Why perform regular maintenance and cleaning in manufacturing?

It's common knowledge across all sectors, that maintenance and up-keep of equipment is a sure fire way to not only make your workshop look pretty, but to ensure the longevity of its lifespan, effectiveness and efficiency - and in manufacturing, frequently maintained and cleaned machinery is paramount.

Here are our top 10 toys to maintain in the manufacturing space.

Process heating

You can improve the energy efficiency of process heating in many ways. To maximize burner efficiency, optimize the ratio of air to fuel with flow metering or flue-gas analysis. In indirect heating systems, inspect and clean heat-transfer surfaces regularly to avoid soot, scale, sludge, or slag buildup that can significantly reduce system efficiency. Reduce air infiltration into the heating process by repairing system leaks and keeping furnace doors closed whenever possible.


Mechanical problems are the main cause of premature failures in electric motors. Check for adequate ventilation around motors and clean and lubricate the motors appropriately. To help motors achieve their full-life potential while minimizing energy consumption, ensure that they aren’t suffering from a voltage imbalance.

Fan bearings and belts

Inspect the blades, bearings, and belts on fans at least once a year to prevent failure and maintain efficiency. Clean the fan blades and check bearings for adequate lubrication. Reset belt tension or change belts as needed. For more energy savings, upgrade to a more-efficient style of belt drive, which will vary by specific motor application. It will cost more up front but will quickly pay back in savings. One example involves replacing a classic V-belt with a notched or synchronous belt drive.


Develop a program for treating makeup water to prevent damage to equipment and losses in efficiency. Build-up inside the tank will decrease heat transfer to the water and necessitate more-frequent blowdown, which wastes both water and energy. Similar to process heating, the air-fuel ratio has the largest impact on combustion efficiency, so check it periodically to ensure that the combustion process is operating efficiently.

Air compressors

In compressed air systems, check hoses and valves for leaks regularly, and make repairs if needed. You may not always see or hear the leak, so consider using an ultrasonic leak detector. A poorly maintained system can waste between 25% and 35% of its air due to leaks alone and can effectively double the cost of compressed air.

Leaks cause lower pressure at the endpoint, which operators try to compensate for by setting pressure levels higher than otherwise necessary. Clean intake vents, air filters, and heat exchangers regularly to increase both equipment life and productivity.


Cleaning dirty lightbulbs and fixtures can increase lighting output by 10%. Over time, diffusers and lenses often turn yellow or brown, significantly reducing light output. Replace these discoloured diffusers or lenses for a 20% boost in output.

Calibrate occupancy sensors and photocells to restore correct operation and reduce energy use by up to 50%. If you don’t already have a lighting maintenance plan, develop one to ensure that light output is maintained and energy isn’t wasted.


The linkage on an economizer’s damper, if not checked regularly, can seize up or break. An economizer stuck in the fully open position can add as much as 50% to a building’s annual energy bill by allowing hot air in during the air-conditioning season and cold air in during the heating season.

Air filters

Change air filters every one to three months. Change filters more often if they handle a heavy particulate load or large particulates. Also change filters more often if the building is near a road or construction site, or if the system uses an economiser.

HVAC leaks

A leak in an HVAC rooftop unit can cost £150 per unit per year in wasted energy. Every three months, check for leaks in cabinet panels and ducts on rooftop HVAC equipment. Also be sure that the units are secure, with all screws in place. Every year, inspect all access panels and gaskets, paying close attention to those on the supply-air side where pressure is higher.

Condenser coils

Cleaning the condenser coil is one of the most cost-effective maintenance steps for HVAC rooftop units. A dirty coil that raises condensing temperatures by as little as 10° Fahrenheit (F) or about 5° Celsius (C) can increase power consumption by 10%. Check condenser coils for debris each quarter and clean them at least once a year.

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