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5 Tips for Preventative Maintenance in Pulp & Paper Mills

pulp and paper

Continual technology advances have allowed pulp and paper manufacturers (and manufacturers in all industries) to streamline their processes and produce quality products in mass quantities. While customer demands are always growing, these updates allow facilities to keep up. 

One thing that modern technology can’t fix, however, is equipment malfunctions and breakdowns due to a lack of maintenance. Facility managers still have to take responsibility for properly maintaining their equipment—after all, new technology is only as effective as the people managing it. To meet increasing customer demands, and make the most of today’s advancements in machinery, you need to have a preventative maintenance process in place. 

Schedule Your Maintenance

When you have machines running for hours every single day, eventually, they’ll need some TLC. Keeping a schedule for your equipment maintenance will help you stay on top of things, so you aren’t caught off guard when it suddenly stops working. If you aren’t sure where to start with your maintenance schedule, most machines come with a recommended schedule! 

A lot of manufacturers, in the pulp and paper industry and in most other industries, don’t pay close enough attention to machine upkeep—that is, until something goes wrong. You can waste a lot of time and money with this mentality. It can slow down production, or stop it altogether, causing businesses to lose hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. 

Scanners, asset management software, asset labels, and more all make it easy to stay on top of necessary equipment and machinery maintenance. 

Frequent Inspections

All of your equipment should be regularly inspected. While someone on your staff can typically handle frequent inspections for wear and tear, you should have experts inspect your machinery once or twice a year for a more thorough check to make sure all equipment is working properly and to look for potential problems. This allows you to catch problems before they actually become problems in the first place. The earlier you catch problems, the less likely it is that they’ll get out of hand or cause a shutdown. 

Thorough Cleaning

It’s no secret that pulp and paper mills produce an impressive amount of dust. The concentration of this dust in your work environment can not only damage your equipment, but also lead to respiratory problems in your workers and increase the risk of fire. Reduce all of these risks by keeping both your air and equipment dust free. 

Your facility’s cleaning process should go beyond just sweeping and dusting every now and then. Industrial vacuums are great for getting dust and debris out from the mechanical parts of machinery and equipment. You could also consider investing in dust control and exhaust systems—they go a long way in keeping things clean and safe. 

Employee Training

Equipment can also break down due to human error, so make sure you properly train your workers. They should know how to operate devices, machinery, and equipment accurately and confidently. Training should include the basics like e-learning, manuals, and tests, but also hands-on learning. Let your employees work with your machines under supervision, so you can be sure they know what to do. 

You should educate your staff on troubleshooting these machines as well, so they can help identify problems quickly and efficiently. Not only will this keep your workers safer on the job, it will also help streamline your processes and increase productivity. Training should be done during the onboarding process, and any time there’s new software, new devices, or new machines on the floor. Managerial staff can conduct this training, or you can request a representative from the company who sold you the new machinery. 

Professional Maintenance

Your equipment wasn’t cheap, and your maintenance shouldn’t be either. Minimizing costs is essential for manufacturers, but maintenance is not where you want to cut corners. Don’t let someone inexperienced operate your expensive machinery—your plant’s equipment is complex, and requires extensive education to maintain. 
We can help with that. Get in touch with us today, and take charge of your plant’s efficiency.