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Whiteboards Streamline Equipment Preventive Maintenance

Tue Sep 30 2014
In a manufacturing facility, when a preventable line stoppage occurs, paid employees are idle, while a maintenance crew resolves the problem. In some plants, raw materials spoil if not used quickly and add to the dollars lost to an equipment failure. If the place on the line where the stoppage happened is critical to the manufacturing line, the entire production line and not just a single section may have to shut down. In short, unplanned work stoppages are costly, and if serious, they interrupt the production schedule and can even cause a delay in delivery of the completed product.

Surprisingly, even companies that use advanced manufacturing software overlook simple maintenance tasks that affect plant productivity in a negative way.

When You See It, You Do It
The problem with software is that support staff have to run a report to discover what preventive maintenance tasks are on the schedule. If the task appears on the due date and preparation for doing it, such as having a part on hand, is not done, neither is the task. Once overlooked it may never be done until its next due date.

Maintenance Whiteboard Systems Clarify Responsibility If the preventive maintenance program is visible to everyone, the needed parts are sent for in advance and available for the job. The completed task gets checked off when done. After all, the maintenance department sees the whiteboard every day and knows what to expect to finish the scheduled maintenance event. A whiteboard scheduling system allows for a column for assigned staff and tasks.  Whiteboards allow the responsible maintenance person to plan and stay on schedule.  When you post the information on your system to share with with your team, everyone gets involved in contributing to the success of your maintenance operation. Maintenance Key to Successful Lean Manufacturing Program

Lean manufacturing program managers encourage whiteboard use throughout the plant. They have high praise for whiteboard functionality for maintenance. Their comments illustrate how maintenance whiteboard systems are contributing to productivity gains and a significant reduction in hours lost.

A Maintenance Department Administrator for a pipeline company in Kansas City, KS relies on maintenance boards to everyone informed and to keep everything running smoothly.
“We have a lot of big equipment that needs to be maintained on a regular basis. This board provides us with a quick and simple way to track what needs to be done and when to it. It serves as an excellent reminder to keep our guys on top of things and gives everyone the information they need to keep things running smoothly.”
A Lean Production Consultant for a Latrobe, PA Tool Manufacturer recently commented on the contribution preventive maintenance whiteboards have had on the production hours saved:
“We keep track of preventative maintenance on 50 machines. They are always breaking down due to lack of PM and this board saves hundreds of production hours a year by having maintenance activity displayed 24/7.”
And a Maintenance Supervisor at packaging materials manufacturer in Louisville, KY shared their success with having maintenance visual systems on the factory floor:
“We hung the Preventative Maintenance board up right next to our Repair Status System. I think they work well together. Everyone knows that the more we keep this PM board up to date, the less that we'll have to deal with the time consuming and costly repairs on the other board. I don't know whether it is just having the information always there as a reminder or if it has to do with everyone now knowing what they're responsible for, but we've had quite a few less issues with the machines since this board went up.”
Visual Whiteboard Systems are not only an essential tool to your maintenance department but essential for the success of your overall manufacturing program. They allow you and your team to reduce unplanned stoppages, boost departmental productivity, and in turn boost overall plant productivity.
Contact Magnatag (800-624-4154 or sales@magnatag.com) to speak with an experienced visual systems specialists who can assist and jump-start your preventative maintenance program. Related Links & Resources:

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