Machinery maintenance schedules
How to develop a system of regular equipment upkeep in your shop. March 16, 2001
I run a 9-man shop and my machinery is abused everyday. Does anyone have a maintenance chart or schedule for regular machinery maintenance they would share?
You could have a daily period, say the last 20 minutes of a shift, for cleanup and minor adjustment, if necessary of each machine. If you wait until the end of the week, dust, dirt, and lack of lubrication will affect the accuracy and quality of your products.
For a schedule, check with the manufacturer of each machine. They should have a detailed description of recommended daily and periodic maintenance and adjustments.
When I worked in a factory, a few people were assigned to lubrication and machine adjustments. They started work 1/2 hour earlier than everyone else. It is key to have the same people doing the maintenance.
Check the manual for each machine to see what it requires. Take a clip board and some graft paper. On the left side of your paper, list all your equipment and draw a line under each entry all the way across. Across the top of your paper, list all the maintenance required, such as oil, grease, drain water (of air tanks), wear, etc. Now draw lines down your paper between each requirement. Use an extra piece of paper for notes. Date each chart and provide a place for the signature of the maintenance person.
We developed spreadsheet-like paper forms that our man in charge used as a checklist when daily/weekly/monthly chores were performed. He'd complete a task and check off the appropriate block in a column for the appropriate day of the month, next to a particular machine.
All our manuals and safety information were stored in one place and were appropriately indexed and book marked for the more difficult or obscure maintenance procedures. The system worked well, especially when a new guy had to be trained for the tasks.
Assign a person to each machine and let them create the maintenance schedule. The big advantage to this system is that people start to take pride in their machine.