Industry Specific Insights

5 Tips on How to Stay Productive if Your Plant Production is Paused

Ryan Chan

With the spread of the novel coronavirus affecting everything from traveling on an airplane to shopping at a grocery store, slowing down the spread of the virus and “flattening the curve” in the United States has become a growing concern. To slow the spread, many companies have been practicing social distancing by mandating their employees to work remotely if possible, and other companies completely shutting down their businesses for the time being.

Specifically in some plants, production has been temporarily paused due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving facility and maintenance workers out of work. During these current circumstances, what are some tips for facility and maintenance workers to stay productive? To help, five industry specialists share their recommendations on improving productivity.

1. Make Sure Your Machines are Ready for Shut Down

Be attentive to follow the special instructions to properly shut down your machinery. All machines may need to be drained, flushed, oil-coated, put on a slow speed turning gear to cool down, and much more. Review all of those requirements and be prepared to implement them in your facility. – Michael M., Maintenance and Reliability Engineer at Worthington Industries

2. Check on Your Equipment

Get all your equipment pressure washed and cleaned, bring them to maintenance for in-depth stress crack searches, fluid leaking and performance evaluations. Then, create utilization reports against what you find. Our team has already found precarious faults and issues throughout our fleet of equipment. – Trevor H., Equipment Manager at CASS Inc.

3. Update Your Documentation

Perfect time to update, or write a first draft, on your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) and Preventive Maintenance Instructions (PMIs). – Bruce S., Operations Manager at Unity International Group

4. Take Time to Reflect

Take a step back, take a breath and look at where you are compared to where you want to be. After reflecting, make the plans necessary to close that gap. – Tim R., Reliability Superintendent

5. Come Back Even Better

Do not defer your maintenance. Now is the time to ensure you are reliable and ready when this storm passes. – Doug S., Maintenance and Reliability Manager at Tiger Calcium Services Inc.

Bonus Tip

I want to put a call to action for focusing on things you can control and minimizing the time, energy, emotional bandwidth spent on things you can’t control. You can control what you’re spending your time on, what you’re spending your money on, what you’re thinking about, what media you’re consuming and how you interact with people in your life. Focus on the positive aspects of each one of those.

Ask yourself how you can grow as a person and as a reliability professional.

  • What skills do I need to learn to make myself more valuable both in my home life and my professional life?
  • Have I been the best person I can be around my family?
  • Have I been the best colleague I can be?
  • What would I enjoy doing the most?

These questions will guide you to what you need to spend your time, energy and money on. These questions will guide you to what you value most.

It won’t be an easy time to get through but we are all stronger than we think. We have more to give than we think. We have more light to share in these dark moments. Spread your light with those around you. And, as the saying goes, this too shall pass. – Rob K., Asset Management Specialist at Enbridge

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