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Home / Five Smart Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Machines Humming

Five Smart Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Machines Humming

With machine shops running at or near full capacity, unscheduled downtime due to machinery and equipment breakdowns can cost time and money – but routine maintenance can keep facilities moving.

Posted: July 19, 2021

The silicone lubricant is waterproof, protects surfaces from residue and is safe to use on rubber.
The flexible straw allows teams to focus on specific areas more precisely, and prevents over spraying, which ultimately results in less waste, among other benefits.
The cleaner and degreaser product is formulated with a unique bio-solvent that quickly breaks through grease and grime, protects against flash rust, and is safe to apply on sensitive surfaces.
This corrosion inhibitor provides non-drying protection that continues to work even if some of the coating gets rubbed off, re-sealing vulnerable surfaces.
Gel lubrication is ideal on vertical surfaces and overhead or upside-down areas because it doesn’t run or drip and is non-flinging.
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SMOOTH OPERATIONS

By WD-40® Brand

In June, the Institute for Supply Management released a report outlining that domestic manufacturing was operating at 87 percent of normal capacity. And leading manufacturing organizations report they expect the manufacturing sector to continue its upward trajectory, keeping machine shops busy. Even so, routine maintenance of a facility’s machinery and equipment shouldn’t be overlooked.

A regular maintenance routine promotes longer equipment life, prevents unscheduled downtime due to unexpected equipment failures and helps prevent accidents and injuries caused by poorly maintained equipment.

As equipment for metal forming and fabrication becomes more specialized and advanced, more specific and regular maintenance is required. Teams need to have a complete understanding of the machines and equipment in a shop, establish a regular cleaning schedule and ensure the schedule is followed. In addition, choosing effective lubricants, penetrants and cleaners goes a long way toward achieving longer machine life.

THE PAST INFORMS THE PRESENT

From its first use in 1953 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion, to today where the WD-40® Multi-Use Product has more than 2,000 uses, the brand made famous by the blue-and-yellow can continues to evolve. In the decades that followed the development of the original product, WD-40 Company learned industries such as metal fabrication were using the original formula to maintain equipment and machinery. It became clear there was a need for specific formulas to support the maintenance needs of specific industries.

With end-users in mind and with the same spirit of innovation from which the brand was born, WD-40 Brand now offers its WD-40 Specialist® line consisting of more than 20 superior performance products to help professionals tackle jobs in the most demanding situations. This  line includes lubricants, penetrants, greases, cleaners and degreasers, and rust-management solutions that are best-in-class products designed for tough  jobs. These products are not only proven and effective, but also formulated to minimize risk to people, surfaces and the environment.

The following tips regarding lubricants, penetrants and cleaners will assist machine shops in avoiding unplanned interruptions.

FIVE SMART WAYS TO PROTECT EQUIPMENT AND REDUCE UNPLANNED DOWNTIME

1. Audit equipment to ensure it’s working smoothly and stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

Auditing machines and equipment in your facility provides a clearer understanding of what is happening with different machines, how old they are and the last time they were maintained. Many times, the auditing process can slip through the cracks when facilities are running at capacity and there is a skeleton crew. Perhaps you are running a 24/7 schedule with 12-hour shifts. When this happens, people can become fatigued, but auditing equipment is still extremely important and should not be overlooked.

Once shops have a full understanding of their machinery and equipment, they should establish a regular maintenance routine. Maintenance is crucial, particularly when using cutting oils and lubricants because trouble spots can get covered up. For example, a rubber bushing that is cracked or an O-ring that needs to be replaced could accidently be overlooked. Regular cleanings ensure shops will continue to run on schedule, meeting the needs of ever-demanding customers.

2. Choose lubricants that extend time between reapplications.

When maintaining machines and equipment, use products and formulas that will get the job done right, meaning jobs are done effectively, quickly and safely.

Choosing a longer-lasting lubricant is a helpful way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to lubrication. It is also important to select the right product based on the machinery.

WD-40 Specialist® Gel Lube is ideally suited for lubrication on vertical surfaces and overhead or upside-down areas because it doesn’t run or drip and is non-flinging. The gel lasts on average 15 times longer than other products on the market.* It works well on chains, cables, gears, rollers, bearings and more. It also prevents rust and corrosion for up to a year.***

WD-40 Specialist® Silicone lubricates, is waterproof and protects surfaces from residue. It is safe to use on rubber and can be applied  anywhere there are rubber bushings or plastics. For example, in a hydraulic press where a shaft meets rubber, the silicone  protects the rubber elements and allows mechanisms to slide in and out. The product can also be applied on nuts, bolts, screws, bushings, linkages and more.

For ongoing maintenance needs, such as maintaining cutting lathes or drill presses, there are formulas that will prevent blades from dulling. The right products will also prevent tools from becoming overheated and won’t break down materials on equipment to cut or grind with, such as a lathe or a CNC machine.

3. Lubricate hard-to-reach spots. 

During the maintenance process, machinists will no doubt run into hard-to-reach places. At times, areas that require lubrication could be blocked by hinges or pivots. In these instances, machine shops benefit from lubrication products that will that save time by not having to disassemble pieces of machinery to reach hard-to-access areas.

WD-40® EZ-REACH® and WD-40 Specialist® Penetrant with Z-REACH® features a flexible straw that bends and sprays two ways. The penetrant’s fast-acting formula goes deep into crevices, threads, seams, among other applications, providing 10 times longer surface rust protection than the competition for extended equipment life and reduced re-applications.**

The flexible straw allows teams to focus on specific areas more precisely, and prevents over spraying, which ultimately results in less waste, a better performing machine and a better outcome for projects.

4. Use fast-acting, multi-surface cleaners.

WD-40 Specialist® Cleaner & Degreaser is engineered and proven to be more powerful and safer than other degreasers on the market. It is formulated with a unique bio-solvent that quickly breaks through grease and grime, protects against flash rust and is safe for use on sensitive surfaces. The product meets the EPA’s Safer Choice Certification criteria for safety and efficacy and outperforms competitors in surface compatibility tests on sensitive surfaces such as aluminum and glass.****

5. Protect surfaces from corrosion.

Get ahead of corrosion with WD-40 Specialist® Corrosion Inhibitor, a long-lasting corrosion inhibitor that protects metal parts by blocking rust and corrosion. This is especially important in challenging environments, such as those with high humidity. It provides non-drying protection that continues to work even if some of the coating gets rubbed off, re-sealing vulnerable surfaces, making it a must have for corrosion protection.

By auditing machinery and equipment and keeping a regular maintenance routine, which incorporates cleaners, lubrication and corrosion prevention products, shops benefit from machines that run smoother, better and cleaner, ultimately saving time and money by avoiding unexpected equipment breakdowns and unscheduled downtime.

 

*Test Lab: Petro-Lubricant Laboratories Inc. (Lafayette,NJ); ASTM D5620A Test date: 04/2020.

**Test Lab: WD-40 Technical Center (Pine Brook, NJ); ASTM B117 Test date: 02/2021.

***Independent testing conducted in salt spray chamber. Results may vary depending on extreme conditions.

****Test Lab: WD-40 Technical Center (Pine Brook, NJ); Surface Compatibility (Deleterious Effects to Hard Surfaces); Test date: 02/2020.

 

Robin Baloochi, marketing manager for WD-40 Company, provided input into the development of this column. Email rbaloochi@wd40.com.

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