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The Value of Preventive Maintenance for Electronic Systems in Manufacturing

The Value of Preventive Maintenance for Electronic Systems in Manufacturing

In today's manufacturing landscape, electronic systems play an important role in the efficient production of goods, from the handling of raw materials to the final stage of packaging. Over the past five decades, the integration of electronics has revolutionized manufacturing processes, making them more streamlined and cost-effective. Unlike the high-maintenance reliance on relays and hydraulics in the past, electronic systems generally offer greater reliability and demand less attention. However, this shift has led to a reduction in maintenance staff at many facilities, resulting in inadequate maintenance of manufacturing equipment and the emergence of third-party repair services.

Through multiple visits to diverse manufacturing settings, we have encountered exemplary operations and those in need of significant improvement. A recurring problem that we have identified in several companies is the absence of comprehensive documentation for their operational tools. Although some companies have manuals, few companies are well aware of the recommended proactive maintenance procedures for their equipment.

Below are four practical guidelines for effective preventive maintenance:

1. Document centrality

Collect and store all equipment documentation in an easily accessible place for easy reference by concerned personnel.

2. Inventory of critical spare parts

Obtain spare parts necessary to maintain manufacturing processes. While it may not be possible to stock every part, focusing on components with known wear problems or frequent failures can significantly reduce downtime.

3. Motor controls and associated spares

Systems consisting of multiple motor controls often experience recurring problems. Potential disruptions can be minimized by maintaining a supply of redundant motor control and associated motors.

4. Firmware and parameter recovery

Establish procedures to retrieve firmware and parameter settings if not provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) at the time of purchase. This practice ensures long-term system operation and safeguards against potential OEM shutdowns.

While preventive maintenance does not guarantee complete problem prevention, following these guidelines increases the chances of a quick and effective repair if problems do occur. By proactively implementing these measures, manufacturing facilities can increase operational flexibility and longevity.

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