You’re going about your normal daily (or nightly) routine, and everything is great at the plant. Production is running smoothly, and everyone is happy. And then …. the call comes in … Line #1 is down, again.
And so the fire drill begins.
Most people have dealt with this situation in one form or another, whether you’re the technician sent in to fix the problem, the maintenance manager who’s called in because the team is stumped, or the storeroom representative who is now feeling pressure to find the right part. The list could go on, but you get the picture.
The next steps taken are critical to make sure that you are back to production as quickly as possible. So what do you do? Let’s walk through a scenario and see how you can improve your response to such an event.
When we talk with manufacturers, the sequence of steps may vary but they are typically about the same. A technician arrives at the scene and begins to troubleshoot, or perhaps they simply swap the part out in hopes that the problem is resolved.
Knowing When to Augment Your Team’s Technical Expertise with Outside Support
But what happens when you can’t figure out the problem? What if you could call an experienced engineer, even if you didn’t have one available on staff? Having the option to call for outside technical support can help in a number of ways.
Perhaps the problem is not a simple fix, and a technical support engineer can help diagnose your issue on the first call. Perhaps the growing skills gap and workforce shortage have hit you hard, and these engineers can help when technicians are not fully skilled to troubleshoot the Logix platform you are running.
Do you know your costs if you can’t get a problem at your plant resolved quickly?
According to our internal data, 75% of technical support issues can typically be solved with the first engineer you speak with, if using outside technical support such as Rockwell Automation TechConnect Support.
Let’s say that the issue cannot be resolved with a phone call. Now what do you do? On a critical line with no backup, you are probably calling the storeroom for a replacement part. This can go well, or poorly.
There is always hope that a new or remanufactured part is available and waiting for you to swap in. How confident are you after your initial troubleshooting that this part will solve the problem?
Now let’s assume for a moment that this failure is a BIG one. The issue is the main drive that is powering production line 1. If you have a replacement, you’re already ahead of the game. Do you have the expertise in the plant to get the new one installed?
Here’s where you may need to rely on emergency on-site services where field service engineers can be deployed to your facility in an emergency situation. Industrial automation support services can offer application and product expertise to help make sure that this swap goes smoothly and you are back up and running as quickly as possible.
By this time, you are likely back up and running at full capacity, and many times the sigh of relief comes. Everyone is back to the daily routine.
Here’s the thing, we’re not quite done.
Reliable Parts and Training Help Prevent the Next Downtime Event
What can you do to prepare for, or better yet, help prevent the next downtime situation? What happens to the failed part that was pulled from production? A good way to handle this is to enlist remanufacturing services to make sure that you have a reliable spare should you need it in the future.
Perhaps the troubleshooting didn’t go as planned, and the maintenance team could use a little more knowledge around the part that failed. Local on-site training can be used to help your team respond more effectively the next time.
At the end of the day, in the fast-paced manufacturing environment we live in, minutes matter.
How we all respond to these events is critical to your success. Your need for on-demand or on-site services can take many shapes and sizes, but with fast access to help from people that understand your applications and products installed, you’ll know that you’re not alone in the fight to keep your plant operating.