Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is Something Slowing You Down?

I’m sure you pay close attention to your production equipment – washing and dry cleaning machines, pressing equipment, etc.  But do you go as far as to check the fill times on those machines?  Why is fill time important?  Well it can hold up your production process and in turn cost you money.

Washing Machines – Fill times will vary based on incoming water pipe size and the size of the machine itself.  But if your machine seems to be filling slowly check for clogged hose screens and drain valves that aren’t properly sealed.  Both are simple to do but instructions do vary a bit depending on the brand of machine you have.  Be sure to consult the owner’s manual and follow all the safety procedures before starting.

Dry Cleaning Machines – Cycle times can vary depending on these simple factors.  First, make sure all pump strainers are clean.  Second, ensure that the level float switches are working properly to ensure proper fill levels.  Finally, make sure that the filter and spin disk is clean to allow solvent to flow freely without added back pressure from solid build up.

Refrigeration and Steam Coils – Cleaning these should be part of your annual maintenance plan.  If they are not cleaned, air flow will be restricted, dry time will increase, and the wheel will hold a solvent odor.  Coils are actually easily cleaned by simply removing quick fittings and then wiping down with coil cleaner from a refrigeration supply business.  Make sure before you remove these coils that you have new gaskets and proper waste containers to dispose of the lint, acid, and rinse water.

So bottom line – watch the time it takes for you to process a load.  It may tell you if something in your plant is slowing you down.