The planning and scheduling of maintenance plays an important role in keeping a manufacturer’s production lines going and ensuring efficiency within a company’s manufacturing processes. Many industries rely on scheduled preventative maintenance to optimize their production goals by keeping downtime to a minimum. But why should this maintenance involve an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)? The benefits of using an OEM for regular servicing and scheduled maintenance can vary.  

OEMs are the original equipment makers, often manufacturing a specific machinery or component. When working with an OEM, benefits all revolve around their experience with their equipment. OEMs bring significant expertise to the table, ensuring preventative maintenance is done as scheduled to keep equipment in good repair. When an OEM assists a manufacturer with regularly scheduled maintenance, they aren’t just hiring a third-party contractor but rather bringing in a knowledgeable partner.

How Involving an OEM Benefits Preventative Maintenance

When equipment isn’t properly maintained, it underperforms or even fails. Equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained to keep a production line running at capacity and prevent downtime. Doing so helps reduce the need for emergency repairs, which are the bane of any manufacturer.

Some production equipment makers sell their machinery as part of a package that includes a preventative maintenance agreement. Benefits for the manufacturer that partners with such an OEM include less downtime and a reduction in expenses for replacement components, both of which help optimize production. Additionally, using maintenance personnel that an OEM doesn’t authorize may even void warranties without fixing the problem.

Some other advantages of working with an OEM for scheduled maintenance include:

  • A manufacturer working with an OEM benefits from easy access to original schematics, manuals, blueprints, drawings and other items within the OEM’s database.
  • As the part or equipment developer, an OEM is the most capable of providing maintenance for its products.
  • Non-OEM technicians are often not experienced with the component or piece of equipment, so tend to take longer and may even fail on their first attempt.
  • OEM technicians are not only certified and qualified to fix their equipment, but also receive ongoing training and education.
  • OEM technicians have a support system that includes design engineers, product managers and other specialists that can help with onsite issues. 
  • OEMs understand the equipment intimately, using genuine spares or, if a part is obsolete, they know of an approved alternative.
  • Though hourly rates may seem higher with an OEM, benefits will be seen in the overall cost of maintenance; normally, a certified OEM tech will do a job more quickly and with better results.
  • A company with non-OEM technicians increases the risk of failure or reduces equipment lifespans from substandard work.
  • Work done by OEMs is guaranteed and covered by warranty.

Additionally, because OEMs are specialists at working with their own equipment and the systems into which they’re embedded, they’ve often developed specific procedures for fixing common issues. This speeds diagnostics, which can then reduce a business's frequency and cost of maintenance. It makes sense to assess what services an OEM offers, as a company that provides customized maintenance plans to their customers will reduce annual parts costs and ultimately optimize their system’s performance.

OEM Benefits: What Prater Provides Its Customers

Prater Industries offers our services to help customers with preventative maintenance for Prater equipment and components. We can conduct annual or semi-annual preventative maintenance inspections with our experienced, factory-trained technicians.

Our technicians can provide services that include: 

  • Align all pulleys and belts using tension and laser techniques.
  • Ascertain whether grinding jaws and screens require replacing when inspecting screen frame assembly.
  • Certify mill safety by inspecting and verifying the operation of interlocks
  • Check rotor blades and replace them if necessary.
  • Ensure mill bearings are within operational parameters for temperatures.
  • Examine motor mounting and balance.
  • Inspect and optimize airflow throughout the system.
  • Replace bearings when necessary.
  • Substantiate that mill feed rates are correct.
  • Use precision balancing equipment to balance the rotor.
  • Validate that the mill is grinding properly.
  • Verify mounting is secure on mill support structures.

Additionally, Prater offers training for its customers’ maintenance personnel during these regular checks and inspections to further enhance preventative maintenance plans. 

Prater’s customer service and support team are ready to serve. For more information about Prater’s preventative maintenance service plans, contact us at (855) 957-4608 or inquire online.