Why should you spend time and money performing preventative maintenance?
While a properly designed, newly installed system or piece of equipment should perform very well for a long time with little to no maintenance, overlooking routine maintenance can cause equipment to eventually require major repairs or even complete replacement. We frequently see multiple pieces of equipment fail at the same time, leading to significant cost to repair or replace equipment as well as lost revenue from production down-time.
Even with the potential risk associated with not performing routine maintenance, many operations and facilities fail to perform preventative maintenance due to time constraints, staffing issues, and production requirements.
Developing and maintaining an effective preventative maintenance program can be a time-intensive process for multiple departments, including management, production, and maintenance teams. However, the long-term benefits of a properly managed maintenance program far outweigh the initial time investment.
You want to protect your investment and already have a maintenance program in place. Now what?
Even the most inclusive routine maintenance programs can overlook basic items that have a big impact on your bottom line. Common items that are overlooked:
- Coupling alignment
- Belt and sheave improper tension/alignment
- Routine draining and cleaning/inspecting of critical online equipment
Once integrated into your maintenance plan, all of these items are relatively simple tasks to accomplish but can have huge repair costs associated with them if left unattended. For example, coupling misalignment can cause excessive vibration, resulting in pump seal damage, motor and gearbox bearing failures, and shaft damage. Couplings are generally less than 1/10 of the cost of replacing or repairing the damage that can result from a worn coupling. Most general maintenance items fall into this category, meaning that routine maintenance may cost a few hundred dollars instead of the thousands of dollars that major repair or equipment replacement may cost.
Of course there are aspects of routine maintenance that are not as easy to accomplish, such as draining, cleaning, and inspecting critical online equipment, such as clarifiers and basins. While these tasks are more time and labor intensive, it is important to inspect these areas, as it is the only time that submerged items can be inspected for damage or corrosion. Corrosion is something that is best ground and correct early on, because it can spread very quickly.
Daily Rounds and Checks at Your WWTP
Daily checks can become mundane and boring, as you’re inspecting the same components every day. It’s ok to admit that there’s not a lot of exciting in walking around your facility, recording the same readings every day. Remember: You are the last line of defense before the wastewater is discharged to the city, or directly to the environment and your system needs to be functioning correctly. Your daily checks accomplish a few important items:
- Allows you to identify and make any changes required to your systems mechanical system
- Provides the opportunity to notice the introduction of an upset to your system
- Allows you to use your senses, such as an odd sound or smell, to notice an issue or potential issue. Often you may notice a small leak or hear an unusual noise that would help identify a problem and allow you to correct it with little or no down time.
An efficient routine maintenance program can drastically increase the life of your equipment and reduce or eliminate future down-time due to equipment failure.
The Probst Group can help with your maintenance program. From development to implementation and ongoing monitoring, our experienced team is here to ensure the optimal performance of your wastewater treatment facility. Send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 262.264.5665. We’d be happy to help.