20% of your rotating spares potentially are already in a failed state causing increased risks of infant mortality and negative effects to your bottom line. Maintaining your spares for both short and long term storage is a key component to improving your reliability results.

The journey to reliable manufacturing is something we all, in the manufacturing world, strive to achieve to ensure our future in a very competitive world market. Fact is, 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 reliable is an absolute must to keep your costs in line and to meet customer needs, but most fail to even come close for a multitude of reasons. There have been numerous books, conferences, and lectures that provide detailed instructions of how to accomplish this work and for whatever reason, most come up short of the expectations.

I like to view reliable manufacturing as a very large puzzle and each piece of that puzzle plays a significant role and must be aligned and working together to create the desired results. This is not rocket science or anything we can’t do, as they say “the devil is in the details”. The details I’m referring to, is making sure you have the systems, training, skills, communication, alignment, and discipline in place to help drive your direction and successes. One significant piece in that puzzle is your stores inventory and making sure your inventory will provide the results you need, when you need it.

Your equipment storeroom is one of the foundation blocks that support your maintenance and reliability initiatives and plays a significant role in the success of your business. The processes of handling, storing, quality assurance checks, and maintaining your spare assets is all too often not considered as part of the reliability strategy at most manufacturing facilities.

The care and preventive maintenance practices of the storeroom inventory is an essential practice for maintaining spares like motors, gearboxes and pumps to ensure these units will operate at full capacity and for the expected service life of the unit. Humidity, particularly in the Southeast US, is detrimental to your spares by forming condensation and causing the internals of your spare assets to deteriorate.

When the decision is made to stock a spare part in the storeroom inventory, it can be held in the inventory for many years. With thousands of dollars invested, it is important to have a program to ensure these parts remain in service-ready condition. Spare parts can be damaged by the environment, site storage conditions, or careless handling. 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. The following photos are typical results you will find in your stores without implementation of a good maintenance program:

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

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


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 maintained in your storeroom. The lack of standard work practices and a scheduled preventive maintenance program in your storeroom could be a major gap in achieving the reliability results you need.

A preventive maintenance program will not solve all of your problems, but coupled with employee training to ensure proper material handling and storage of the store’s inventory is an essential step in helping you maintain the service-ready condition of your spare parts and achieving the reliability results you need.


Reliability Solutions Maintenance has been performing these type maintenance services (Capital Spare Preservation) for over a decade and we typically find on average that 20% of the spares we inspect initially are already in a failed state. This process has generated very positive results to insure 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 very 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 you are not sure, let us show you the difference. We offer a sample inspection of 8-10 of your spare rotating assemblies and 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.

Capital Spare Preservation Process 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
  • A very important piece in achieving “True” reliable manufacturing.

Contact Reliability Solutions for more information

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