How to Limit Machine Shop Downtime

Today’s machine shops in Minneapolis provide a number of important services to their customers. In fact, your shop might have to run at full capacity just to keep up with the work at times. The last thing you want, is machine repair issues when you are in the middle of a rush order. Here are some useful tips for limiting downtime in your shop, and improving overall efficiency.

Look at Your Shop Layout

Take a good look at your shop layout and put it down on paper. Now ask yourself, “is this the most efficient layout?” Maybe you can move things around for greater efficiency. For example, are raw materials stored in the most convenient location for each operation?

Do some projects require several machines? If so, is your shop set up to handle a fluid movement of materials? You might be surprised how much easier life will be on everyone if you eliminate a few extra steps from your employee’s tasks. This strategy can speed up production and lessen fatigue.

Lubrication Systems

Some machines may not have automatic or even manual lubrication systems. In some cases, it may be a good idea to install an oil system for some equipment. This can increase the life of your machinery and limit the amount of machine repair issues, which result in needless downtime for your Minneapolis business.

Gauge and Instrument Calibration

When was the last time you had machine gauges re-calibrated? The more you use equipment, the more likely gauges can get slightly out of alignment. This is extremely important for precision work and can help to eliminate a lot of costly mistakes which result in scrap (and the need to perform an operation all over again). In fact, excess scrap may be the worst kind of downtime you can experience.

Maintenance Checks

Do your operators perform maintenance checks on equipment before the start of the shift each day? Daily checks can spot things while they are in the early stages. For example, if something is showing signs of wear, replacing it the end of the shift can help you avoid machine repair downtime during the day. It only takes a few minutes to check strategic issues. In fact, it may be a good idea to perform a much closer inspection at the end of each work week.

Sit down and talk to your operators and ask for their suggestions to improve maintenance and production. Let them know you want to make their jobs safer and easier and they will be more than willing to help. Together, you and your people can create a more profitable and efficient Minneapolis shop.

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