Regardless of the machinery you work with, equipment of all types is bound to break down over time and often display similar symptoms of wear and tear. Here are the top five warning signs of machine failure to keep you and your employees safe no matter what equipment you work with.
If you’re keeping up to date with your machine, engine, and generator inspections, you’ll know your average production speed. The slowing of production speed can be obvious, but if your production speed suddenly increases—especially if the quality of the product quality goes simultaneously—this could be due to machinery malfunction. It would be good to note your production speed on a bi-monthly basis so that you can keep track of any changes in production speed.
Cleanliness and Smell
Any buildup of grease, grime, or dirt is a huge warning sign that your machine is malfunctioning or will soon. This debris also includes leaks, wetness, or dust buildup on any seams or parts. In addition, dirty machinery will usually produce odd or different smells than you may be used to. So, if you’re noticing any foul odors or new scents, you should get the machinery inspected quickly.
Unexplained Heat or Smoke
Any high friction points of machinery will produce heat, and monitoring that heat is essential. While it may be dangerous to touch with your hand, you can use an infrared thermometer to take note of the heat. In addition, heat increases in any part of your machinery should be noted, especially if you notice the production of new or excessive smoke and or steam. Unexplained heat can be a serious safety hazard, so take note of any unexplained temperature changes.
Machines and their motors often emit loud sounds that are considered normal during their day-to-day usage. However, because workers can get accustomed to these sounds quickly, it’s important to occasionally stop and listen for any new or odd groaning, clunking, or whirring. The sound will usually become louder as it worsens, so a new loud sound likely indicates a serious problem.
Because factories and workshops can be noisy places, take the time every few months to quiet the floor and listen to one machine at a time. This will make it easier for you and workers to discern what sounds are normal and what sounds are not.
Excessive Movement or Vibrations
Monitoring excessive movement and vibration may be the hardest factor to check because it’s natural for machines to do just that. However, any excessive shaking outside the norm may indicate an imminent breakdown and machine failure. The most likely culprit is a loose part, and if you aren’t sure what that loose part is, you need to schedule an inspection ASAP.
Now that you know the top five warning signs of machine failure, you can keep your machinery running smoothly and safely!
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