Operational fails are very important in the metal fabrication industry. While these fails are sometimes easier to prevent (like power supply malfunction for the laser cutting, metal rolling machines) and sometimes almost impossible to predict (like a hosepipe leak from a hydraulic metal bending press).
The failures or malfunctions that are almost impossible to predict – can somehow be prevented. But this requires, not occasional, not quarterly, only a routine check, maybe every week, if possible, twice a week.
For example, say you have your press operator working on a piece. Suddenly he hears a noise and before he could assume what went wrong, the entire lubricating fluid is splashed over him and others who were around the press.
Now, your worker, your machine, the workspace floor is covered in sticky liquid. And if your bad luck didn’t run out already and you have other machine placed close to your press brake, the fluid may also lead into malfunction of those machines.
The question is – how did this could happen?
Maybe you hose pipe broke. That’s the answer for spilled fluid from your press brake.
Now before I get into how you could have prevented it, I should talk about how bad the situation could be in this case, so that you understand why it was important to prevent it.
First of all, you have a broken hose pipe spilling the fluid. You have to take care of the pipe and the press itself.
Secondly, you have your entire floor messed up with the spilled liquid. You’ll have to spare a few of your employees from their work and employ them for cleaning the shop. Also, the people who got spilled by the broken hose pipe, they’ll need to take the day off to clean themselves off.
So what is happening to your metal fabrication shop while some of your employees are busy cleaning themselves and other in sweeping the floor?
Well, first of all, the press failure would cost you a good number of downtime hours. Then, you have the expenses to carry, including replacing the hose pipe, checking if other parts were compromised with the spillage and replace them as well.
So, at the end of the day, you are losing productivity, you are wasting your crew for cleaning the damned floor, you are buying new parts for your machine that were compromised, and above all that, you’ll have to explain why you couldn’t meet your deadline to your clients, which can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the industry and trying to grab as many regular clients you can.
So, the only way to avoid all those things is to regularly check your machines.
If I had to suggest, I’ll tell you to instruct your machine operators to check for any malfunction or displacement before he actually starts working with it. Eventually, this quick checkup will save a lot of downtime and money.