How to handle – and avoid – shutdown


It’s the last thing that any manufacturer or other factory manager wants to hear – that production has had to stop. The costs of even a 30-minute shutdown at a major manufacturing unit can run to thousands of pounds – not to mention letting down a customer.

Shutdown can be caused by a variety of issues, for example:

·  An electrical fault

·  Machinery overheating

·  A loose connection

·  Water or oil leaks

·  Lack of maintenance

·  Fire breaking out

·  Flooding

Some machinery has inbuilt safety features that automatically causes it to cut out if it can’t operate safely and effectively.

Machinery that might cause issues includes: air compressors, air dryers, vacuum pumps and pneumatic equipment – each of which may have a different reason for failing.

What do to if your machinery stops working

The health and safety of staff should always be paramount, so if there is not an obvious quick fix, it’s best to call in the experts.

Because we understand that time equals money, PPS operates a genuine 24/7 call out service, 365 days of the year, for both existing and new customers. This means that we are happy to take a look at any air compressor, vacuum pump, pneumatic system or similar, even if we haven’t installed it ourselves.

In many cases, one of our qualified engineers will be able to fix the problem on the spot. However, if the machine requires specific parts that need ordering, has a more serious fault or is past redemption, your best bet is our hire service.

Hire machinery

It may be that you simply need a replacement machine while your current one is repaired. Alternatively, following a major site disaster such as a fire, we can provide a range of hire machinery to keep your business going while you rebuild.

In many cases, the machinery hired has proved so reliable and offered such significant energy savings that the customer has chosen to keep it or purchase a similar model to replace their obsolete equipment.

How to avoid shutdown in the first place

There are two ways to avoid shutdown:

1.  Preventative maintenance – ensure that all machinery and systems are regularly checked, cleaned, oiled and serviced as appropriate. See our article on Five Basic Air Compressor Maintenance Tips.

Ongoing maintenance is likely to include checks by factory staff and scheduled visits from the appropriate professionals. An experienced, trained compressor engineer will be able to spot a potential fault and correct it before it causes a system failure.

The ambient environment of your equipment can also be a factor: take a look at our articles on Five Ways to Protect Your Air Compressor This Winter.

2.  Upgrade old machinery – running an old air compressor to failure might seem like a way of saving money. However, the latest state-of-the-art machinery, such as the air compressors in the Atlas Copco VSD+ series, is much more energy efficient than older fixed speed models.

The payback from investing in new capital equipment is often quicker than you might think – and having new, efficient machinery will give you peace of mind, rather than constantly worrying when old equipment might next break down.

Shutdown can understandably cause panic, but rest assured that there are always solutions. Equally, it makes sense to put systems and processes in place to reduce the likelihood of shutdown taking place.

For further information on preventative maintenance, service packages, equipment hire and general advice, please contact [email protected] or call 01422 321 772.