Proper packaging machine maintenance is critical to the longevity and performance of your packaging machinery. A well-maintained machine will serve you and your operations for many years to come.
Below are 5 expert tips for proper packaging machine maintenance.
1. Packaging Machine Maintenance Preventive Schedule
Preventive maintenance is the number one step for proper packaging machine maintenance to ensure a long lifespan. A packaging machine is much like a vehicle that must be periodically and regularly maintained to ensure optimal production. Formulating and adhering to a preventative maintenance schedule is of the utmost importance after installing a packaging machine.
A maintenance schedule is designed to prevent both minor and major problems that will decrease unscheduled downtime. Examples of preventive maintenance tasks include:
- Machine inspection by qualified technicians
- Monitoring and changing high-wear parts regularly
- Ensuring high-wear parts are kept in stock
- Lubricating the machine regularly
- Ongoing training for machine operators
These preventive maintenance activities often require a higher level of technical training and expertise and should be performed by qualified and trained personnel or a certified service technician. Check with your packaging company to see if OEMs provide Preventive Maintenance Plans with regular scheduled onsite visits.
2. Implement Autonomous Maintenance Tasks
We also recommend pairing more in-depth assignments for your packaging machine maintenance with easier, task-based activities that are carried out at regular intervals by trained machine operators.
To implement Autonomous Maintenance Tasks, provide a Packaging Machine Maintenance Checklist to operators who are then given activities they perform at daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and biannual intervals. These tasks often contain simple visual cues to indicate problems before an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technician visits.
It may be surprising, but one of the most common problems I come across is driven by operator issues!
Whether it’s derived from shift changes or high operator turnover, the more hands-on machines usually result in poor performance and maintenance issues. All operators must be given the same frequent training and established processes and checklists to ensure the highest of efficiencies.
3. Partner with Responsive Packaging OEMs
Suppose a packaging machine goes down; every second counts. Ideally, before purchasing a packaging machine, you have properly vetted the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to learn the details of their technical support team, service availability, and on-hand spare parts.
It pays off to purchase from a company that offers various end-user support such as remote capabilities to access and troubleshoot most routine problems without unnecessary and costly onsite visits.
Are you buying from a company that’s willing to give out their Manufacturing Manager’s contact information? How about the President of the company’s cell phone number?
4. Understand Your Spare Parts List
When purchasing a packaging machine, your OEM should provide you with a recommended spare parts list.
This list should be broken down into groups by machine-wear being high to low so that you can plan inventory strategically with high, medium, and low wear parts. It is always recommended to keep high-wear parts in stock to minimize the chance of waiting for a shipment to arrive during high production times.
Ask the question, “how many spare parts do you have in stock, and how quickly can you provide them when replacement is needed?”.
5. Plan for Upgrades and Obsolescence
Inevitably, packaging equipment and software will require updates. At times, some will simply become obsolete as technology improves. Make sure to maintain close communication with your packaging machine manufacturer to learn of any necessary changes and recommendations that will keep you streamlined in the right direction and stay ahead of the curve.
Reach out today to let K-Flex help evaluate your Packaging Machine Maintenance processes and ensure that you are getting the highest efficiency from your packaging machines.