Today’s automated systems have the latest and greatest features to powerfully optimize warehouse efficiency. Companies need to not only seize upon its benefits, but also prolong the life of the equipment to enjoy these benefits for as long as possible. For effective equipment lifecycle management, we recommend the following:
Observe routine maintenance and prioritize training
Set up and observe a regular maintenance schedule tailored to your equipment’s needs and supplier’s recommendations. Regular check-ups can preemptively detect machine wear and reveal maintenance needs well before issues arise.
It’s also essential to keep all members of your operations team well-versed in how to run your system and how to recognize problems. Well-trained operators have insight into when machinery isn’t working at optimal capacity, and can expedite repairs, preventing costly downtime.
Leverage data for predictive maintenance
Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), you can outfit equipment and hardware with advanced sensors to collect data on performance. Using this data, operators can recognize downward trends, such as if components are exhibiting wear or efficiency is slipping.
When the data is available in real time, companies can order replacement parts and schedule repairs proactively—instead of reacting to unexpected failures. A recent Tesla announcement goes even a step further: there a Tesla car can order its wear parts on its own and schedule the services for it. This will soon be possible for production and logistic equipment as well. Consider a service agreement that provides full-time engineering expertise to monitor your equipment and locate and repair components, long before a problem develops.
Consider modernizing with strategic upgrades
A forward-thinking company is always looking to the next solution. This doesn’t have to mean throwing away the old for something new. Maintaining an ongoing conversation with your solution provider gives you the opportunity to make upgrades to accommodate new business needs and technology.
After all, automated systems are designed for an initial scope of work. Naturally, over time this scope may change, whether it’s due to new safety regulations or changes to your product line. Further, some components may become obsolete. Strategic upgrades can extend the life of your equipment far beyond expectations.
Prolonging the health and lifetime of your automated systems is the key to maximizing your return on investment. However you structure your lifecycle management, find a solutions provider that offers attentive support and expertise to facilitate repairs. Your original equipment manufacturer should provide services and comprehensive maintenance programs at a reasonable cost—as well as insight on upgrades to keep your facility operating at its best for the long run.
Author Ilpo Nummelin