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7 Parts to Consider for a Planned Shutdown

According to Deloitte Institute, production has significantly increased all manufacturing sectors in the United States and continues to grow at a rate of 4% in 2022. This uptick in the manufacturing economy coupled with labor shortages across the globe continue to make material sourcing and parts management unpredictable.

For planning purposes, parts that rely on overseas suppliers have longer lead times. Pipes, fittings, and electrical components are often produced overseas.  Agitators, cylinders, motors, gear motors and gearboxes are at risk for longer delays. 

Here's an infographic showing seven common parts in food processing equipment that should be in stock for the next planned shutdown. If a July shutdown is being planned, order parts now so you are fully stocked for a successful maintenance shutdown.

RECOMMENDED SPARE PARTS

  1. Safety Switches:  Safety switches used to open and close a circuit as a disconnecting means for service entrance or to engage lock-out/tag-out procedures are at risk for damage by personnel. Foreign manufacturers supply safety switches, so it is important to keep an ample supply to prevent downtime.
  2. Bearings: Mepaco’s recommendation for bearings is one or two backups.  Check if the bearing is a common stock item; if it is not common, plan for longer lead times.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

  1. Shaft Seals / Split Type:  As part of your maintenance program, plan for two to four extra seals in parts inventory, depending on usage.
  2. Gaskets:  Gaskets are usually sold in bulk by the foot; check your inventory to be sure you have enough footage for one or two replacements, depending on your application.

LONG LEAD TIME

  1. Agitators:  Agitators are custom fabricated to your machine specification.  Delivery of agitator replacements are 3 – 6 months out due to the availability of stainless material.  Make sure you have a spare to avoid unnecessary downtime.
  2. Cylinders:  Cylinders are another component that relies on foreign supply.  Make sure you have backups that support your usage.

EMERGENCY

  1. Motors: Motor and gearbox availability is dependent on the manufacturer. Some motors and motor components are manufactured overseas, so it is recommended to have a spare in the event of an emergency.

We are working closely to leverage our relationships and buying power with vendors to manage sourcing needs.  We continue to partner with manufacturers who fulfill our quality and application specifications but have flexible sourcing solutions to meet our customers’ needs.

Mepaco is working on proactive solutions to help equipment owners better plan for replacement parts.  We are looking into more tech tip education, systematic reminders, maintenance technology, and service offerings to help customers stay ahead of parts replacements.

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