Study Shows Half-Baked Maintenance


It’s National Noodle Ring Day, which is as good a day as any for celebrating the half-baked. Yeah, we didn’t now what it was, either, but it turns out that a noodle ring is noodles, maybe with a sauce, baked in a pan shaped like a doughnut.

A recent study by Rexroth with the Institution of Engineering and Technology found that more than half of manufacturers surveyed had cut or frozen their maintenance budgets for machinery.

We know what that leads to, because we get the phone calls.

The first phone call is the sad story of the factory that has a problem with their Rexroth motion control and needs help. We find out exactly what they need and give them the price.

The second phone call, which arrives a week or so later, follows efforts to DIY a situation that requires factory repair. Sometimes the component has already gone to Bob’s Bait & Servo Repair Shoppe, but either way it’s not working.  We find out how much has gone wrong since the first call and give the new price.

The third phone call accepts the adjusted price, which is invariably higher than it would have been if the folks at the factory hadn’t been trying to cut corners in the first place.

Not much further down the line, the factory ends up spending even more to replace the machines, because the trauma of those first few calls has made its way to the boardroom. Somehow it’s never remembered as “that time when we decided to go cheap and screwed up our machinery.” It’s “those unreliable machines.”

The research report is entitled, “What you don’t repair you destroy.” That’s as good a name as any for a report on half-baked approaches to maintenance.

Keeping your Rexroth motion control in good trim and your factory humming may cost more than you budgeted, if you’re following the pack, but it will certainly cost less than the alternative.

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