5 Maintenance Tips to Extend Equipment Life and ROI

importance_of_equipment_maintenanceHeavy machinery, especially Mining, Industrial or Farming Equipment, requires constant maintenance to keep it in good working order. Conversely, poorly maintained large machinery equipment runs inefficiently. Breakdowns are costly and safety is also an important consideration.

Here are five top tips for large machinery maintenance:

1. Stay on top of large machinery operator training

Many types of large machinery have multiple operators. One of the ongoing inspections on any checklist should be overseeing the correct operation of the equipment.

Large machinery should be inspected as soon as it is purchased. Operator training is usually done at that point, but training needs to be kept up. Employees come and go, skills become rusty and poor operation leads to breakdowns.

Operator manuals can be revised for the specific work situation. They can be rewritten in simpler language. A short manual can be provided to each operator for easy reference. And, if you operate in a paperless environment, you can rest assured operators use the most current version of each manual.

One other note is to identify best practices, which can then be applied to other facilities or geographic locations. The knowledge you learn about how to maintain your equipment can become quite valuable – be sure to best leverage this important knowledge and use it at every applicable location.

2. Add and test lubricants frequently

Lubricants reduce friction around any moving part. A schedule of good lubrication maintenance extends the life of large machinery equipment and parts.

Lubrication is one of the first and most important of maintenance checks. Look for signs of excess oil or grease build-up on pistons. Check for leaks around oil seals.

Be sure to use the right lubricant. There are specific kinds of oil and grease for every component. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Getting the lubricants checked is a good way to diagnose problems with large machinery. Experts analyze particles in the used oil. The makeup of any contaminants will indicate which part may be suffering from wear or breakdown.

3. Check for signs of wear

Vibration, shock, high temperatures, friction and age all contribute to the breakdown of parts in heavy machinery.

  • Vibration can come from gears and belts that are out of alignment
  • Shock can come from accidents and from poor operator technique
  • High temperatures can come from extended use, friction, poor lubrication and worn parts, among other reasons
  • Age affects many key components. Over time, belts will warp. Seals will dry and crack. Bolts will loosen and stretch out of shape. Age is a factor to monitor in equipment.

Should you discover wear and tear on any moving parts within your heavy equipment, be sure to quickly perform the necessary replacement of any worn parts.

4. Keep large machinery clean, and maintain a clean environment

There are many seals and filters in place on heavy machinery to keep working parts clean and free of contamination. Seals should be inspected regularly to make sure they’re in good condition. Filters should be inspected and changed regularly. Breathers should be kept clean to avoid creating a vacuum in the cab which will suck contaminants into the cab. The electronics in the cab are susceptible to breakdown if contaminated. This impacts the clutch, for example.

Large machinery should be stored in a shed or other building if at all possible. Exposure to wind and weather can lead to rust and rot. The machinery should be run periodically if it is not in use.

5. Have a maintenance and repair schedule, and keep good records

Fluids, tires, tracks and electrical systems are among the components that have to be checked regularly for preventive maintenance. Know what needs to be inspected and when. Here are some examples.

  • Power transmissions have many moving parts that need to be maintained in top condition. Gearboxes need to be checked for lubrication, vibration and damage to parts.
  • Friction materials, seals, gaskets and bearings all need to be inspected for wear and replaced. Gears and shafts usually last a long time and don’t need to be replaced often, if at all.
  • Drive train components need constant monitoring. Check pulleys and v-belts on CVT transmissions for alignment and wear. Check sprockets for correct meshing with chains and for breaks.
  • Test the oil to diagnose problems. Change filters frequently.
  • Bearings keep great amounts of force running smoothly and are vital to large machinery performance. Check bearing lubrication often. Maintaining bearings well extends their life.
  • Lubricate gears frequently.
  • Do a seal check to prevent bearing raceway contamination.
  • Run torque checks on the bolts. Bolts can elongate and creep over time.

To conclude, following the above 5 steps can significantly extend the useful life of heavy machinery, improving the Return on Investment from these important purchases. In today’s global manufacturing world, even greater value can be extracted if you have a global knowledge capture and distribution system such that this knowledge of machinery maintenance can be effectively shared across your organization – letting you reap even greater benefits on a much wider scale.


