There are many sides to maintenance in a manufacturing plant. Preventative and corrective maintenance are necessary to keep machinery and equipment running at optimal efficiency. But an equally important (and often neglected) piece of the maintenance puzzle is the control system.
Maintaining the instrumentation, components and devices on your current control system, is not only a good practice, it’s critical. If you’re thinking of updating a legacy control system in hopes of solving existing problems, think again. A new control system will provide you functionality, but it will not fix existing problems with your instrument readings and devices. A new control system can only control from the information that it is receiving. So, if your instruments are off, the control system will be making changes based on incorrect information. Below are some tips for maintaining your control system.
Regular instrument calibration
You should know the instruments ranges and spans and that they are working correctly. Even the slightest measurement error can jeopardize product quality and consistency. Not only can this result in increased manufacturing costs, but if defective products are unwittingly shipped off to consumers, it could cost you valuable client relationships as well as a hit to your brands’ reputation.
Maintain your equipment
It’s Murphy’s law- unmaintained equipment will fail during a major run, when you can least afford the downtime. Proactively check all the moving parts- belts, chain brakes, cables and hoses. Make adjustments as necessary. If you find something is about to break, you just may be able to order a replacement before it happens. To reduce the wear and load on the motor, keep the rollers and bearings greased and oiled.
Standalone Computer Operated Systems
To ensure against overheating, regularly remove dust from the computer and replace the cooling fans as needed. If the system is logging information, don’t forget to back up the data and remove it from the hard drive- otherwise, it can fill up causing the computer to crash.
Regular maintenance will keep your controls reliable, keep you up and running and ultimately lead to consistent product quality, improved safety and lower manufacturing costs. Do you have any tips for Control System Maintenance?
Image Source: macrovector