“How can we get the most life out of our packaging equipment?”

Published on February 20, 2023

5 ways to extend the lifespan of your Pearson machinery

Packaging automation is an investment. And, if you’re like most of our customers, you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Pearson equipment is ruggedly designed and built to withstand some of the most rigorous production environments, but there are a number of things machine owners like you can do to add years to the life of your packaging machinery.

1. Keep your equipment clean

Don’t underestimate the value of keeping motors, chains, springs, and other critical equipment parts free from dirt and debris. Corrugate dust can quickly build up and be particularly troublesome. Routinely use compressed air to blow dust off your machines and wipe them to remove dirt and excess grease and oil.

Prevent premature oxidation by using a soft, clean cloth to apply light-weight, food-grade oil to unpainted/metallic machine components on a monthly basis or as needed depending on your operating schedule and the humidity levels within your facility.

Also, ensure the air supplied to your equipment is clean and free from contaminants such as water, oil, or sediment to avoid premature wear of cylinders and valves or other damage to the pneumatic system.

2. Carry out preventive maintenance tasks as recommended by your OEM

Conducting maintenance tasks correctly and at the proper frequency – based on your operating schedule and the speed of your line – is critical to extending your machine’s life.

Lubricating robots and mechanical parts such as rolling chains, guide rods, and gear motors using the correct type of oil (as documented in your machine manual), and cleaning air filters and flight chains regularly will maximize machine performance and longevity.

Extreme operating environments such as freezing temperatures, extreme heat, or high humidity may require more frequent maintenance on equipment. If not managed, rust caused by condensation can be particularly problematic.

Your machine manual is the best resource for determining which maintenance tasks you should carry out on a per shift, daily, weekly, monthly, or semi-/annual basis. It also contains directions of how to properly execute the recommended tasks.

Pearson HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) are also home to valuable maintenance tools documenting recommended maintenance items, and providing step-by-step instructions for execution, along with task completion logs and the ability to set schedules for tasks based on your operation schedule.

3. Frequently check component integrity and replace continuous motion parts when they become worn

Periodically check the integrity of components like drive chains and vacuum cups, and watch for bearings that may be silently causing machine damage over time from wearing or loosening.

Stocking spare parts ensures you don’t have to wait through the typical ordering/shipping process, and saves you the cost of expedited delivery fees if your need is urgent. Not sure which parts you should have on hand? Refer to your machine manual for a list of the Recommended Spare Parts that are specific to your machinery.

4. Invest in operator and maintenance training

An untrained staff can be tremendously detrimental to how – and how long – your equipment operates. Simple errors, such as over-tightening or under-tightening adjustment points can cause problems from continuous part rubbing, breakage, etc.

5. Consider a yearly Machine Audit or TuneUp+ Service

It’s a good idea to bring in a machine expert every 1-2 years to proactively evaluate the health of your equipment, especially if your operators and technicians are relatively inexperienced.

Pearson offers a one day, 30+ point diagnostic audit by an experienced technician to check everything from electrical, air, and safety components, to the alignment and wear of conveyors, belts, shafts, cylinders, bearings, screws, and more. The tech will observe the machine running and provide a Machine Health Report documenting findings and recommendations for servicing or parts replacements.

A TuneUp+ Service is also available on Pearson’s most popular case erectors, case sealers, and robotic packers and palletizers. The package includes a technician onsite for 2-4 days to replace all continuous motion parts, conduct an equipment inspection and Health Report, execute setup adjustments, and provide production run support and operator/maintenance tech training.

In either scenario, Pearson machine experts are equipped to identify potential issues before they cause a downtime situation, and provide guidance that helps your organization get the most out of your investment in automation.

Learn more about operator training opportunities or schedule a mainteance visit here. Our service team is always available to help you determine what makes most sense for your organization now and in the future.