What you will find in this article
In this article, you will learn about maintenance in foundries. Also, you will find an explanation of the different types of maintenance methods that Gamarra has implemented over the years. We are in constant search of the best methodology that will help us thrive the most. Moreover, you will learn about how we have optimized maintenance to achieve better results to be smarter and cost-efficient.
Maintenance in foundries: Gamarra’s model
Maintenance is an important part of Gamarra’s management, as it helps to achieve effective energy, machinery and resource management.
However, there are four types of maintenance methods we have used over the years: corrective, preventive, risk-based or time-based maintenance. But, what is the difference between these methods?
It consists of carrying out maintenance when we detect an anomaly and we aim to restore normal operating conditions. This method can be cost-effective, but it can cause major problems if a fatal error in machinery occurs.
This method consists of doing maintenance periodically at predetermined cycles or intervals aligned to the foundry’s criteria. Its objective is to reduce the risk or performance degradation of the machinery and the equipment.
Risk-based maintenance, Gamarra’s current approach
This method includes preventive maintenance with a periodic approach and it also integrates analysis, measurement and periodic tests to gather data. The aim is to review the condition and possible risks of machinery to enforce the appropriate maintenance program. Using this method we can replace or fix any equipment that shows abnormalities, which contributes to extending its lifetime cycle and value.
Condition-based maintenance, Gamarra’s top initiative for 2021
It consists of monitoring the equipment’s performance by continuously assessing its condition. This is usually controlled online. Maintenance is then carried out when certain indicators show that the machinery is deteriorating, so it is most likely to fail soon. This approach has a long-term mentality and it can significantly reduce costs associated with maintenance as it anticipates possible errors. It is one of our goals for 2021 to implement this method, as it is the most optimal one and at Gamarra we are always trying to improve to prosper.
The benefits of smart maintenance in foundries
Prolonged equipment life and lifetime value
When implementing preventive maintenance in foundries, we aim to uncover machinery and equipment problems before they break down. Studies have shown that these approach can increase 30% the lifetime value of an asset.
Decrease in energy consumption
Smart maintenance helps to minimize energy consumption as maintenance check-ups are well controlled and scheduled. This also results in an environmentally friendly and efficient production through a sustainable approach.
By implementing this maintenance method we plan to improve the overall efficiency performance of our system – saving costs. In addition, predictive maintenance will significantly improve the mean time between failures.
What Gamarra has done in order to be more reliable and efficient in maintenance
As we have seen, there are several maintenance methods that can be implemented in a foundry. All of them are valid, but at Gamarra we think it is better to be predictive than reactive. If we wait until our equipment and machinery is broken or presenting problems, we will waste production time when the machinery is inactive, so there is an added cost of production. This cost increases as a result of delay in final delivery of the components, labor cost gets higher because the team has to make overtime to compensate for the production loss, and we could even have more overhead costs like energy.
Preventive measures, if carried out consistently at regular intervals, will allow us to cut down time and it will improve the overall operations as energy consumption is reduced. At the end of the day, for Gamarra this is a key strategic decision since an energy-efficient foundry is contributing to the preservation of the environment. So, in the end, investing in periodic maintenance can be more profitable.
Switch to digital
We acknowledge that the first step to achieve a smart metal casting process is to adopt a next-generation computerised maintenance management system. It is never too late to take foundries into the digital age! This system will allow us to store, collect and analyse valuable data about our equipment and machinery that can be consulted at any time. It will help us anticipate possible failures. Moreover, maintenance managers will spend their time classifying and analyzing relevant data rather than creating endless excel spreadsheets in the old-fashioned way – this becomes inefficient, and it can cause delays, inaccuracies and errors in the production process.
Maintenance workers and machinery operators have to work together as a team to identify those components that cause failures. We plan to create a chain where operators are in constant contact with maintenance workers, so we can establish a cooperative environment in order to increase productivity and reliability. Together, both parts will determine the risk of component failure and the frequency of maintenance operations, so we can anticipate before it is too late to fix machinery or it causes major downtime.
In conclusion, bringing digitalization to maintenance is key to improving our foundry’s processes. Moreover, although the concept of smart foundries is still quite new, at Gamarra we have made an effort to understand. This way, we can be better prepared for the future with a more sustainable approach. Maintenance in foundries is vital, so it is essential to constantly keep revising our processes. For that reason, Gamarra is constantly working to become a smart foundry and it is one of our goals to revise our processes towards 2021, as our motto is never stop improving.