When tools represent a significant investment for businesses, it’s imperative that the investment is protected and maximum value leveraged out of those assets.
Unplanned downtime has a devastating impact on output and revenue, as well as affecting reputation: an issue which may take many years to resolve through expensive crisis management and brand building campaigns. Successful businesses will take measures to avoid or mitigate such risks by making sure their tools are maintained regularly.
A carefully managed service plan will provide continuity of production whilst ensuring that tools are kept working efficiently and safely. Indeed, efficiency is often overlooked, especially if production ‘appears’ to be normal. In many cases, tools are operating below capacity and deteriorating at such a slow decline, it goes un-noticed. Poor performance will, undoubtedly eat into profits, while the cost of servicing represents a fraction of the investment when compared to replacing tools, loss of production or overtime payments due to down time.
- Employers and the self employed must also consider the PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) regulations. There is a duty of care to make sure that equipment is:
- Maintained in a safe condition so people’s health and safety are not at risk
- Inspected to ensure that it is (and continues to be) safe for use
- Any specific risks created by the use of the equipment is controlled
- Take any appropriate measures to fit guards, warning devices or stop buttons
- Provide safe systems of work, for example only carrying out maintenance when the equipment is isolated and providing adequate training and information
- The PUWER regulations are in place to comply with health and safety rules but any business who values its investment and reputation will see the financial advantage to applying regular checks and repairs to their tools.
A strategic service plan will maintain the reliability of tools, lessen the impact of malfunctioning tools and almost certainly lessen the overall cost of tooling to a business.
The key to a robust plan is a procedure which tracks individual tools, flags up when they need to be serviced and turns around collection and delivery, getting efficient and calibrated tools back in production quickly. Abbey IS has invested in a system which tags every tool and alerts the user when it needs servicing. Certified to ISO 9001:2000, their dedicated service centre takes care of all makes and type of compressed air and electric power tools. Their OEM trained workshop engineers and large stock of parts means that tools are retuned with a fully traceable history and warranty.
There’s also a plan which includes a ‘swap out’ offer, where replacement tools are loaned until the servicing or repair has been carried out, allowing businesses to continue with unbroken production.Quite simply, the benefits of working with an experienced, independent partner to maintain the productivity of tooling adds significant value for manufacturers and assembly lines.