Tips and Tricks for Routine Maintenance That Works
Routine maintenance is preventative – it prevents issues before they occur. For this to work, you must perform regular maintenance checks at set intervals. This might consist of small adjustments or the repair and replacement of minor parts, or even just checking that pumps are lubricated.
Not only does regular maintenance maximize a pump’s longevity, it saves money through increased pump productivity. However, you must find the sweet spot between keeping your pumps and equipment well maintained and being overly cautious.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the full benefits of regular checks:
Decide when to do maintenance
While you should always consult the original manufacturer’s guidelines, maintenance checks generally occur every eight hours that the pump operates. We recommend full-service maintenance after every 250 hours of operation. Schedule your maintenance at set times (especially when the system is down) and be sure to check that you disable anything that needs disabling before you start working. Use your common sense and remember to record everything for future reference.
Put safety first
This might seem obvious, but make sure machines are off and cooled down before performing any maintenance checks!
Adapt to operational conditions
To get the most out of routine maintenance, you need to understand the conditions that could impact the life of the pump. For example, pumps that operate in adverse conditions, such as where there is high vibration or risk of corrosion, may be subject to more wear and tear.
Observation is key
While any maintenance should follow OEM specifications, remember that the people who work with the equipment every day will be able to detect things before you do. Ask your employees or pump operators to observe the pump while it’s running and take note of any unusual vibration, leaks, or odors.
Use technology effectively
Most advanced systems can predict when maintenance is needed through data analytics (such as how long a pump usually takes to repair, how often failure occurs, parts and their cost, asset history etc). For example, a predictive program will pick up if a specific pump has caused shutdowns, what the cause of this was (e.g. bearing failure due to insufficient lubricant) and make recommendations (such as to increase lubrication frequency). Sensors can also detect if there are any changes that many affect operations.
Quick tips for routine maintenance
1. Make maintenance a priority and schedule at designated intervals
2. Perform pre-shift inspection
a. Check mounting points, mechanical seals and packing
b. Inspect for leaks
c. Check couplings and inspect and clean filters
3. Keep maintenance logs
4. Adhere to OEM guidelines
5. Match the application to the use
a. Adjust oil and coolants for change in temperature
b. Inspect and maintain the pump more frequently when operating in adverse conditions
6. Keep pumps well-lubricated
7. Look for the cause of the problem
a. Monitor heat, flow, noise, speed, strain, pressure, vibration, power consumption, leakages and any contamination of product while pump is running
b. Check electrical/motors regularly
8. Keep common parts in stock and only use genuine OEM parts
a. If any hoses, seals or O-rings begin deteriorating, replace these immediately
9. Train employees well, or outsource
10. Use the pump within its limitations
11. Utilise technology for predictive maintenance
Are you unsure what kind of maintenance you should be doing, or if you should be doing it all? Call our toll-free number on 1-800-367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you maintain a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.