Other Voices: Seven tips for extending the life of logistics assets

Editor’s Note: The following column by John Leonard, director of client care sales, Wynright Corporation and John Dillon, senior vice president, client care, Wynright Corporation, is part of Modern’s Other Voices column. The series features ideas, opinions and insights from end-users, analysts, systems integrators and OEMs. Click here to learn about submitting a column for consideration.

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In sports, it is often said that the best offense is a good defense. That can be as true in warehousing and distribution as on the athletic field. Here are seven things that can help optimize the contribution of your warehouse and distribution center to your company’s success in this increasingly tightening global logistics market.
 
1. Create an asset risk profile
Profiling all key assets is one of the first and most important defensive moves you can make. This should encompass all assets, including software, controls, peripheral electrical devices and mechanical equipment. Technology vendors often have a good idea of what you have installed, so you might get started by polling them. From there, rate each asset per its strategic importance to your business: critical, high, medium or low, depending on its impact on operational continuity.

2. Consider replacing failed components of critical mechanical assets before retiring the entire asset
Critical mechanical systems such as conveyors, sorters, and automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRSs) are likely your most capital intensive assets and subject to wear and performance degradation. Friction from a worn component, for example, may push plant noise levels beyond OSHA acceptable levels, possibly indicating that the system has run its course. But sometimes you can avoid replacing the entire system by simply replacing a worn component with a newer one designed for quieter operation. This also reduces the downtime a total system replacement might require, provides greater installation flexibility and can often…

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