Gain Efficiency | Enhance Maintenance Planning | Optimize Capital Equipment Investments
Panel Manufacturers are facing multiple challenges. Labor shortages, disruptions to supply chain, rising transportation and material costs are just a few of the hurdles that panel manufacturers must overcome every day. An increased number of experienced “in-house” maintenance personnel are retiring and/or exiting the workforce. This knowledge drain has left many of these mills struggling to stay on top of critical maintenance tasks.
“SparTek Industries works with maintenance departments all over the country”, says Emile Lemoine, SparTek’s Director of Projects and Services. Emile is concerned that many of the people who joined maintenance teams over the past few years didn’t have the benefit of mentoring from the previous generation. “A critical issue is the lack of documentation, which is very frustrating for maintenance personnel.” Many production systems in use today have been running for decades and much of the documentation has been lost. Many mills have purchased equipment that originated in one location, only to then be transferred and installed in another. Operations and maintenance manuals / documentation are often lost in the transition.
An Engineering Survey By SparTek Services Can Help Close The Gap
SparTek’s Engineering Survey Program deploys engineering resources to evaluate panel production lines and provide a detailed report on findings. The report provides specific information on current and potential problems with recommendations on how to resolve the issues and optimize line performance. This provides maintenance teams with a focused list of action items that when addressed, lead to dramatic gains in productivity.
Nick Classen, SparTek COO, recalls recent feedback from a Production Leader who commissioned a SparTek Engineering Survey on 6 press lines at two engineered wood locations. “He was ecstatic about what they learned and how much impact the resulting actions had on productivity. He said the repairs and changes they made improved his press line uptime from 65% to over 90% within just a few months.”
The benefits of receiving the report go beyond the efficiency improvements. When on site, the engineer works directly with the maintenance team sharing observations and maintenance concerns. “The report is valuable, but the process to build the report can also be an effective training tool that gives maintenance staff a deeper understanding of how to keep their equipment performing at peak operation. The report also becomes a reference document the team can utilize to enhance their maintenance schedule and train new employees who join the team.”, says Emile.
What types of equipment can SparTek evaluate?
SparTek Industries specializes in panel manufacturing equipment, with experience across multiple markets including engineered wood, rubber, and composites. Pressing, cutting, gluing and stacking, with a wide range of material handling solutions are well within our team’s expertise. “Some customers view SparTek as a leading provider of capital equipment, but our expanded service offerings are helping them realize that we can deliver value beyond just designing and building process machinery. We want the entire market to understand that our goal is to be recognized as a valuable partner with the ability to inform and guide our customer’s decisions on capital investments”, says CEO, Mike Cook. “Engineering surveys are a valuable tool at every level of the organization. The reports are a game changer for the local operation, but they can also help the executive team make more effective decisions on when and where to invest capital budget dollars.” He then added, “Service projects are also a tremendous benefit to the SparTek team. Every field service event adds to our knowledge base which drives improvement and innovation across both current and future products.”