daily experiences with the tool. See if they’ve noticed any weak spots or loose parts. These will be high-priority parts for which to have spares.

The only way to know if your workflow assessment was effective is to wait and see how well you anticipated your spare parts needs. Keep a running catalog of anticipated parts to replace and parts you actually ended up replacing. This way, you have a running tally of the work you performed, and you can adapt your backstock in accordance with real-world needs.

Accumulate Parts Over Time

It may sound like meticulous hoarding, but gathering your spare parts is all about having the right piece at the right time. And this convenience means you have an organized and extensive storeroom for your extra equipment. When problems come up or machines break down, it’s worth salvaging any parts you can for future reuse. You should also spend time going through scraps and purchasing sets of replacement parts to expand your inventory. For example, when you know how expansion joint metal bellows work, you can anticipate what parts will need replacing, such as a root portion.

Make Work Orders Accessible

It’s vital to note that access doesn’t automatically make something accessible. When a problem pops up, it’s up to you and your team to solve the issue quickly. So, you need an effective work order system that all employees can access. You should train staff on the ins and outs of work order placement to cut down the questions people have in emergencies.

Remember these top considerations for successful spare parts management so that you can minimize emergency maintenance downtime. The more time you put into cultivating a top-notch selection of parts, the better off you’ll be in the event that you actually need to use the spare parts.

image credit: Adobe Stock

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