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The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

hammer and wrench

Reactive maintenance in itself is expensive, as it is usually associated with downtime and halts in production. As its name suggests, preventive maintenance prevents these failures from occurring, which translates into cost savings for manufacturers. In fact, research shows that preventive maintenance can result in a 12 to 18 percent cost savings verses other reactive maintenance programs.

Preventive maintenance is a group of procedures that, when performed regularly, decrease the likelihood that a piece of equipment will fail later. Operators perform preventive maintenance while the machine is in good working order to avoid unexpected breakdowns and repairs. Regular maintenance also keeps equipment running at peak performance and extends the life of the unit.

5 Preventive Maintenance Items for your Heat Treat Furnace

Heat treat furnaces play an important role in many manufacturing processes, including tempering, preheating, quenching, stress relieving, annealing, and more. High temperatures and other factors place considerable stress on the components of these furnaces. Over time, wear and tear can cause bearings to flake, leaks to develop, and other problems to surface. Left unaddressed, small issues can turn into mechanical failures that lead to downtime as manufacturers perform reactive maintenance to get their furnace running again.

A few common preventative maintenance services for heat treat furnaces are:

  1. Tuning Combustion Systems Because of component wear, high temperatures, and other factors, burner settings tend to drift over time. This can ultimately affect efficiency, fuel usage, emissions, and product quality. Tuning the combustion system will help maintain optimal performance and efficiency rates, limit excess emissions, and improve product quality.

  2. Bearing Inspections – Functional bearings are critical to the performance of any machine, but even properly installed and operated bearings become unserviceable over the course of time. The contact surfaces of bearings repeatedly withstand compressive loads, which eventually causes the surfaces to flake. Inadequate lubricant, improper lubricant type, breakage, wear, corrosion, and other factors can lead to bearing failure. A broken or seized bearing can stop equipment and can even bring the entire production line to a halt.

  3. Leak Testing – Even the smallest of leaks can reduce production performance – they can even result in system failure. Preventive maintenance for leaks includes testing gas shutoff valves and gas train piping for leakage.

  4. Lining Inspections – Over time, the lining of a heat treat furnace may succumb to chipping, cracking, or bubbling. Left unchecked, disruptions to the integrity of the lining can lead to contamination that negatively affects the quality of the product. Lining inspections prevent contamination.

  5. Safety and NFPA Testing – Safety and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testing protects clients from potential damage. This inspection also ensures that safety measures to prevent workplace accidents are in place.

At Lindberg/MPH we work with customers to create a customized preventive maintenance program for their industrial furnace. Our experienced service team is factory trained and able to provide service on any brand industrial furnace. For more information about preventive maintenance for your heat treat furnace, contact the service department at Lindberg/MPH or connect with us through our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.