Choosing the right equipment is only one part of the buying process for bulk material conveying equipment. Another key consideration in the purchasing process is determining the service and support requirements you will need to install the equipment and keep it running problem-free. Delays and downtime mean increased costs and buyers will always prefer to work with vendors that understand the importance of keeping your operation going. This blog highlights some key factors that buyers should consider for the service and support of bulk material conveying equipment.
Tip #1: Know your equipment and understand what vendor support may be required to get it successfully installed.
A good installation is key for a successful equipment start-up and problem-free run-in. Under-estimating the challenges associated with installation can lead to delays, frustration, and a lot of back-and-forth with the equipment OEM to work out issues. Common challenges that are often overlooked include connecting the conveyor with upstream and downstream equipment, and the need for training of operating and maintenance personnel.
To ensure a successful equipment start-up, some OEM’s will provide qualified personnel to oversee and supervise an equipment installation. Using this service, companies can achieve a trouble-free installation, with the OEM’s representatives present onsite to quickly resolve any problems should they arise. In addition, with an OEM-supervised installation, companies will have access to the vendor resources needed for administering training to operating and maintenance personnel.
Tip #2: Unplanned downtime can happen. Evaluate the service response capability of your equipment vendor.
Few things are worse than having an entire production line brought down due to a conveying equipment failure. Even with the best of equipment, unplanned downtime can happen. Following Murphy’s Law, these downtime events often happen at critical moments in the production cycle. At these times, you may need to rely on the equipment OEM for rapid service response and support.
Reputable OEM’s have the resources, systems and processes in place to provide rapid service and support around the clock. These companies can quickly mobilize the needed resources to provide accelerated problem diagnosis and service and support as needed.
How do you evaluate an OEM’s capability for the service and support of bulk material conveying equipment? One way is to speak with some members of the OEM’s installed base about their experiences with the vendor. Reputable OEM’s will be pleased to supply customer references for this purpose.
Tip #3: Keep critical spare parts on hand.
Relying on an OEM’s service and response capability is fine as far as it goes. However, to ensure high levels of equipment availability you should also consider stocking replacement parts. Equipment downtime is never convenient, but without the right replacement parts on the hand, the situation can rapidly go from bad to worse.
It is not necessary to stock replacements for every equipment part. Many OEM’s provide a list of recommended parts to keep on hand. Also, by keeping a part failure history, maintenance personnel can identify which parts tend to fail more often in their particular application and should therefore be kept on hand.
Tip #4: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: consider using a vendor-supplied PM program.
When it comes to conveying equipment maintenance, there are many machine components that should be checked on a regular basis. Following an OEM’s recommended equipment maintenance schedule is important for avoiding unnecessary downtime.
However, despite best intentions, many companies become lax in following preventive maintenance (PM) schedules. To help, some equipment OEM’s have begun to offer preventive maintenance programs. Under these programs, OEM personnel perform preventive maintenance checks on the equipment at regular intervals. This helps to identify problems before they happen and allows for the replacement of any worn or broken parts. Taking advantage of these OEM-supplied programs can reduce the maintenance burden placed on internal resources while helping to keep equipment running trouble-free.
UniTrak Corporation Limited manufactures and supplies flexible screw, aeromechanical, bucket and belt conveyors to customers the world over. With an extensive product lineup and industry-leading service and support of bulk material conveying equipment which we supply, UniTrak is your preferred equipment provider. To find out more about we can address your needs and requirements, please contact our sales department.