Motors, magnets, and everything else that keeps an industrial facility running still don’t run 24-7. You take great care to maintain your equipment when it’s working, but when it’s time to temporarily retire or stow away the equipment, you still need to take some care even as it sits idle. Here are some of our best practices for storing industrial equipment so that no matter how long they’re on the shelf, so to speak, they’ll be ready when you need them again.
Hit All Your Lubrication Points
Even when the moving parts aren’t going to be doing much moving, getting your machinery reading for storage is a great time to clean off surfaces and lube everything up. Failing to pre-lubricate before storage can give your equipment a rude awakening when you need to use it again. Overly dry lubrication points that have accumulated dirt and grime over time can cause excessive friction upon use, damaging your components. Immediately having to repair or replace parts is no way to get back into the swing of things.
Keep Magnets Cool and Dry
With the power to lift heavy pieces of scrap metal high off the ground, your arsenal of magnets can seem impervious to damage. That’s not the case: like some people, magnets demonstrate toughness but have a lot of vulnerabilities. In the case of magnets, those vulnerabilities are the twin terrors of excessive heat and moisture. High temperatures destabilize magnetic fields, while water causes naturally magnetic iron to rust away, losing its magnetic properties. Together, they can make short work of a magnet, leaving you with an unpleasant surprise when it’s time to bring them back into service. Keep storage areas for magnets cool and dry.
Protect Motors from Vibration
It sounds self evident: when a motor isn’t in use, it shouldn’t be moving. But it’s not always that simple. Excessive vibration in proximity to a stored motor can cause delicate bearings to shift, leaving it out of sorts when it’s time to put the motor back to work. Avoid this by storing your idle electric motors away from exterior walls, where even passing traffic and thunderstorms can cause enough trembling to affect delicate parts. Conscientious storage of your electric motors can go a long way in extending their life spans and saving you money.
Drain or Top Off Your Fuel
The best practices for storing industrial equipment can seem contradictory at times: do I want fuel sitting in the tank while the equipment is idle or not? It depends on the climate and season. If you’re storing machinery through the winter, top off the tank to prevent the formation of condensation in the fuel lines, which can do damage through the dormant season. When warmer weather is on the way, drain the tank to prevent the humidity from encouraging harmful rust.