Author Bio

This is a guest post from Jessica Noonan, who is a freelance writer knowledgeable on manufacturing operations. One of her clients is Statewide Bearings, an Australian supplier of bearings, linear motion and power transmission elements. Got an opinion on something within this article? Connect with Jessica on Google+ to discuss!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2014/03/5-maintenance-tips-to-extend-equipment-life-and-roi/


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  1. Consider your budget in a buy or rent situation. For highly expensive tools for occasional use, you might want to consider renting. However, for less costly ones for frequent use, buy.

  2. That is a good point that large machinery should be inspected as soon as it is purchased. That is something I would want to do if I were getting some large industrial machinery. Then I would be able to figure out if it were needing any repairs at all.

  3. It is interesting how most of us buy heavy machinery equipment, but do not know how to care for them to extend their economic life and get the best of their roi. This article is really a good resource and is worth sharing. So, thank you!

    • Avatar
    • Matthew Quinn on March 3, 2019 at 11:42 pm
    • Reply

    First of all, thank you for sharing this blog. It’s completely understood that testing lubricants frequently is the vital task to be performed to extend the life of large machinery equipment. A fluid management audit is a valuable tool used to assess the current condition of lubricants. I am impressed with the practices of Clean Lube Solutions. They assists completely with implementing recommendations including the prioritising of tasks, competency assessments, training, work practices, consultation, product selection and sourcing & organising of contractors.

  4. I like how you mentioned that lubrication helps keep parts from wearing down. I makes sense that you’d want to prevent damage. However, if a part does wear down, do you have any tips for replacing it?

  5. Very Well Done Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful Article, Really its Helpful

  6. keeping the equipment clean and making sure that all of its parts are working properly and in an optimal state. Thanks for sharing some important tips to extend the life of the equipment. Keep sharing such more informative blogs.

  7. A very informative post and thanks for sharing it with the community!

  8. This is good site for machinery maintenance

  9. The Layout generator could previously consume large amounts of memory under some circumstances

  10. Nice machinery maintenance tips. These same recommendations apply to any grade or machinery type. It is very cost-effective to perform regular care and maintain a consistent schedule in order to prolong the life of your equipment.

  11. High-performing packaging automation systems can help manufacturers
    Maximize productivity and efficiencies to remain competitive
    Improve packaging flexibility to accommodate larger product varieties and more diverse packaging sizes
    Meet the needs of an aging and evolving workforce. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks for the great article about machine maintenance tips….

  13. These tips are very useful for maintaining the equipment as it is very costly in the market of the auto industry and it is useful too so as to save the cost of it you can make a lot of effort and you can also take the help of these tips for maintaining it.

  14. Good tips overall. It’s cheaper to maintain your equipment properly over time than fix something when it goes wrong.

  15. Thank you for pointing out that power transmission systems have a lot of parts that are always moving, like the gearboxes, so it is best to maintain it regularly. I will be sure to keep this in mind since the last power transmission actually broke due to overwork and few maintenances. It’s pretty expensive, so now that we intend to get a new one, I think regular maintenance and inspections must be in order.

  16. It got me when you said that machines should be stored away in containers when not in use since exposing them to the wind can start rotting or rusting. I knew it wasn’t a good idea when they left the old mixer exposed to the night wind because they had no place to keep it. That is probably one of the reasons why it broke. Anyway, I will share this with everyone and hope that they do not make the same mistake when they buy another mixer.

  17. I found your blog to be very informative and interesting.I will be sure to
    bookmark your blog and may come back in the future. Thank you for sharing this.

  18. In apparels factory sewing machine problem, not a new thing. In a day huge of Loss time for machine breakdown. So maintenance can care for this machinery. and this post is very good for machinery maintenance ….

  19. I like your point in tip 5. Everything need maintenace and kept in good condition. Proper well maintenance is as important as a good well design.

  20. Great post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I appreciated it when you said that things like the fluids, tracks, tires, and electrical systems are the things that need to be checked regularly in order to ensure proper operation. I think we forgot the connectors and the couplers since those are the things that are broken now. Well, anyway, it will serve as an eye-opener since I will make sure that after I get them replaced, I will never neglect them again.

