Guide to Machinery Maintenance & Heavy Equipment Repair

The demand for heavy machinery and equipment has increased for a variety of industries over the past several years. While this is great news for businesses in industries such as construction, mining, oil & gas and renewable energy, for those who depend on the ongoing reliability and operation of their machinery, it also reflects additional expenses including heavy equipment storage and fleet maintenance. Here we’ll be discussing measures to reduce those costs and optimize the lifespan of machines and equipment.

 

Types of Repair and Maintenance

Sand Blasting

 

Sandblasting pushes fine grains of sand through a guided nozzle directly onto a surface at high speeds. This grinds away unwanted particles like dirt and grime.

Sandblasting offers a chemical-free ability to clean, strip, and smooth surfaces into just-like-new quality. It is great for large areas and surfaces, as well as for small precision parts – like those found in gear boxes and motors. Sandblasting is especially effective at removing and eliminating rust. While other cleaning techniques can take hours to days to complete, sandblasting can drastically reduce the cleaning time to a matter of minutes.

Make a great first impression by delivering shiny and clean bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, tractors, excavators, trenchers, cranes, forklifts, dump trucks or pavers to a customer’s job site.

For companies that offer commercial or mobile sandblasting services, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires on-site sandblasting use proper containment structures for the containment of abrasive materials. Alaska Structures custom designs and engineers containment buildings to meet specific wind and snow loads, offering superior protection from the elements.

two fabric tensioned buildings for vehicle maintenence

 

HVLP Painting

 

High volume low pressure (HVLP) painting is similar to normal spray paint guns that use a compressor to supply the air. However, HVLP painting differs by utilizing spray guns with much lower pressure and a higher volume of air to propel the paint onto a surface. The combination of low pressure and high air volume means less overspray and reduced bounce back. This provides greater precision and cuts down on waste.

Some drawbacks to HVLP painting are that it requires much more application time than other preventative measures, and is not as rugged as a powder coating.

 

Electrostatic Painting

 

Rust destroys machinery and equipment. Electrostatic painting is more effective at providing an even coating of paint than standard spray paint.

Electrostatic painting works by using the same principles that make a balloon stick to the wall after rubbing it against your hair. A negative electric charge is applied to the paint before it is sprayed. Because opposites attract - the negatively charged paint particles, all having the same charge, spread out evenly, and just like magnets - are attracted to a surface with a positive charge.

Because the paint particles are ‘pulled’ from the air onto the surface, there is far less waste, making electrostatic painting much more cost-effective than traditional spray painting when protecting against rust.

For companies performing on-site painting, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires the use of containment buildings (spray booths). Alaska Structures custom designs and engineers portable spray booths and containment buildings for high-quality painting and refinishing.

 

Powder Coating

 

Powder coating, an alternative to paint, is a dry finishing process that creates a durable finish. It combines polymer resin systems, curatives, pigments, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and other additives which are melted into a solution that is cooled and ground into a powder. The powder is then applied via an electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) onto a metal surface.

Powder coating offers the greatest level of protection for your machinery and equipment. Once applied, powder coating is typically twice as thick as standard paint. Additionally, it can bend and flex with the material to which it is applied. And since it is more resistant to typical road damage such as rock chips, it is a first choice to protect machinery that must deflect or come in contact with debris.

 

Equipment Storage Facilities and Repair Shops

 

Sandblasting, HVLP painting, electrostatic painting, and powder coating all address the same issue: the prevention of rust and coatings for debris and corrosion protection. Perhaps the single greatest tip for maintaining your equipment in great operating condition is to keep and store them out of the elements using an enclosed storage facility. This is especially true during the harsh winter months. Equipment storage facilities can be outfitted with heaters and insulation, to keep fluids and oils at a temperature above freezing. This means much easier starts and less downtime digging out or brushing the snow off your equipment, as well as eliminating the need to detach and re-attach attachments.

Companies operating in remote and rugged locations, choose to leave equipment in place during the winter months – exposed to blistering cold temperatures, rain, hail, snow, and wind because transporting large pieces of equipment is both timely and costly. When equipment and machinery in remote locations suffer a breakdown, it can be a matter of days, weeks, or even months for replacement parts to arrive. Productivity is negatively affected, and in some cases stops completely. Companies with short construction window or time frame can’t afford these kinds of setbacks.

heavy machinery stored in fabric structure

Fabric buildings offer many advantages for quickly creating on-site equipment storage facilities and repair shops. Unlike steel buildings or tilt-up concrete buildings, engineered fabric structures can be custom designed to meet your equipment storage needs, and easily setup for seasonal or year-round use, and taken down and moved to your next construction project.

Whether storing a single piece of equipment or an entire fleet of heavy equipment, earth-moving equipment, or construction vehicles, Alaska Structures manufactures custom build and engineered fabric structures that offer an unmatched level of protection. By design, our structures are weatherproof – keeping your equipment from the elements, and in working condition, reducing the need for lengthy de-winterizations, as well as lowering repair and maintenance costs.

Equipment storage facilities and repair shops from Alaska Structures are clear span structures available up to 150’ wide and designed to your specified length and height. Choose from a wide selection of equipment doors, personnel doors, plug-and-play lighting and electrical systems, insulation packages, HVAC systems, exterior colors and logo printing to create a unique storage building solution.

Every fabric structure produced by Alaska Structures is engineered to meet specific wind and snow loads for your location, ensuring the durability and safety of equipment and workers inside. Equipment storage facilities from Alaska Structures are modular in design, can be easily expanded as your business grows, and are designed for rapid setup and take down

large tractor stored in fabric tension building

Similar to the equipment you are protecting, engineered fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are designed to last decades. The architectural membrane is engineered to withstand year-round exposure to extreme temperatures as cold as -80°F (-62.2°C) or as blistering as +130°F (54.4°C), will not rot, is mold and mildew resistant, and exceeds the California Code of Regulations for fire safety requirements. For Arctic, coastal, or construction projects taking place in corrosive environments, we powder coat our high-strength frame systems.

Since opening the doors in 1975, Alaska Structures has engineered and produced more than 55,000 fabric buildings to more than 65 countries. No other modular building supplier comes close to matching their level of expertise and experience.

In addition to producing long-lasting building systems for equipment and machinery storage, Alaska Structures has a designed and engineered building solutions for the following specific functions:

 

  • Truck Warehouses
  • Parts and Bulk Material Storage
  • Truck Wash Facilities and Wash Bay Facilities
  • Haul Truck and Mining Truck Repair Facilities
  • Vehicle Maintenance Facilities
  • Weigh Stations and Weigh Station Enclosures
  • Fabrication Shops and Workshops

 

Contact us today to discuss your equipment storage needs by calling +1-907-344-1565. Alternatively , we can be reached via email by sending inquiries to inquiry@alaskastructures.com, or using our online contact form.

 

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