Warehouse equipment is more likely to experience breakdowns and mechanical issues without regular maintenance, which leads to long periods of unplanned downtime. This can have further adverse effects, such as high maintenance costs, increased risk of injury, and inefficient workflows. Luckily, conducting predictive and preventative maintenance can cost-effectively alleviate these concerns and intervene before they begin.
Continue reading to learn more about predictive maintenance and avoid downtime within your warehouse. This article covers the following topics:
- What is predictive maintenance?
- How to use predictive maintenance
- What are the advantages of predictive maintenance?
What Is Predictive Maintenance?
Predictive maintenance, otherwise referred to as condition-based maintenance, is a method of equipment care that involves closely assessing the condition and performance of warehouse machinery to prevent costly repairs and avoidable breakdowns. Using various tools, predictive analytics, and condition monitoring, teams can determine when future breakdowns might occur and get ahead of them, thus reducing downtime and improving overall efficiency.
Preventative vs Predictive Maintenance
To the uninformed, predictive maintenance can sound incredibly similar to preventative maintenance or even identical. However, there are specific distinctions that set the two maintenance methods apart from one another.
Preventative maintenance is generally performed on a recurring schedule to prevent unwanted breakdowns and inconvenient repairs. While this is a great way to ensure that your equipment is taken care of on a regular basis, it also occurs regardless of your equipment’s condition. This means maintenance can sometimes be unnecessary or happen months after internal damage has progressed to the stage where repairs may be costly.
Meanwhile, predictive maintenance relies on advanced analytics and machine monitoring to sense data and estimate when repairs are required. Think of it as a weather forecaster predicting the latest forecast. You still have the option to schedule predictive maintenance as needed, but this way, you can utilize the best industry practices and historical data to stay on top of all your maintenance requirements.
How to Use Predictive Maintenance
Incorporating a predictive maintenance program into your warehouse procedures is straightforward. Here’s how it’s done:
- Analyze the current baselines of your warehouse equipment and its history so that you can better identify oddities in its performance. This might include reviewing downtime records, equipment faults, production losses, and more.
- Obtain equipment data such as pressure, vibration analysis, temperature, and more from machines and sensors.
- Use detailed analytical strategies to survey the collected data. This involves using machine learning algorithms to recognize patterns and accurately estimate when equipment is predicted to fail.
- Software must be programmed to trigger alerts whenever potential equipment failures are liable to occur.
- Contact predictive maintenance services to schedule an appointment whenever alerts present themselves. Doing so during non-working hours can prevent downtime.
- After establishing your predictive maintenance strategy, you can continue to monitor equipment and collect data to refine your processes and minimize unplanned downtime even further.
The Benefits of Predictive Maintenance
Implementing predictive maintenance into your typical warehouse routine can have positive effects on your business and employees, including the following:
Downtime within the workplace may not seem like a big deal, but the wasted time can add up quickly when done often, resulting in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in lost revenue. However, continuously inspecting the condition of your warehouse equipment reduces the downtime caused by machine failures and lengthy repairs. In some cases, workers can better monitor and identify problems before they occur and eliminate downtime altogether.
Increased Equipment Longevity
The better monitored and maintained your warehouse equipment, the longer it is going to last. Practicing condition-based predictive maintenance ensures issues are found early on before they can progress and do severe damage. With greater equipment longevity comes less downtime and more significant savings for your company.
Investing in high-quality equipment is the best way to ensure your equipment’s longevity. Get the right equipment for your facility from an established and proven provider like Southwest Warehouse Solutions.
Predictive maintenance saves your business money that would otherwise have been used to repair or replace equipment, as well as the cost of labor, required parts, tools used, time spent, and other factors. When you consider that the price of brand-new reliable forklifts can range anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000, and used ones still average between $5,000 and $11,000, the savings are significant.
Better Workplace Productivity
Workplace operations tend to run more smoothly without the downtime needed to repair equipment and machinery. This can lead to an uptick in productivity that accomplishes goals, meets deadlines, and enhances production numbers, increasing your company’s bottom line.
Increased Employee Safety
Faulty equipment and machinery can lead to workplace injuries that prevent employees from carrying on with their daily operations. Luckily, several early warning indicators alert trained operators of potential issues. Predictive maintenance catches and quickly resolves these problems before they can cause harm to your workers. As an added benefit, insurance providers often take note of companies that use predictive maintenance programs and reduce their insurance costs without lowering their coverage.
Need Reliable Predictive Maintenance? Partner With Southwest Warehouse Solutions
Being a go-to warehouse solutions provider for over thirty years, Southwest Warehouse Solutions is more than prepared to take on any predictive maintenance services your business may have. We aim to ensure that every one of our clients’ warehouses is productive, efficient, and free to explore future goals and innovative processes. We conduct a full inspection of your facility and work closely with your crew to determine which procedures and equipment would best benefit your warehouse operations.
By partnering with Southwest, we can provide predictive maintenance solutions for warehouses and offer reliable maintenance plans. Contact Southwest Warehouse Solutions today to optimize your warehouse with predictive maintenance services dedicated to seeing you succeed.