For many companies in the food processing, food service, medical, and logistics industries, refrigerators are the most important type of asset that they must maintain. In addition to the typical disruptions associated with asset downtime, refrigerator problems can cause product to spoil, which can in turn pose further logistical problems as arrangements must be made for replacements.
And breakdowns are only part of the concern—efficiency is also a major issue when it comes to industrial refrigerators, as they often account for as much as 60% of energy use for some plants and facilities.
This is why industrial refrigerators serve as a perfect case-in-point for preventive maintenance: it is far less expensive to perform regular cleanings and replace small parts than to wait while major repairs are made following a full breakdown.
Some of the most common problems can be prevented or mitigated by regularly cleaning condensers, performing checks for cracks in seals and insulation, and checking to ensure that drains are kept clear.
+ Cleaning condensers. Dirty condensers place added strain on other components, and waste more energy. Fortunately, preventing premature or total breakdowns is easy if monthly cleanings are scheduled with your CMMS software.
A great checklist can be found over at foodservicewarehouse.com. This can be used to create a thorough schedule group that you can set to come due every month. Once this is in place, the process will be largely automated, making it easy to ensure that it isn’t skipped.
+ Check for cracks in seals and insulation. Cold air leaking through cracked or damaged seals and insulation are a major source of energy waste in refrigeration systems. And because the refrigerator must work harder to maintain specified temperature levels, every component will accrue excess wear that will ultimately shorten their useful life.
Seals and insulation can be purchased relatively inexpensively—particularly in bulk—so it might be a good idea to add some to your regular parts inventory. Keeping seals in optimum condition is easy to do, so long as they are added to a consistent, reliable preventive maintenance routine.
At the end of the day, replacing seals and insulation periodically will be far more cost effective than letting them deteriorate and potentially cause failures in larger components.
+ Keep drains clear. Condensation can wreak havoc on refrigerator components, which is why it’s important to ensure that moisture is draining properly. Adding regular draining checks to the schedule group for seals and insulation checks and condenser cleaning is a good way to ensure that you’re covering all of your bases.
Consolidating maintenance tasks in this way will reduce disruptions and minimize the administrative burden of tracking and assigning them with inefficient paper systems or spreadsheets. Most importantly, implementing a thorough preventive maintenance routine will help maximize ROI for vital assets like refrigerators by reducing downtime and maximizing their useful life.
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