Keeping tools well-maintained and clean is an important part of completely learning how to use them. There is much more to learning about how to use tools than simple operation–proper maintenance is key for the longevity of industrial tools, as well as being an important component of safety. Giving an annual or bi-annual lecture or class on safety should be part of your company’s routine, and including a section on cleanliness and tool maintenance is imperative. In many industrial situations, maintenance and upkeep falls back on employees, so they should be well-versed on how to properly care for the tools your business uses.
Preventative Tool Maintenance
Every type of tool should have a specific place where it’s stored. A toolbox or designated storage container is best. However, in some situations, it may be perfectly acceptable to hang tools up, out of the work zone. In areas where hot temperatures is a factor, tools should always be stored far away from heat and flame. Tools shouldn’t leave the workplace and should be considered part of a workstation.
Caring for Electrical Tools
Dust can harm electrical tools and cause them to not work. Occasionally, clean the dust from the outside of the unit and the exhaust. The cord should also be checked frequently for fraying and damage. Electrical tools that have a cutting surface may require oiling from time to time. In lieu of a toolbox or larger storage unit, most electrical tools come with their own carrying or storage case–this is where they should be stored.
Cleaning Hydraulic and Operations Tools
When it comes to hydraulic and operations tools, it’s important to regularly clean the connections. This is ideally done before every use. Just simply clean the connection spot with a damp cloth. Hydraulic tools should also be checked yearly, and the air should be bled out. In addition, hydraulic tools require periodic cleaning with non-petroleum solvents. Again, it’s important that the entire tool is clean, but the connectors are most important.
Large Manufacturing Tool Maintenance
One of the most important things when it comes to large manufacturing equipment is lubrication. Making sure to use the right lubricant, add it to your tool frequently, and always check that it’s done before operating. This type of machinery requires a regular maintenance and checkup schedule that should be part of your work routine. For general cleaning, using a vacuum to clean the breathers is imperative. Large machinery should be stored in a storage unit or shed instead of directly in the work environment.
Hand Tools & Hands-Free Tools
Both of these smaller types of tools simply require regular cleaning. It’s storage that is vital when it comes to hands-free tools and hand tools. They should always be stored securely and safely in a tool box, away from the work area. For cleaning, use a damp cloth both before and after use, to wipe down any dust or debris. For a more thorough cleaning in between uses, soak the tools (if they’re small enough to soak) in a water and cleaning solution (such as Pine-Sol) for several minutes, then use a scrub brush to remove grime and dirt. Most modern tools are rust resistant, but if yours aren’t, treat them with WD-40 every few months to avoid rust build-up.
When it comes to industrial tools, Specialty Maintenance Tools not only sells and services products but will always instruct you how to safely maintain and use your tools. A leader of global industrial tool distribution, contact SMP Tools today to learn about our line of products and how we can help streamline your work process. We also offer extender shipping times for convenience.