Most manufacturing and production plants rely heavily on machinery in order to complete vital tasks. These machines must be maintained regularly in order to ensure optimal performance, and routine maintenance often requires the replacement of bearings, casters, or other parts of the machinery. If you don't want to experience a production delay because you don't have a replacement part for your machines on-hand, then you need to keep an inventory of spare industrial parts in your plant.
Here are three tips that you can use to improve the management of your spare parts inventory so that it serves as a valuable asset in the future.
1. Conduct a critical equipment analysis.
Keeping a spare for every part that powers your plant's machines is not financially feasible. In order to help minimize costs while reducing the negative impact of not having a spare part in stock, you need to conduct a critical equipment analysis.
Evaluate the amount of time it would take to get each piece of equipment in your plant running after a part malfunction. When possible, assign a dollar amount to the time lost due to the need for repair and part replacement.
This process will help you identify which pieces of equipment within your factory have the most significant impact on your bottom line. You can make the stocking of spare parts for these critical pieces of equipment a priority as you manage your parts inventory in the future.
2. Create a system for rotating parts.
Since you have no way of predicting when a spare part will be needed, it can be difficult to determine the age of each spare part in your inventory. To ensure that you are using the oldest parts first when you make repairs, you need to establish a system for rotating through the parts in your inventory.
Add the purchase date to each part's packaging, and always place newer parts behind older ones on storage shelves. These simple actions will help you rotate through your inventory more efficiently.
3. Keep your spare parts in good condition.
It can be easy to put spare parts in your inventory closet and forget about them until a piece of equipment breaks down. You want to be able to depend on the performance of your spare parts, so keeping them in good condition should be a priority.
Establish a maintenance schedule that will allow you to check metal parts for signs of corrosion and keep rubber seals and other pliable parts lubricated to prevent cracks and deterioration. This maintenance schedule will eliminate spare part failure, allowing you to rely on your inventory more completely as you repair your manufacturing equipment in the future.
Improving the management of your industrial spare parts inventory can help contribute to increased productivity and less downtime when you need to replace a malfunctioning part on a piece of manufacturing equipment within your plant.