  22. I think it is important to perform necessary replacement of any worn parts in mining equipment. Of course, you want to get good mining equipment for your job. I would assume that any mining operations owners would want to keep their equipment in good condition after buying it.

  23. I can now agree with you when you said that there are a lot of metal parts in a machine that needs to be kept clean and free of contamination if I want to keep them functioning at their finest. The problem is that we did not pay attention to that as early as we should have. Now we need new parts, including the exothermic sleeves. Hopefully, I find one easily, then I will see to it that we are more careful this time.

  24. LOVE this article (and your others!). This was so helpful in my preparation for something later today .I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your post Thanks for your great information, tips, and expertise!

  25. Great content. I agree with the points mentioned above and for keeping the machinery in proper shape will help them work for longer durations. Thanks for sharing.

  26. It sure was nice when you said that power transmissions, like gearboxes, need to be checked regularly for lubrication and damages since they have a lot of moving parts that need to be maintained. Apparently, the people with us overlooked that and now the equipment that we rented is malfunctioning. I will call a professional to give it a check and have it repaired ASAP as we cannot hold the construction off any longer. Afterward, I will make sure that everyone knows this. Thank you.

  27. I do like your suggestion of keeping the equipment in a clean storage and make sure that all of its components are clean because that will ensure that it continues to work in its optimal state. I will be sure to share this with my sister since she is planning to rent a few pieces of equipment for her apartment construction project. Considering that the items are rented, it only makes sense that she wants to keep them intact. Thanks!

  28. Really nice article. it is very nice and informative. Thanks for your sharing such great post.

  29. You make a good point that you should inspect your large machinery as soon as you get them. Another thing you should do is make sure that your equipment remains charged and ready to work. You’d just want to find a charger for them to make sure that they are able to keep working.

  30. Very important information. For the machinery to work efficiently and properly, it needs to maintained, cleaned and needs to be replaced before its obsolete.

  31. Great article. Very detailed. I completely agree with proper storage of machinery. A machinery workshop or farm shed can definitely help with a machine’s longevity. Good ventilation can also help reduce any moisture built up (which would otherwise cause rust)

  32. Your factory runs on machines and hence maintain a machine is a most important thing. Maintaining a machine on regular interval saves you from major breakdown. Also, the other points mentioned important too. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Great info! I love to read your articles. Here are so many interesting things to keep in mind. Thanks and keep sharing.

  34. It was great that you talked about lubrication and how scheduling it regularly will help greatly in extending the life of the construction equipment and its parts. It would have been nice if we learned about that ear.lier as that seems to be the reason why the forklift broke. Anyway, I will get the machine to a professional for repairs, then we will follow your tips to ensure it does not break again. Thank you!

  35. Totally agree with the points mentioned in the article, since these are such costly machines you need to have a proper check on them so that they don’t get worn out easily. As it isn’t possible to buy such costly machines and repair them within a year or so or change them every couple of years.

  36. It makes sense why having a knowledge of machinery maintenance can let you reap even great benefits on a wider scale. I feel like a little bit of maintenance can go a long way. I’ve heard that something else that can help is by making your equipment is up to date.

  37. I like how you mentioned having a maintenance and repair schedule. With heavy machinery, it’s always important to stay on top and ahead of any potential big issues. I have a friend who deals with a lot of heavy machinery. I’ll have to let him know to keep a schedule and list of his repairs.

  38. Maintenance of construction equipment has been always a big challenge. I must say that these are golden tips you share for the maintenance. That would definitely help out the construction equipment business owners out there.

  39. That makes sense that shock, high temperatures, friction and age all contribute to the breakdown of your equipment. Equipment can experience a lot of that wear being used on the field. It’s important to have scheduled maintenance to keep machines at peak performance for longer periods of time.

  40. Awesome blog. Thanks for sharing and the best information of construction 

  41. It’s important to get quality plant and machinery inspection informative site. This blog is really helpful to give a light in this issue. I like your point about training and maintenance

    1. Yes I agree with the Winmain

  42. I like how you mentioned how important it is to quickly replace any worn parts. I think this would be particularly important on the machines used in the material handling field. The things used to handle all material is important because if they break then the material being handled has a potential to be damaged. Ensuring that the correct products can be purchased to replace those worn items is important in case an emergency occurs and repairs need to be made quickly.

