This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

costs at the same time. Over time, this has put more pressure on maintenance departments to maintain the reliability of critical or more complex process plant and equipment. Recognising that these challenges are often compounded by increasingly stringent health & safety and environmental regulatory compliance, forward thinking manufacturing companies are developing a more proactive approach to plant asset maintenance. Reactive maintenance is often known as ‘firefighting’, and is sometimes as risky as the original denotation of the word. This break-fix approach is not an ideal strategy and its use is often driven by economic pressures. However, this is a false economy. A typical scenario would be to operate the machinery until a failure occurs. It is only at this stage when the appropriate repairs are made, and this tactic can incur extreme costs through critical machine failure and lost production output resulting from unplanned downtime. In today’s manufacturing environment, competition, environmental and health & safety implications make this route challenging with the increasing preference being towards taking a preventative maintenance approach.

REGULATIONS AND MAINTENANCE Generally speaking, where there is risk there is an accompanying regulation, and plant and equipment maintenance is no exception. Maintenance on plant and equipment is carried out to prevent problems arising, to correct faults and to ensure equipment is working effectively. Although production and profitability are high on the agenda for responsible companies, health & safety is equally important. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations play a key role in this area, and in particular the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Ultimately, preventative maintenance protects operators and employees from risk of injury, for example from lifting gear falling and chemical spills, leaks and fires. The condition of plant and equipment is also

affected by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which influences the environmental responsibility of companies. The IED is the successor of the IPPC Directive and in essence, it is about minimising pollution from various industrial sources throughout the EU. These regulations link back to the operation of air and fume extraction equipment. For example, if there are any faults in the mechanical parts, dangerous fumes and gases could leak into the atmosphere. With regards to the water treatment in plants using

a surface finishing process, the Environment Agency drives the ‘Consent to Discharge’ regulations under the Water Resources Act 1991 (as amended by the Environment Act 1995) for companies that wish to discharge effluent into inland freshwaters, coastal water or estuaries and ground waters or land. Should


a company be using water treatment systems, these will need to be heavily regulated to ensure that the water levels are safe. For example, referring back to the chemical risks involved of surface finishing, if the equipment is damaged or worn this could have contamination implications.

MAINTAINING PLANT HEALTH AND FITNESS The primary goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent the failure of critical, more complex or higher capacity equipment before it occurs. It is a strategy designed around time-based, usage or condition-based activity to preserve and enhance equipment reliability, replacing worn components before they fail, and which includes: critical process equipment checks; partial or complete overhauls at specified periods; oil changes; filter changes; and lubrication. In addition, engineers record equipment deterioration so that they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause systems failure. It is the most cost-effective way of extending the lifecycle of existing machinery and is a small fraction of the cost of production disruption and associated customer dissatisfaction.

Other key benefits of implementing a preventative maintenance strategy include the fact that businesses will avoid unplanned plant shutdown and disruption to productivity, thereby improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Early inspection also helps identification of wear and tear to allow for replacement before breakage or failure as well as complying with various insurance requirements. So what process plant functional areas would typically be tested? For mechanical operations, strict testing would be

carried out to assess the general wear and tear on all moving parts, such as lid assembly, carriage/transporters and extractor fans. Similar tests are carried out on the tank structure. Then for electrical, control and

Preventative maintenance protects employees from risk of injury

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52