Production line problems are unavoidable. The earlier they can be diagnosed, the fewer delays during repairs and the less downtime. Predicting potential faults and knowing how to diagnose them can substantially reduce your maintenance and repair costs.
It’s up to each manufacturer to start the prevention process as soon as their equipment begins its work cycle. One of the most common problems with a production line is the lack of real-time information. Being faced with a mishap after it has already affected the end product is costly.
Real-time information allows the manufacturer to diagnose problem areas immediately and analyse the problem from one central location. Since timely diagnosis and quick reactions are keys to proper maintenance, not having access to real-time information can cripple a business
Fortunately, by using a monitoring tool or software application, diagnosing problems on the production line can be greatly improved. Such a tool should give the operator a full overview of the production process and normal operating parameters, thus making problems easier to solve.
Some of the most common problems requiring a quick diagnosis are:
Unbalanced Assembly Line
An unbalanced assembly line means that one or several processes don’t keep up with output requirements. With some processes you can immediately see the results at the end of the line. With minor discrepancies you may not find out until a substantial number of materials are wasted.
You can diagnose this problem with the assistance of experienced operators, checking each process of the assembly line continuously. Or you can invest in a real-time monitoring tool, which can catch the problem as soon as it occurs.
Low Overall Equipment Efficiency
With the right maintenance, overall equipment efficiency (OEE) should be at least 65%, and normally a lot higher. Low OEE can occur due to poor alignment, unbalanced moving parts, wear and tear of equipment parts or a major breakdown, which may not be noticed immediately.
Diagnosing this problem is simplified by keeping thorough maintenance records for each machine and figuring out MTBF (mean time between failures) for critical components. Regular preventive maintenance can also help make a timely diagnosis.
Another important tool for diagnosing production line problems is timely analysis. The data received from the monitoring software and maintenance technicians must be processed immediately to make the right diagnosis.
An improper analysis could lead to equipment failure. Taking too long to react can result in additional faults occurring – plus more expense. Analysing the data can find the root of the problem and resolve it instead of doing “quick fixes” by dealing only with the symptoms.
Each manufacturer faces production line problems at one time or another. More often than not, these have to do with parts’ failure. That’s why having quick access to a replacement parts manufacturer is highly important.
At Woodley Engineering, we offer bespoke precision engineering and prototype development services for rectifying production line problems. For more information about our services, please download the free Woodley Engineering Precision Engineering Guide.