The importance of plant maintenance and upgrades

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant disruption for UK manufacturers and caused many to focus on changing the way they operate. This new environment brings both opportunities and challenges and a typically sharper focus on costs and efficiency improvement rather than investment in new plant and equipment.

Regular maintenance of critical plant assets is essential, even when operating below capacity. Without maintenance, costly unplanned downtime is likely to increase and in effect increase costs and reduce business performance and profitability. Unplanned downtime can also lead to missed shipments, lost revenues, and customer dissatisfaction at a critical time in the recovery.

NHE, leaders in the design, manufacture, and installation of industrial process plant, recommend investing in a planned maintenance programme to help avoid these negative impacts on performance. Whether surface treatment process plant, non-destructive testing equipment or water treatment plant, NHE advocates regular servicing of process plant on a three-or-six-month basis as well as a planned annual maintenance shutdown. This approach is proven in maintaining the production efficiency and operational integrity of process plant and equipment.

The purpose of regular inspections is to identify components that are about to fail and understand the reasons behind any “bad actors” – the parts of the process or components that cause the most problems. This reduces reactive maintenance, helping the business to both improve asset uptime and anticipate and pre-plan the items that will need regularly replacing.

Not only does regular servicing enable businesses to reduce the risk of downtime, it also offers an opportunity to make production efficiency, health & safety and environmental improvements through upgrades and modifications.

Under the difficult trading conditions presented by COVID-19 many companies will also seek to exploit benefits from enhancing and/or re-purposing existing plant and equipment to improve production capability. Modification and upgrades in this context can provide significant advantages over the new equipment investment that might normally be considered.

NHE’s extensive industry knowledge and expertise allows us to successfully make upgrades and modifications to all types of process plant and equipment, not just our own. Whatever your requirements, working with our combined expertise in chemistry; mechanical & electrical engineering; and controls & automation, we can help to successfully plan, design and implement a wide range of upgrade and modification projects. In fact, our expertise can significantly reduce project costs, overruns, changes, and delays that can come with any upgrade project.

NHE has invested heavily in the training and development of its multi-skilled team to ensure they are all equipped with the right depth and breadth of knowledge. The team of electrical and mechanical engineers have invested hundreds of hours to ensure they are competent with all different types of machinery from hazardous chemical handling equipment to chillers, boilers and effluent plants.

Whether delivering a planned service and maintenance programme or helping to upgrade or modify production lines to meet new requirements NHE’s expert team is on hand to help improve plant reliability and performance: improve overall equipment effectiveness, minimise unscheduled downtime and optimise complete and on-time deliveries.

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