A proactive approach pays off
Preventive maintenance is key to profitable precasting. Major savings can be realized by carrying out repairs well before outdated components or expired spare parts start to cause problems.
“Pre-planning the maintenance needs is a good way to reduce production risks,” says Petteri Laitinen, Elematic Sales Director in Customer Service. “Conducting risk surveys is therefore extremely valuable and always less costly than an actual repair operation.”
“A good example of this is when the components of the concrete transportation system are not updated in good time and the automation gets out of date. As a result, the entire automation system will soon need to be replaced. This will result in a stoppage in production – for weeks, in the worst case – as replacing the whole system is quite a big project,” Laitinen says.
Savings in concrete, improvements in quality
The importance of preventive maintenance is also emphasized by Service Engineer Mikko Hellman, who has worked for Elematic Dubai since September, responding to the challenges that local factories have in their precast hollow-core slab production.
Before joining the Elematic team, Hellman worked for his current customer, Dubai Precast, where he established regular machinery inspections with excellent results.
“The entire machinery was scanned weekly and all potential malfunctions were fixed. Production breakdowns decreased dramatically,” Hellman explains.
Hellman’s current position as a service engineer involves solving various challenges and problems that factories may be facing regarding their hollow-core slab production and machines. Last year he ran a regular service for 15 factories in the Middle East region, visiting all of them twice a year, carrying out factory audits, machinery inspections, training, and other necessary services, such as helping with optimal machinery settings. Noting potential bottlenecks, suggesting improvements, and preparing reports are also an important part of the service. All actions have a common target: uninterrupted production, the lowest operational costs, and a high quality end product.
“Regular, well-organized servicing has highly tangible results: savings in material costs and improvements in the quality of hollow-core slabs,” Hellman summarizes, referring to the customer feedback.
“Very often the service reports are an eye-opener for the factory’s management. Almost always the reports show that there are some things to improve in order to make production more effective.”
Delivering on promises
Apart from regular service, our service personnel in Dubai respond to customers’ varying needs. Topics vary from hollow-core slab braid slipping to steering of production. Service visits can also help in decision making when planning regular maintenance. Factory visits can be arranged at very short notice, especially within the United Arab Emirates.
“At best, things can be solved on the spot or within just a few days,” Hellman says.
Along with factory visits, an online service is naturally part of the service toolbox. Elematic’s Help Desk provides service in several languages via phone and e-mail, and remote access to the machinery is also possible.
Despite all online and remote possibilities, face-to-face service is strongly appreciated, underlines Curt Lindroth, Elematic Area Sales Director in Dubai.
“Precast professionals value our presence in the area. It is a good way to walk the talk, to stand as a global company, locally available.”
Elematic also provides installation supervision, machinery and product training, and raw material testing services.
Serving and sharing
Apart from maintaining machinery and processes and helping factories make the most of what they have, good tips and fruitful discussions are highly valued by the professionals from Inshaa Precast in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi Precast in the UAE.
Inshaa Precast is one of the leading precast concrete manufacturing companies in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. It is specialized in designing, manufacturing, and erecting precast concrete building components. Inshaa Precast and Elematic have a long-term partnership, including a regular service agreement.
“I’ve learned a lot during the maintenance visits. Elematic’s engineers are always willing to share all the ideas they have about machinery and productivity regarding settings, cleaning, repairs, and many other things. Discussions are fruitful and they are not always just about the core business,” Ariel Pagaspas, Head of Maintanance at Inshaa Precast, reveals.
The importance of lifetime service is also acknowledged by Abu Dhabi Precast, Elematic’s other long-term customer in the area. The rapidly growing company is the market leader in manufacturing, delivering, and erecting precast products in the Middle East region.
“The inspection and maintenance service for our batching plant and hollow-core production system has resulted in better productivity,” says Zeen Purushothaman, Plant Engineer at Abu Dhabi Precast.
The inspection includes a regular machinery revision according to a specific checklist, preplanning of the machinery service, a final report, and an analysis.
“High-quality production is easy to maintain with well-functioning machinery,” says Mr. Purushothaman.
Spare parts within a few days
Fast and continuous availability of spare and wear parts plays its own crucial role in smooth factory operation. Elematic’s original spare and wear parts are available for immediate delivery from three warehouse hubs around the world.
In Dubai, the spare and wear parts center has been operating since 2007, serving the entire Middle East region. Dubai has proven to be an optimal location for the center.
“Given that there are no customs delays, orders can be delivered in a few days all over the area,” says Elemetic Middle East Customer Service Manager Pekka Hiltunen.
“Land transportation can be widely used in the area; it is very cost-effective compared to air freight.”
Machinery inspection step by step
- of the present situation at the factory
- of the condition of Elematic machinery
- of production managers and operators
- of service and maintenance personnel
- on daily production tasks
- on daily service and maintenance tasks
- of machinery condition according to specific checklist
- preplanning of the machinery service
- a final report is produced and analyzed