Every Michigan manufacturing plant has its ritual that prepares the facility for the severe cold, snow, and ice of winter. The ritual starts in October, well before the first snow. However, preventive maintenance departments shouldn’t let the harsh weather slip from all thought after that ritual is complete. There are a few things to remember in order to avoid a winter catastrophe.
Before a Snow/Ice Storm
Snowstorms are a regular part of the Michigan winters. Meteorologists do warn about the storms sometimes days in advance. Instead of wondering when the storm will hit, preventive maintenance workers should concern themselves with snowstorm preparations.
- Check the emergency preparedness kits located throughout the plant. For example, make sure that all battery-operated items have a fresh supply.
- Review and practice, if possible, the emergency procedures in case for blackout, snow-in’s and snow/ice barriers to entering the plant.
- Take account of the snow removal equipment, ice removal substances, and ice breaking tools. Make sure that each are in good working condition.
After the Storm
Looking for signs of damage is one thing that everyone remembers after a snowstorm. However, plant maintenance performs certain tasks in order to prevent the damage from the snow that remains after the storm.
- Remove heavy amounts of snow from roofs if possible. This will prevent the roof’s structural weakness or cave-ins.
- Remove snow from sidewalks, docks and parking lots. Spread anti-icing substances to prevent accidents.
Not every machine runs year round. Use depends on the production schedule. The idle machines should not sit unattended. Idle machines are susceptible to the cold weather despite their location inside the building because they are not in motion and generating heat energy. So you must:
- Check them periodically for lubricants made to withstand cold weather.
- Before shutting equipment down for idle time during the winter, make sure that is drained, vented and the proper components insulated against the cold weather.
- Keep the idle areas heated at a temperature above 40 degree Fahrenheit in order to avoid cold damage.
- Allow water to drip from faucets to prevent frozen pipes.
Preventive maintenance, especially during Michigan’s winter season, is the all-knowing backbone of the manufacturing plant. It ensures that everything is running smoothly behind the scenes in an effort to prevent accidents, damage, and equipment failures. This job does not change because of snow. Remembering these few tips can ensure that your plant is running smoothly before, during and after the winter season.