Find out how simple preventative maintenance can keep your presses running at peak levels and head off costly downtime and quality issues.
By Rick Fuqua
Maintenance-free operation does not exist—no matter how much you spend on your press. The reality check is costly when you assume that a problem can wait until you get around to it. The correct way to think of taking care of your machinery is to believe that friction and wear do exist and the mission is to slow down this process by implementing a maintenance plan. Taking care of your press is like taking care of your car. Good maintenance results in longer life, less downtime, less costly repairs, and top performance.
The more expensive the car, the more attention people tend to give it. Ironically, printing machines costing the same or more money are often ignored. No time is spent understanding how the machine actually works, so parts and potential wear points are often not identified or understood. Many neglect to even consider reading the manual and buying the supplies needed to service the machine.
Shop variables influence maintenance
Figuring out how much downtime costs you is helpful. This stress test of how much downtime your shop can afford can help you determine how serious your action plan of maintenance should be. Do your demands require production with critical deadlines every day? Do you have additional production capacity, such as a second machine or a subcontract relationship, if a problem occurs? Do you run more than one shift occasionally or regularly? Do the characteristics of your shop conditions or operation put stress on your need to maintain 100% capacity of 100% of your machinery all the time? The more stress, the greater the need for a proactive plan that entails trained manpower and a plan.
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