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70 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 Preventive maintenance (PM) is a routine maintenance performed to ensure equipment runs efficiently and won't experience prob- lems any time soon. is routine maintenance can become highly important when you are running a business that relies heavily on equip- ment for production. Printed circuit board (PCB) shops are no exception to this because their production is dependent on many differ- ent complex machines working together. Although PM is critical, a large portion of PCB shops don't have a PM program. Far too oen, manufacturers will wait until a machine starts to experience problems before they act. is behavior is likely because PM can sound like a tedious and costly task. e truth is that the benefits of PM heavily outweigh the drawbacks. In fact, having a PM program can even give you an edge over PCB shops that don't. Here's how. Machine Longevity Starting a PCB shop requires a large investment in many different pieces of equipment, so why not make the most of each machine you have? With a PM pro- gram, you can drastically extend the life of your equip- ment. is is because oen there is a domino effect when it comes to wear and tear on machine parts. Once a part becomes damaged, it can cause severe damage to your machine if le unchecked. A PM program prevents this dom- ino effect by finding the damaged part before it goes on to affect others. A PM program to improve your machine's lifespan involves checking the conditions of conveyor components, heating and cooling units, and general equipment cleanliness as well as verifying all system components and controls are calibrated. Even keeping your machine clean is a form of PM that can go a long way toward ensuring your equipment stays in shape. The Case for Preventive Maintenance The Chemical Connection by Christopher Bonsell, CHEMCUT Figure 1: Conveyor shaft, side-rail, and gears for an etcher. These parts are often checked in wet processing equipment for mechanical damage or wear.

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