  43. Awesome blog. Thanks for sharing and the best information..

  44. Heavy Machinery need extra care and maintenance as compare to other machine. They need extra lubrication and oiling to stay in working order for long time.

  45. Such inspections and maintenance is really important in extending the life of your heavy machinery. Nice article you wrote about it…thanks

  46. I can definitely see how lubricants would be important when it comes to industrial plant maintenance. There happens to be a lot of large and complex machinery. It seems like it would all need a lot of regular maintenance in order to keep everything running smoothly.

  47. It’s important to get quality plant and machinery inspection informative site. This blog is really helpful to give a light in this issue. I like your point about training and maintenance

  48. Great article! This will help me keep all my equipment maintained for alot longer than usual, thank you for sharing this.

  49. As per my Experience Other 2 tips are

    1) Understand the Warranty: Negotiate the terms and the length of your warranty when you order. Understand the warranty clearly and ensure that it covers the cost of repairs in addition to accidents.

    2) Set Aside Emergency Fund: Machines can break down or may need repair work unexpectedly. Even if you have insurance, it is ideal to set aside emergency funds to cover the cost of unexpected, urgent repair and maintenance work.

  50. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips. Heavy machines need extra care and maintenance. All your tips are useful for machine operators and machinery manufacturers. I would like to get information about this. Keep sharing.

  51. Nice article! i was looking these type of engineering material. This product Is very helpful for engineering work.

  52. Maintenance of equipments is very important for proper functioning. I must say tips which have shared are excellent. Practise of this tips will surely help one to extend life & ROI of equipments.

  53. These are some great tips we’ll have to keep in mind as we try to keep our pneumatic vibrators i good condition. Keeping the environment is something I didn’t realize could help with that. I would add that you need to make sure you are using the right tool for the right job in order to ensure that the tool doesn’t break sooner than intended.

  54. This is a great blog for manufacturing companies.

  55. I agree with the tip about keeping working parts clean and free of contamination on heavy machinery. It’s not hard to imagine that heavy machinery can get dirty pretty quickly considering the work that’s done with them. Keeping the maintenance up with the machinery is crucial to how they will perform in the long-run.

  56. Thanks Jessica I found this really useful and especially the last part about maintenance and servicing.

  57. Your statement to check and replace lubricant frequently means a lot. In my opinion, people don’t realize that their car or whatever needs that kind of thing. I bought a used, old truck, and I’m trying to find a good machine shop to help me repair it, but I don’t know where to look.

  58. I like that you said that vibration can come form gears and belts that are out of alignment. If a machine was being run by me then I would want to know that everything is in the right place and working the right way. I think that it might be important to do a quick inspection before running any machinery or packaging it.

  59. That’s a good tip to stay on top of large machinery training. You wouldn’t want to damage someone or the machine. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever have to operate a big machine.

  60. Thanks for the tip to stay on top of large machinery training, to make sure that everyone stays safe on the job. I agree that you should check and add lubricants as needed to your machines to keep them in optimal condition. I think it’s a good idea to choose a construction company that only employs licensed professionals so that you are confident in their team.

    • Avatar
    • kk sharma on December 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply

    Great post, these are so good tips and these are best to keep our machine healthy. we are using these tips on daily bases. these are practical tips for us.

  61. thank you for taking the time to write this tips, I find them very helpful. I hadn’t thought about making a maintenance and repair schedule to keep the systems and machines working properly. I can see why this would be useful, you want to know how your items are getting used and plan ahead when they look worn out.

  62. Very useful information. Thanks for the sharing. When you have the heavy machinery then you do should be maintain them. You can check Other Machinery & Industry Equipment.

  63. Just like the annual check-up with your physician, a regular check-up on the overall functionality and condition of your heavy machinery helps keep the continuity of what is expected and the standard performance of your equipment.

