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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
8 ways to improve your factory's maintenance schedule

As the manager of a manufacturing business, you no doubt understand the importance of maintenance for all your machines, so that they keep working as expected for years. What you may not think much about, however, is whether your maintenance plan is truly setting you up for long-term success. This is certainly something worth exploring, and you will have to do more to ensure your schedules are putting you in the best possible position.

Want to be more effective on that front? Take the following recommendations to heart:

1) Heed all pertinent data

It's likely that you collect at least some amount of data on your production line's performance and can tailor your maintenance plan to whatever that data suggests, according to PFMA, Inc. However, companies may often be tempted to ignore it if they are coming up on a deadline or the data suggests they deviate from an existing maintenance plan — and that can have disastrous consequences.

2) Prioritize the most important aspects of your production process

There are some times when you have multiple maintenance needs simultaneously, and when you're trying to decide what to focus on, the answer should always be "whatever best serves the production process," PFMA, Inc., said. There's no need to distribute maintenance resources equally across the facility; the stuff that matters most to getting the job done should get the attention it needs.

3) Always use the latest info

Over time, you may add to or alter the components of your production machines and you need to make sure your maintenance schedule accounts for those changes on an ongoing basis, according to Sage Automation. Simply put, the maintenance plan that worked for you three years ago probably won't be as effective today.

4) Train your employees more effectively

One of the leading causes of wear and tear (and eventual breakdowns) is when workers don't use machines exactly as intended, Sage Automation added. For that reason, regular training is  a critical part of proper long-term maintenance.

5) Make sure preventative maintenance is always on the cards

You would be wise to make sure all your production machines exist in two states: "Maintenance will happen soon" or "maintenance was performed recently," Sage Automation cautioned. It's always a good idea to ensure this is happening at least as often as manufacturers recommend.

6) Don't leave room for ambiguity

When laying out a maintenance plan, you should certainly account for how your employees will follow instructions, according to Mapcon. Make sure whatever you proscribe for maintenance is followed to the letter, and that the outlines you make for that work are as descriptive as possible.

7) Make workers responsible for reporting issues

Regular maintenance isn't always enough to keep your machines working their best, so employees should be empowered to report unexpected issues as soon as they're noticed, Mapcon noted. That way, a small problem isn't left to linger until it becomes a major issue.

8) Never think your plan is perfect

Finally, always build in time to reassess an existing maintenance plan, Mapcon further advised. When yo do so, you won't get stuck in a rut without realizing it and can continually put your best foot forward.

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