IMH News

Keeping you running with preventative maintenance

Are ad-hoc and unplanned repairs increasing operational downtime for your business and ultimately costing you money? Here, we share details of how we can apply our decades of hydraulic expertise to provide preventative maintenance solutions… and give you more peace of mind.

First off, let’s look at the importance of preventive maintenance, which is the action of regularly performing maintenance on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing.

It takes place while the equipment is still functioning so that you can prevent it from breaking down unexpectedly and causing operational issues… and potentially a lengthy period of downtime. Just think, would you prefer to schedule in time for a service or have to deal with the unexpected consequences of a breakdown and the potential costs associated with this?

Our service engineers operate globally to provide reassurance to clients that assets with critical operational functions can keep running. They can also identify obsolete parts and make upgrades.

Unfortunately, it seems that unplanned downtime can be a fairly common inconvenience. A Vanson Bourne survey, ‘After the Fall: Cost, Causes and Consequences of Unplanned Downtime’ – which surveyed over 450 companies across manufacturing, medical, oil and gas, energy and utilities, telecoms, distribution, logistics and transport sectors – found that 82 per cent of these companies had experienced unplanned downtime over the past three years.

Unplanned and reactive maintenance has many overhead costs that can be avoided through the use of preventative maintenance. The cost of unplanned maintenance includes lost production, labour costs, higher costs for parts and shipping, as well as time lost responding to emergencies and diagnosing faults while equipment is not working.

When maintenance is planned these costs can be reduced: equipment can be shut down to coincide with production downtime and parts, supplies and engineers can be coordinated for the time of the repair. All of these actions can decrease the total cost of the maintenance. In addition, safety is improved because unexpected equipment breakdowns happen less often.

We regularly support our customers with maintenance contracts. For example, we were commissioned to service actuator control valves at two power stations in the US. The US regulator states that the service and overhaul can only be managed by an OEM. The OEM was a UK company – however after it had serviced two of the valves, the company called in IMH to conduct an overhaul.

As certain valves were obsolete it was easier to service the parts rather than replace them. Servicing takes place on rotation every five years, across four units on two sites, and involves IMH engineers travelling to Boston in the US for a week to conduct the full test.

Since starting the contract in 2002 IMH’s experienced service engineers have developed a rigorous and time-efficient testing procedure.

And whilst the service is on a safety valve that thankfully hasn’t been used, the maintenance carried out to ensure parts are running efficiently and that there aren’t any leaks is invaluable to the safe and efficient running of the equipment.

We have many example projects we can share with you and you can read about our work on jack-up vessels, jetty loading arms and winches here.

If you’re looking at ways to reduce your downtime or make improvements in how your hydraulic equipment runs contact us on 01642 802700 or email

Source: Vanson Bourne Research Study, After The Fall: Cost, Causes and Consequences of Unplanned Downtime,