quarry parts neatly stacked and wrapped

Which of Your Material Handling Parts Are Critical to Have on Hand?

You’re on-site, and everything seems to be running smoothly. But suddenly, a piece of machinery malfunctions, and your operation comes to a screeching halt. Your maintenance team determines what’s wrong, but no one is sure if you have what you need on hand. The material handling parts storage isn’t organized, and no one has cleaned it out in ages, so while your team is looking for what they need, they are bombarded with non-critical parts that shouldn’t be in storage anyway.

At Kemper Equipment, we know how easy it is to let your storage space get disorganized because you’ve decided more parts are critical than they are. We have experience with all kinds of parts and can help you determine what components are genuinely essential to your operation. Whether during our on-site services while we troubleshoot your machinery or during regular operating hours, we want to share that information with you so you can better prepare for a potential malfunction.

How Can You Determine if Equipment Parts are Critical or Not?

screen springs

It’s easy to fill up a maintenance room with parts you deem critical. Still, your definition might differ dramatically from someone else who works with the same machinery daily. But when working in this industry, it’s essential to identify which material handling equipment parts are crucial for your day-to-day functions. Having a clear definition of what is critical, determined by several team members across jobs, can help you pinpoint what you need to keep on hand and what will be okay to order when the need arises.

Talk to Your Team

Determining critical material handling components requires open and careful communication between the different operations teams, from production to maintenance. Ask your group these questions to determine how integral a part truly is to your operation:

  • If this part failed today, would our operation stop entirely, or would we be able to keep working in some capacity? When the answer is “the operation would stop entirely,” this might be a critical part.
  • If we needed to replace this part immediately, what would the lead time be on getting the part to our site? When the answer is, “the lead time would be too long for our operation to recover successfully,” this is likely a critical part.
  • Are these material handling equipment parts difficult to transport, or does it require special transportation? If yes, you might consider this a critical component and want to keep it close, so you don’t need special arrangements for transportation to your site if the part fails.
  • Does this part cost a lot of money, and does it need to be budgeted for over time? If the answer is “yes, we need to budget for this costly replacement part,” then you probably want one on hand in case of emergency. You don’t want to budget for something after the part has already failed—budget for it and have one on hand ahead of time.
  • Is this a part you hope never to need to use for any reason? If you are hoping every day that this part never malfunctions because you already know it would be catastrophic to your operation if you couldn’t replace it immediately, it is critical.
  • Do we need further help determining what parts are critical? If so, schedule on-site services with Kemper Equipment to troubleshoot equipment and get assistance deciding which parts are considered critical.

Of course, things like a sufficient lead time might differ for each person or team, so the answers to those questions might be a bit more subjective. You want to discuss those subjective things before determining what parts are critical. In material handling, components linked to the power supply are typically the most critical and might have longer led times to be replaced.

How to Organize Part Storage

stacks of belting

Once you’ve determined which replacement parts are critical to your operation, the next step is to figure out how many you need at any given time. If a part is present in many different areas of the operation, and your team has deemed it a critical component, you might choose to keep a few spares on hand. Alternatively, if you have several parts that are only somewhat important, are easy to replace, or can be transported without special considerations, you might think twice about keeping too many on hand.

Organize your parts based on their importance to keep your operation running smoothly. Make sure there is easy access to the most essential parts, and avoid burying them under smaller, easier-to-store pieces just because you can. You never know when you’ll need to access these parts quickly. Documenting where you’re keeping things can be helpful in a pinch or if someone less familiar with the layout of the storeroom oversees getting the part from storage.

If you are having trouble determining what parts you should keep on hand, we can help. And, if you feel your operation doesn’t have enough space for parts storage, we can stock items for you until you need them. We can work with you to determine a schedule and ship out the parts you need on a regular basis to fit your needs. Have a parts emergency and need something we’ve stocked for you? Rest assured that we can get it shipped to you within the same week.

What’s the Value of Keeping Critical Material Handling Parts Easily Accessible?

You want to have a well-organized, well-maintained, and thoroughly documented storeroom of critical parts. With this organization, you will reduce the time spent looking for those parts when one fails—both in terms of having them on hand and keeping them easy to reach in an emergency.

You will also eliminate out-of-stock concerns and optimize storage space utilization. What might feel like only a few extra moments saved could translate into less downtime and, thus, less money lost during the interruption.

Let Kemper Help with the Material Handling Parts You Need

Whether you have the material handling parts you need or not, you can always rely on Kemper Equipment’s ROCKSTAR service to help. We bring our expert knowledge to the table to help you maintain most aggregate, quarry, and mining equipment in your operation. Get in touch with us today to learn more!