When equipment is so critical that every minute of downtime is costly, you don't want something as manageable as spare parts holding things up. Here are some pointers:

  • Often, the problem is a fuse. Store replacement fuses at critical equipment, and establish a min/max system. You don't want to be out of a fuse for critical equipment simply because someone used the last one on minor equipment.
  • Make a list of the components most likely to fail. Now, look at the process for replacing those. Would it reduce downtime to swap out an entire assembly rather than replace that single component? One example is a critical gearbox. Removing and replacing one bearing might take an hour, while removing and replacing the entire box might take 15 min.; keep an entire box in stock, reserved for this machine.
  • Determine if repair requires special lubricants, connectors, or cables. Keep those with the machine.
There's one more resource you need to provide, as you'll see in our next issue.