Sections in this blog:
- Spare parts: Why you need them for an automated welding system
- Why it's important to keep your spare parts list up to date:
- Equipment Integrity
Spare parts: Why you need them for an automated welding system
When you a new car, you don't usually buy a whole set of spare parts to go along with it. When you drive out of the dealership, probably one of the last things on your mind are thoughts about your new car needing repairs, but we all know it eventually happens. Sometimes sooner than we'd like.
It's pretty standard practice that when something is "off" with your car, or it stops working, you bring it to your local mechanic of choice. They'll either have parts on-hand or know the quickest way to get them. Unless you're an at-home mechanic or car enthusiast, you wouldn't usually keep things like break-pads, spark plugs, or fuel cap replacements in your garage at home.
It's a little different with automated welding systems - you can't just drop your system off at the mechanic for same-day pickup.
Let's be totally honest here for a second, our team at IRCO Automation doesn't want your systems to go down, but the reality is that they do. For example, maybe a pre-programmed sequence doesn't carry out as expected, something breaks, or perhaps even someone unplugged something they shouldn't have.
Unexpected things happen, and parts wear out naturally over time. That's why before installing and using your system for the first time, it's important that you have a preventative maintenance schedule and the extra parts on hand that your system needs to function safely and correctly.
Why it's important to keep your spare parts list up to date:
Routine preventative maintenance is essential to ensuring that your system can perform safely and properly. Having the recommended spare parts and supplies in-stock allows for operators and maintenance teams to perform the necessary changes and lubrications at appropriate times according to use and a preplanned maintenance schedule. Waiting months to perform maintenance or lubrication increases a variety of safety hazards over time, adding stress to specific elements of the system that wear through use.
- Lead time on parts can sometimes be surprising. Lead time on parts can sometimes be surprising. Some parts may be readily available, while others can take several weeks to manufacture and ship. If you wait until your system is down or something breaks to order spare parts, it can lead to unexpected production downtime. Keeping the recommended spare parts on hand is a proactive approach to ensuring maximum efficiency is retained.
- Compare the costs of carrying spare parts to the cost potential downtime – whether that downtime is a couple of shifts, days, or weeks. Proactively keeping your spare parts list up to date can help ensure that downtime loss is manageable and recoup-able.
- This one is connected in a way to all of the above, but having the correct parts makes it possible to repair the equipment/system correctly the first time. Makeshift repairs almost always lead to or result in compromised safety and quality. So, don't be tempted to tape or band-aid an issue. Doing this can also cause (sometimes irreversible) damage to the system that can result in much greater time lost, service support required, and repairs down the road.
So, when was the last time you took a through-out look at your spare parts list or checked your parts-inventory levels?
The first step would be to look through the manual provided with your positioning equipment or welding automation system. Our team at IRCO Automation includes a comprehensive list of recommended spare parts for your system and the quantity suggested for each.
One of our recommendations to customers is to place their spare parts orders almost simultaneously to purchasing the automated system. Doing so helps ensure that the first wave of spare parts can be shipped to their facility at the same time as the system. This way, before the first time they even use the system, their team can be organized and ready for set-up, training, and use.
Ready to update your spare parts list? Not sure where to even start? Contact our Service and Support team for a Spare Parts Consultation and let us help you ensure your spare parts stock is up to date!
Looking to learn more?
Check out these resources:
- What Different Types of Welding Automation are there?
- What are the benefits of welding Automation?
- Welding Automation - Turn-key Solutions