In the casting impregnation industry preventative maintenance is a necessity. Due to the nature of the impregnation process and the wet environment, corrosion and equipment failure can occur at a rapid rate if proper maintenance does not take place.
Often times, the manufacturing production schedule does not take into consideration the time it takes to perform thorough preventative maintenance. But without it, the downtime that can occur will cost the manufacturer in quality of service and on-time delivery to customers.
As in all manufacturing environments, production uptime is essential. Once a good preventative maintenance schedule is in place then predictive maintenance can be applied.
Preventative maintenance should first start with a good cleaning program. Working on dirty equipment makes it hard to be preventative as you can easily introduce foreign content that can cause further downtime.
To establish a good preventative maintenance program you must do the following:
- Start with the suggested manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
- Keep track of downtimes and component replacements. Then you can evaluate the results and schedule maintenance tasks to prolong wear or perhaps eliminate wear.
- Monitor the cleanliness of the equipment.
- Properly manage the water used in the casting impregnation process.
Specific maintenance tasks that should be completed on a regular basis include:
- Ensure resin viscosity and gel times are within the appropriate range
- Align and lubricate cylinders
- Check air quality and replace/lubricate air filter
- Grease friction points
- Replace vacuum filter and change oil
- Clean door seal areas
- Tighten all cylinder jam nuts
- Maintain correct air pressures
- Manage water usage and spillage
- Clean and calibrate heater elements and thermo couples
If proper preventative maintenance is applied most of the items above can be simply checked daily by performing a visual check. All items should be reviewed with closer attention on a monthly basis.