Problems with Aging Equipment

Aug 4, 2020Uncategorized

Aging equipment can be a drain on staff time or even a potential hazard if there is a breakdown during use. Labor hours are lost when machines do not work during scheduled maintenance hours. The inability to properly clean and sanitize floors during regular maintenance hours poses safety risks to staff, customers, and other visitors to any organization. Luckily, there are many maintenance solutions available for facility managers to keep aging equipment running.

Maintaining aging equipment requires preventative machine maintenance with particular attention to areas that are common sources of service issues. Kelsan has the premier floor equipment service team in the region to help your machines work their best. There are two major maintenance categories, Preventative Maintenance and Breakdown Maintenance.

Preventative Maintenance vs. Breakdown Maintenance

Equipment maintenance choices impact an organization’s budget and how well they clean their spaces. Most floor equipment users can help their facilities by understanding the primary differences between Preventative Maintenance (PM) and Breakdown Maintenance (BM).

  • Preventative Maintenance is work that is scheduled based on calendar time, asset runtime, or some other time period.
  • Breakdown Maintenance is work that is only performed when a piece of equipment breaks down or has a downtime event.

There are times and places for each approach. Each organization will need to determine when they need to rely on PM or BM for their floor equipment.

Breakdown Maintenance

There is “good” and “bad” Breakdown Maintenance. “Good” Breakdown Maintenance is planned. This means that a facility manager is prepared for a part failure, with a replacement on hand and the skills needed to replace it. Managers may also choose to contract an outside company for repairs. An outside equipment service company saves money and space for parts inventory, employee training, and in-house labor hours to replace the broken part.

Unplanned breakdown maintenance is terrible. If there is no replacement part ordered and en route from a trusted service partner, or the component on hand, then costs begin adding up for the equipment failure. If a replacement part is not on-site and needs to be ordered, then the lead time also lengthens downtime. 

Good Breakdown Maintenance can work in several instances. A facility review and careful thought can determine if there is a viable strategy for proper BM procedure.

  • Equipment cannot be repaired at all (not accessible, designed not to be repaired). Specific HVAC components, like ducts, might be more efficiently replaced than repaired.
  • Machine consists of inexpensive or easy-to-replace parts. Engine components on floor machines are an example of a piece that is better replaced and not cost-efficient to try and repair.
  • Non-critical pieces of equipment (like hand tools). Keeping an extra mop, ladder, or cordless drill (for example) on hand is inexpensive and convenient even for an organization with limited storage space.
  • Parts designed to be disposable or replaced at a particular time. Timing belts, brushes, etc.
  • Short life components (batteries, light bulbs). Light bulbs can be changed out in a timely manner upon failure with little worker skill required, or remote-control batteries are inexpensive and can be swapped out quickly when they fail.

The most important takeaway for any Breakdown Maintenance plan is to be proactive and not reactive. Organizations should keep logs tracking downtime, have extra parts on hand, and have in-house or contracted technicians with the proper training. These measures keep a BM plan proactive vs. reactive.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance is good because it eliminates downtime from aging machines failing. When a facility management team wants to save money on equipment care, Preventative Maintenance can be a viable option. Regular PM visits from a certified technician should fit the organization’s needs, like budget, number of units, and equipment usage.

Custodians and managers can have peace of mind about their floor care equipment when they are part of a Preventative Service Agreement, or PMA. PMAs ensure regularly scheduled technicians will stop equipment failures before they happen. Equipment technicians perform adjustments, cleaning, lubrication, repairs, and parts replacements to increase the total asset lifetime. These types of measures prevent excess depreciation and impairment, or inconvenient breakdowns.

Both PM and BM may be necessary for a company or hospital to employ; however, Preventative Maintenance can save an organization from 12-18% in the machine care budget versus “waiting” for an aging machine to falter and fail. Some professionals only use BM on certain types of equipment that do not necessarily impact human health or safety (light bulbs, water heaters, etc.). Critical floor care equipment can be maintained through a rigorous Preventative Maintenance plan rather than a Breakdown Maintenance plan.

For example, an organization may want to create a simple PM plan for a wet scrubber. Proper operation and environmental compliance require several routine checks on all components and sub-components of the machine (ducts, scrubbers, mist eliminator, etc.). A checklist can be created, and each part can pass, fail, or flagged for repair. This inspection is then routinized, and problems are addressed and fixed before an unexpected machine failure happens.

Expert Help

If you have never implemented a Preventative Maintenance plan before, Kelsan has the experience and knowledge to help any size organization. From planning, training, and making routine stops, Kelsan loves helping customers get the most out of their equipment. That is why Kelsan has several options of Preventative Maintenance Agreements for our equipment customers. Preventative Maintenance Agreement plans are superior to Breakdown Maintenance plans because they save time and money. Kelsan will offer a range of pricing and visits for all types of customers, and if you have a machine, we guarantee you will get more life out of it with a Preventative Maintenance Agreement.