Tips & Tricks

Maintenance ideas that help save time, money, and aggravation.
By Staff August 1, 2006

Involve key staff in CMMS training

When implementing a CMMS, it is critical that the work order system is accurate in parts used, cause codes, work types, fault codes, and man hours. This cannot be achieved efficiently without the direct involvement of the maintenance personnel. The solution involves representing the department in the training process and code establishment. It is critical to train someone on each shift to lead the ongoing training required to implement the process. Do not give the training process any less than your best personnel. This will set the tone for the entire improvement process, and the historical information that you can gather in two years will also allow you to understand your MRO stores accurately.

Roger Harris CMRP CPMM, NYPRO Kentucky, Louisville KY

Anchoring machines to concrete:

In a company that’s staying competitive these days, machines come and go or get moved around quite a bit. The way we try to handle anchoring is to drill through the floor with a hammer drill. Our floors are 4 to 6 inches thick, so the drill bit must be long enough. I use a round brush to scrub the hole clean, then blow it out, either with compressed air, or with a short length of soft 1/4 inch tubing, around 3 feet long, using your lungs. A heavy mallet with a plastic face works best for driving the anchor home. When the anchor is no longer needed, it can be driven down into the hole, flush with the surface of the floor

Tom Lynn, TopFlite Golf Co., Chicopee, MA

Check internal assembly clearance:

Internal clearances between parts may be tricky to measure directly, but a little modeling clay help. Stick a ball of clay in a critical area, oil the clay in the area of likely contact, make a trial assembly, then pull it back apart. The clay thickness records the clearance.

Craig Cox, Project Engineer, Twin Disc, Inc., Racine, WI

Vacuum, don’t blow through transformers:

Vacuum, don’t blow transformers and switches. Part of any normal electrical preventative maintenance is the opening and cleaning of distribution switches and transformers. In many instances it is very tempting to take a compressed air hose and just blow off any dust or dirt that clings to the windings and switches. Especially the medium voltage [600v – 33kv] windings and switches since nobody wants arcing or discharge. Using a compressed air blow-off tends to drive dust and dirt into the windings, and any grit present in a high pressure air stream could embed in or scratch the primary [high voltage] windings which are normally on the outside of the secondary [low voltage] windings. In the worst case this can damage insulation and cause local corona discharge which can further damage insulation. Use an industrial vacuum to pull the dirt and grit off the windings and switchgear conductors. If there are areas that are really inaccessible, use the low pressure air from a vacuum or an inducer nozzle to avoid any insulation damage.

Gary Snead, Honeywell ACS

A smoother, more comfortable wire pull:

When pulling wire, rather than use commercial wire lubes, shaving cream works even better, and smells nice too! The foaming action coats the wire more uniformly, and it evaporates without residue.

Kevin L. Larkowski, Maintenance Supervisor, Omaha Standard, Council Bluffs, IA