The biggest business concern for rock crusher operators, undoubtedly, has to be crusher maintenance. Being able to properly run and maintain the rock crusher in order to maximize its life expectancy is an essential prerequisite. This will come from knowing the specifications of the rock crushers. Being able to understand how much you can do and how to clean the crusher properly are the keys in extending the life of the rock crushers. Simply knowing when things need to be changed or replaced on the crushers will allow for increased life as well.
Know When It Is Going To Go Down
Just as the case with almost anything, the most likely time that rock crushers break down is when you will need to get the most out of them. As it is, you never realize how important something is until you do not have it, or when it is most required. In order to skirt high repair costs and production loss, proper periodical maintenance of rock crushers is required. The most logical thing to do in order to maximize the crusher life is to establish and execute a plan that will increase the life of the crusher thereby reducing repair cost and increasing the output. This can be done through laying down a rock crusher maintenance schedule that is adhered to. Following are five steps to help achieve the goal.
1. Know and follow the Rock Crusher Constraints
Every machine has a few reservations and this applies to a rock crusher as well. There are basically three limitations that are particularly important to be kept in mind while operating a crusher i.e. the horsepower, volume, and the crushing force. It is an overload if any one of these limitations is exceeded during operation. The operator needs to take into consideration the type of rock being crushed and environmental conditions as this too may change the rock crusher’s limits on the fly. By forcing the crusher to go beyond limits and stressing out different aspects of the machine, the lifespan is decreased and the time that it has between repairs and failure is shortened. All this leads to more repair expenditure, more man-hours, reduced output and in few cases permanent failure of the machine.
2. Familiarize yourself with the Maintenance Needs of your Rock Crusher
As with all the mechanical machines, maintenance is needed and must be followed. Rock Crushers are no different. There are three types of maintenance that one must follow to properly maintain the crusher. They are – Preventive maintenance, Predictive maintenance and Reactive maintenance.
This type of crusher maintenance plan need to be on a schedule and followed to keep up the crusher life. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance manual should be the rule in this case. This includes looking after the components like crusher liners and other wearing components for their good health. By not changing the liners in the crusher as they become less and less efficient, you will not only be losing money because of poor/out of spec product but also on labor as well since the operator will still be there for the same amount of time, but doing much less crushing. Also, the out of spec or oversized material may re-circulate in a closed circuit to further increase the load on the already deficient crusher.
This refers to monitoring the condition of the rock crusher while it is in use. This is done by using predictive maintenance tools, such as lubricating oil thermometers, lube oil pressure gauges, lubricating oil filter condition indicator device, lube oil analysis, crusher drive motor ammeter and daily operator crusher log sheets. These are used to determine the normal operating specs of the crusher. This will allow seeing when things are not running properly and allow proper and corrective action to occur.
This maintenance occurs when the crusher is not operating properly and it is decided it is time to fix. In other words, waiting until it is broken in order to maintain it. This should be seen as the last resort and be avoided.
3. Root Cause Analysis
Identify and apply corrective measures to the root cause because of which the rock crusher is facing issues. This can be very cost effective in the long run as it will minimize the reoccurrence of the problem. Root cause analysis not only helps in curbing the current problem but also in forecasting the potential of an incident. Thus corrective measures can be implemented well in advance. There are many different techniques and tools for conducting root cause analysis like gathering data, checking the operator’s skills and knowledge, inspection of the machine and end product, machine placement, forces of nature, maintenance processes etc. Once the root cause is identified, establish the corrective measure plan which will best suit to achieve your goals. The tracking of corrective measures can be documented in the form of dash-boards for the staff.
4. Design and Implement an Employee Training Plan
Many problems that would occur with a rock crusher can be prevented if employees are trained properly. Employees can be trained on one-to-one basis or through a group session. Group sessions are more advisable if a new technique or process has to be imparted to employees. Employee training program should be designed in such a manner that it keeps in mind each employee’s needs and current skill status. Proper training of employees increases their morale, confident in operating the crusher, their efficiency to work and decreases employee turnover. Which in turn lead to better working machine and an increase in profit over the long run .Employee training is not a one time job rather it should be done periodically so that each person is well equipped with the correct and updated knowledge of operating and maintenance of the rock crusher.