  64. I’m glad you listed staying on top of operator training as the first tip. It is so important to make sure that everyone who runs the machinery knows exactly how to handle it. It’s easy for little things to be missed when training is passed down from person to person. When one person is responsible for all the training, it ensures that every worker gets the information they need to operate the machinery properly.

  65. great advice on how to keep heavy machinery maintained

  66. Thanking for sharing this informative article. It will help us for maintaining our machinery properly. Thanx for sharing this types of article. Keep Sharing this type of article in future.

  67. Useful information. Maintainence of heavy machine is the big task for any project. Thanks for sharing is info. I am a civil engineer and currently I am working on 3 projects.

  68. So simple yet so often forgotten about. A must-read, well done.

  69. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  70. I think tip five about keeping a schedule is a good idea. Organization is a good skill to have. I’d imagine it would make these other equipment maintenance tips get done.

  71. Nice and Very Informative Post it is. I LIke this post and thanks for sharing this informative post with us…..

  72. Thanking for sharing this informative article. It will help us for maintaining our machinery properly. Thanx for sharing this types of article. Keep Sharing this type of article in future. All the Best.

  73. Thanks for the article! I thought it was interesting that you suggest keeping a consistent maintenance and repair schedule for your machinery. Materials on the machines may require more attention to be able to run at the top level. I can see how making sure that each machine is specifically cared for can make jobs more efficient and effective. I really appreciate your input and hope to apply these tips to my own work.

  74. There are some really good quality points for keeping good machinery maintenance. Organization seems to be a key factor when it comes to keeping good maintenance. I’d imagine that forgetting to do one of these five things could really throw off the schedule.

  75. Hi

    Very useful information. Thanks for sharing!!

    For proper maintenance cleaning of machines is also important. Cleaning machines have been developed to provide fast and efficient cleaning of manufactured components. Their are different cleaning machines models available to suit various component sizes.

    • Avatar
    • Sandy Hopes on April 23, 2016 at 1:28 am
    • Reply

    Its really a good blog on plant and machinery inspection. I appreciate your article. Its important to get quality plant and machinery inspection informative site. This blog is really helpful to give a light in this issue. So thanks for sharing all that important information.

  76. I like your tip to have a maintenance and repair schedule for you equipment. Heavy construction equipment can start to have safety and efficiency issues if it gets worn down. Performing simple maintenance tasks and making repairs when needed can make your equipment last longer. Thanks for the tips.

  77. Thanks for pointing out that maintaining a good schedule can help extend the life of the equipment. With such large machines, they can experience a lot of stress, and making sure that they are looked at properly will keep the equipment as well as the workers safe. I’ll have to make sure that the companies that i hire are doing this as well.

  78. I agree that keeping machinery clean and in a clean environment is important for proper function. My grandfather owns a farm and all of his tractors are always kept maintained. I remember helping him clean them when I was a kid. I’m sure making repairs is a lot less expensive than having to buy new.

  79. Great maintenance tips! Machine maintenance can be a bit challenge if we don’t know the characteristic of each machines. Making a repair schedules with regular reports is a good idea to monitor the condition of the machine itself, in which we will know better time to do some parts changing or cleaning.

  80. Safety should be a top priority when working with heavy machinery. I like your point about training and maintenance. We always strive to have professionals who are experts at using the equipment, and we have them train others on how to use them and do checkups properly.

  81. We’ve been saying this for years!! Time is money in this industry.

    I mean.. look at our tracks for example! They are the EXACT same product manufactured sometimes literally in the same exact plant, but John Deere, CAT and other dealers charge anywhere from $500 – $2,000 more for them!

  82. Thanks for the useful tips and advice Jessica.

  83. The equipment maintenance tips are more useful for every machinery operators. Thanks for your post sharing.


  84. These maintenance tips should be common practice for every heavy machinery operator. Indeed, a carefully maintained equipment is more likely to attract potential buyers when resold as a used machinery on the market.

  85. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  86. This is such a great post. Every construction operator should know these maintenance tips to extend equipment life.

  87. with proper maintenance and care these machinery can run for longer time and you cant believe how much you can save end of the year by increasing the lifetime in 5 mins in every single replacement. Not like small machinery, these spare parts cost lot of money and by running them for 5 minutes longer mean,saving lots of spare parts cost.

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