Regular maintenance is a good way to keep tools and machines up and running. However, when you’re doing maintenance work more often than usual, is it still possible to keep the current units in working condition? Jorge Sastre, an engineering professor from the European University of Madrid, discusses this question in his article for Bearing-News.com.
There’s more to maintenance than just repairing the problem. This is especially the case for small parts like bearings and bushings. It’s not enough that you lubricate the parts to keep them running smoothly; find out what makes the parts break down. By performing periodic root cause analysis (RCA) for mechanical issues, and by purchasing components like durable plastic flange bushing, frequent and costly mechanical breakdowns can be avoided.
Sastre has performed inspections on many types of machines in various facilities; a recent inspection took place in a repair facility a few months ago. Sastre commended the team for being very efficient, as the team managed to fix a broken auxiliary water pump in less than two hours. However, for him, the job was far from done: will the water pump fail again? Is there anything else that can be done to prevent the problem from recurring too soon?
RCA delves deep into the facts surrounding an issue simply by answering the what, who, when, why, where, and how. RCAs are not as time consuming as they initially appear to be, as employees can conduct RCAs while working with the broken tools or machines. Perhaps the old parts need to be replaced with brand new superior PTFE nylon bushings from manufacturers like Advanced EMC Technologies.
This definitely beats constantly oiling or lubricating the creaking parts. Having a low friction rate, durable PTFE nylon bushings are ideal for machinery that has pivoting or rotating parts. You shouldn’t wait too long to conduct an RCA, either; the analysis grows harder the more wear and tear the machinery or tool sustains. Analysis must be conducted the moment the machine shows the first few signs of complication or imminent breakdown.
Operating behavior is an excellent indicator of problems—engines making funny sounds, rotary valves struggling to rotate, and so on. Companies would be surprised to know how much time and money they would save if they’d identify the root source of the problem instead of implementing short term solutions that do not deal with the underlying issues effectively. Manufacturers that specialize in the production of high performance polymer seals, bearings, and precision components—like Advanced EMC Technologies—can provide companies with the durable components they need to ensure the functionality of their machinery.