Your equipment storeroom, where spares are kept, is one of the foundation blocks that support organizational maintenance and reliability initiatives. While it’s sometimes taken for granted, essential storeroom asset care plays a significant role in the success of your business. The processes of handling, storing, quality assurance checks, and maintaining your spare assets are often not considered part of the reliability strategy at most manufacturing facilities.

20% of your rotating spares may already be in a failed state, causing increased risks of infant mortality and negative effects on your bottom line. Maintaining spares for short and long-term storage is vital to improving reliability.

Storeroom Asset Care 

The care and preventive maintenance practices of the storeroom inventory are essential practices for maintaining spares like motors, gearboxes and pumps. It allows operators to be confident that their equipment will perform at total capacity and for the expected service life of the unit. 

When the decision is made to stock a spare part in the storeroom inventory, it might be kept in that inventory cache for many years. With thousands of dollars invested, it is crucial to have a program to ensure these parts remain in service-ready condition. The environment, site storage conditions, and careless handling can all damage spare parts. Managing these spare parts under a preventive maintenance program identifies these issues and can prevent a defective unit, predestined for failure, from being placed into service. 

Rotating Spares and Asset Care Best Practices

Operator rounds should, at some point, include a stop to the essential asset storeroom. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Rotate spares and large bearings at least 450 degrees every 90 days. Depending on the storeroom environment, rotating spare units should have the bearings repacked with compatible grease every five to seven years. This ensures the grease doesn’t dry out or become compacted. 
  • Motors held in the storeroom inventory over five years should be bench-tested to ensure they perform as expected when put into service. 
  • For oil sump-type units such as gear reducers or pumps, adding oil with a nox-rust additive is the preferred method of essential asset care in the storeroom, along with quarterly rotations and yearly inspections.

The photos below are illustrations of the results you should expect to find in your spare rotating assemblies.

The Benefits of Capital Spares Preservation: 

At Reliability Solutions, we view reliable manufacturing as a puzzle. Each piece plays a significant role, and must be aligned and work together to create the desired results. As they say, “The devil is in the details.” In the case of essential storeroom asset care, the details ensure you have the systems, training, skills, communication, alignment, and discipline to help drive your direction and success. One significant piece in that puzzle is your store’s inventory and making sure your inventory will provide the results you need, when you need it. We call it ‘capital spares preservation,’ and it comes with several benefits. 

  • Reduce infant mortality rate
  • Reduce long-term capital costs
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Improve equipment reliability
  • Improve overall equipment efficiency
  • Reduce your future downtime
  • Reduce labor costs due to less re-work
  • Will produce hard dollar savings
  • Achieving “True” reliable manufacturing.

Why Storeroom Asset Care Matters 

We all strive to achieve the journey to reliable manufacturing in the manufacturing world to ensure our future in a very competitive world market. If we can’t produce our product at the lowest cost, with the highest quality, we won’t survive. Making sure our equipment can run reliably is an absolute must to keep your prices in line and meet customer needs, but most fail to even come close for many reasons. Numerous books, conferences, and lectures have provided detailed instructions on accomplishing this work; for whatever reason, most come up short of the expectations.

It is essential to have the spare parts available to maintain your equipment. Having those parts perform as expected when they are put into service should be an expectation. If you are not getting the expected service life from parts used to maintain your equipment assets, look at how these spare parts are being handled, stored and kept in your storeroom. The lack of standard work practices and a scheduled preventive maintenance program in your storeroom could be a significant gap in achieving the reliable results you need.

A preventive maintenance program will only solve some of your problems. Still, coupled with employee training to ensure proper material handling and storage of the store’s inventory, it is an essential step in helping you maintain the service-ready condition of your spare parts and achieve the reliability results you need.

A Storeroom Solution 

Reliability Solutions Maintenance has performed capital spares preservation maintenance services for over a decade. On average, we typically find that 20% of the spares we inspect initially are already in a failed state. This process has generated positive results to ensure customer rotating spare parts are ready to run. Our goal is to assist our clients in achieving profitable results through excellence in reliable manufacturing. We are the world leader in maintenance and operator training, and from a maintenance perspective, “we practice what we teach.”

During the capital spare preservation process, we utilize a high-quality digital bore scope and develop a detailed report of each unit inspected so you can visually see the condition of your spares. We then preserve the internal components and external shafting and perform quarterly rotations.

If you are having problems with your spares – or even just suspect that a potential issue might be lurking, let us show you the difference. We offer a sample inspection of 8-10 of your spare rotating assemblies. We can perform a high-level audit of your stores practices to help you understand your current state and provide you with the information needed to make an informed decision about your path to Reliable Manufacturing.

Contact Reliability Solutions for more information