If your manufacturing plant shuts down, your business shuts down with it. Businesses that are lucky enough to run their own production operation have immense power and control over their product from start to finish. Many companies will have no other choice than to relinquish control over their product when they hire a manufacturer to produce examples. You have full control over the quality, materials, procedures, processes and most importantly, costs. But in winter, manufacturing becomes a little more hazardous than usual. The colder temperatures affect the machinery, tools and employees. The bitter cold can hamper production numbers and even prevent production by seizing tools and stopping them from working. Here are a few coping suggestions to get you through this winter unscathed.
A winterizing operation
Call a meeting with all your managers. Winterizing your whole plant will need full cooperation at all levels of authority. The proper lubricant must be used for all tools. It will prevent them from jamming and locking up, which can be both dangerous to handle and time-consuming to fix. Make sure it’s a lubricant specifically designed for freezing temperatures. The general practice of employees checking on lubricant levels must be put into place. Either it’s by a certain number of hours, or it’s by the number of times the tool is used.
Hydraulic fluid is another that can cause tools to stop working. Cavitation can occur when the fluid partially freezes, which can then cause air pockets to form. This occurs when the viscosity of the fluid becomes thicker. You may not notice this kind of damage right away, but it will build up and seize the machine. In-tank warmers is a good solution but it may require the tool to be out-of-action while it’s fitted with such a device.
Keep calm and carry on
Most manufacturing plants are in rural parts of the country. This gives you an advantage and a disadvantage. Firstly, you’re slightly secluded which means you don’t have to share power with others as much as urban businesses do. However, you’re also the first to be hit by a power outage. Local authorities will prioritize cities and large population zones over rural areas because it’s simply a case of ‘the needs of the many’. So, always have some kind of back-up power such as diesel generators, to power your manufacturing plant. Take a look at the HTW-1260 T5, which is containerized. It has a KVA range of over 550, perfect for large-scale operations that require a lot of power. A manufacturing plant would do well with this 1,000-liter back-up generator.
Protect your employees
During the winter, you can expect to have frozen ice all around the plant. So extra health and safety precautions should be adhered to for employees. Managers must give clear instructions to employees, on how to lift and move items directly outside the plant. Proper footwear, eyewear and gloves should be given out if employees feel they need it.
Manufacturing is a tough business, but it’s also irreplaceable. Take the proper precautions in your plant, to keep power running if it should go out and winterize the machinery.