Whether your business has been on shut down for a while or it’s been a while since an electrician has conducted the necessary checks, now is the time to audit your controls and electrical system.
During the months of neglect, the security and functionality of your controls and electrical distribution system might have been compromised. If you don’t pick up on issues before they escalate, you could end up spending a considerable amount of money on repairs. Plus, the downtime caused by faulty electrics in machinery and lighting will significantly impact productivity and revenue too.
Your best bet is to be proactive and take extra precautions when you have the chance. In doing so, you will not only ensure your business’ operations remain functioning and compliant, but you will also minimise any injuries to employees.
To give you an idea of the things you should be checking, here are a few points taken from our full controls and electrical system audit checklist.
With every aspect of a production line relying on a PLC to automate processes and improve productivity, you must keep the system in top working condition.
When a PLC control malfunctions, the output can be compromised and you could end up wasting hours waiting for an engineer to attend your needs. Firstly, they have to get there, and secondly, it may take them a considerable amount of time trying to find a solution to the problem.
Hiring an on-site engineer to manage PLC programming maintenance may seem like a positive alternative. However, having multiple workers on-site adds up when you’re trying to minimise overheads in the post-COVID-19 world.
Plus, depending on human workers to monitor PLC components is promoting a reactive way of working instead of proactive. You see, PLC programming and software systems are complex, with intricate coding defining the data passed from every component of the production line. So, a human engineer would be fortunate to spot an impending issue before it occurs when they’re trying to juggle various other tasks.
In contrast, a remote PLC programming maintenance service utilises technology and rarely requires on-site human intervention. This not only cuts down costs on travel and call-out fees occurred from hiring reactive engineers, but it’s also a lot cheaper (and effective) than employing someone to be on standby every day of the week.
Undertake a visual check of fixtures and fittings
One of the first stages of our controls and electrical system audit is to visually check all fixtures and fittings on your business’ premises.
This includes seeing if all lights, sockets, switches, and outlets on the premises are tightly secured in their backbox (with all screws present) and are working. Take a closer look to ensure there aren’t any signs of burning, damage or deterioration that could create a hazardous environment for employees.
Assess the working environment
This is quite a broad point to consider, as it applies to all operations involving your business’ controls and electrical system.
As a starting point, check whether:
Run tests on machinery and electrics
After a while, controls panels and PLC’s will start to slow down, causing faults and affecting machine efficiency.
One of the easiest ways to test this is to run several checks over the next 7-14 days. Make visual observations on the functioning of the machinery and sequences.
As a next step, assess the state of fuses, PLC panels and wiring to see if there are any burn marks, stains or general damage. Also, inspect fixed wiring installations before it leads to danger, i.e. the circuits from the meter and consumer unit supplying sockets, fixed wired equipment and switches.
Check portable electrics
The next step of every control and electrical systems audit is to assess any portable electrical tools and equipment that have been used around or away from the business.
This is particularly important as this equipment could sustain damage through constant movement and has been subjected to different environments.
Other internal factors to consider
As well as checking the functioning and state of your business’ controls and electrical system, it is vital to re-evaluate processes within your business.
For example, have you got sufficient practices in place to help employees know how to operate and maintain machinery? And are de-energised equipment procedures followed?
After a week or a few months away from the business, employees may need a refresher on the safety elements of controls and electrical systems.
Once you’ve checked over these initial points, go one step further by booking a full controls and electrical system audit with Hills Electrical. During the audit, we will check:
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