23 September 2015 //
by Kimberley Gardner
Do you have the spare parts needed in the event that your packaging system goes down? In the demand-driven world of manufacturing, spare parts are vital assets for maintaining productivity. Having spare parts readily available allows your company to meet or exceed your production goals, thereby ensuring on-time shipment and delivery of your products. In this article we’ll define what spare parts are, the different types of parts that require spares and the benefits of maintaining a stock of spare parts.
What Are Spare Parts?
By definition, spare parts include any interchangeable items that are available to replace ones that become lost, damaged or simply worn out over time.
Types of Parts That Require Spares
Identifying the types of parts that may need to be replaced on your equipment and planning in advance to stock each at an appropriate level will help you maintain continuous production line operation. The three types of parts that require spares are:
- Consumables – These are parts that wear out over time due to contact with materials, products or machinery and can’t typically be repaired. Parts that are consumable tend to be lower-cost and are stocked in multiple quantities. An example of this type of part is a brake pad – much like a car brake pad over time the pads will experience wear and need to be replaced.
- Minimum critical – A minimum critical part is essential to your machine’s functionality and is typically unique to its operation. While these parts can be repaired, spares can’t be obtained through normal distribution channels and tend to have long lead times. This makes having spares on-hand essential in order to keep production moving. This type of part is most likely to be damaged or fail during transport, setup or startup. An example this type of part a seal jaw; because it is specially fabricated for your system, a special order or repair will need to occur for it to be replaced.
- Long-term – These are the parts that may eventually wear out and require replacement after several years of use. These parts are typically repairable items and ordering lead times for spares will vary. An example of a long-term part that may need to be repaired down the road are drive rollers.
Why Maintain a Spare Parts Stock?
The two main benefits of maintaining a stock of spares are:
- Reduced Downtime
Having replacement parts immediately available when an original part malfunctions or wears out can prevent a production line shutdown. This is especially true for parts that have a substantial lead time. In addition, there’s no guarantee your vendor will have the item(s) you need on the shelf, so keeping a supply in-house will eliminate the possibility of parts being unavailable.
- No Excessive Expediting or Shipping Fees
Expediting fees can be substantial, especially when breaking into a pre-planned production schedule. It costs a great deal more to rush-ship a part than it does to place a standard order and have it sent via standard shipping.
Planning your spare parts orders will ultimately lead to less frustration, lower costs, and above all, sustained production for your operation.
Are you are ready to invest in spare parts for your packaging equipment?
EDL makes every effort to keep pertinent spare parts in stock and available for immediate shipment, and will work diligently with you to meet all of your packaging equipment spare parts needs. Contact us today.