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Summer shutdown
President's Blog

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President’s Blog: Summer Shutdown (Are you ready?)

 by Tom Musschoot,

It’s coming. The increase of activity in the Sales Department is a telltale sign, summer shutdown is right around the corner. Every year, while many of us are relaxing and enjoying the 4th of July holiday, scores of talented men and women are working hard to revamp and improve process lines. In many cases, it takes months of preparation to properly execute a shutdown. Unfortunately, not everyone does their homework, so this is your warning… the countdown has started!


summer shutdown

For vibratory and rotary equipment, many parts are easy to replace and have short lead times, but others may require fabrication or longer order cycles. As part of the preparation for shutdown maintenance, and for general good maintenance practices, here is a checklist of things you should review prior to your shutdown:


1.) Trough/liner thickness and general condition: Look at the conveying surface of your machine to see how the surface looks. If it is scored, cracked, or bent, it needs repair. Use a thickness gauge, or even drill a small hole in the trough to see how thick the material is. If it is more than 75% worn from the original thickness, it is time to replace it.



2.) Listen for noises: With General Kinematics equipment, if it is running empty, it should be quiet. If you hear a tick or knock from a rocker leg, that means it needs new bushings. If there is noise coming from the drive, it is probably time to replace your bearings. If springs are making noise, they are either broken or the hardware is loose. Listening to your equipment regularly will help you catch problems early before they get worse.



3.) Spare parts inventory: All GK machines ship with a list of recommended spare parts. If your machine is in a critical process flow where an issue could shut down your facility, you should have the parts on hand to make quick repairs. Take time to review your critical spare parts list with our GK customer service team to make sure you have the parts on hand to keep your facility up and running. If you don’t have a manual or parts list, we can help supply those for you.



4.) Time for an upgrade: Is there an area in your process that just doesn’t flow right? Are you looking to get more efficiency or throughput through your system? Simple upgrades like drive conversions, trough reconfigurations, and liner upgrades can quickly restore or improve the throughput of your system.


Shutdown season is always hectic, so it is important that you approach it prepared. The GK service team is available to help you review the equipment in your facility and help you develop an economical and efficient plan to breeze through shutdown and deliver a well running system back to your team. Give our team a call and schedule a free site visit to discuss how we can help you optimize your shutdown plans now before it’s too late.



Tom Musschoot


Tom Musschoot joined General Kinematics full time in 1999 holding the titles of Director of Marketing and VP of North American Sales & Marketing to name a few before assuming the office of the President. Tom received a BA in Music from Bradley University before completing his MBA at Webster University. Tom has 5 patents in his name, spearheading the rotary product line for GK. When Tom is not in the office he can be found watching hockey, working on cars, or driving his kids to their sporting events and cheering them on.