OPINION: Positives Emerge Amid COVID-19
EDITOR’S LETTER (June 2020 issue of MRO Magazine)
As we were finishing the April issue of MRO Magazine in March, the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape in Canada. Emergency measures were being put in place by governments, physical distancing became part of the everyday lexicon, and many non-essential businesses were forced to shut their doors.
Fast-forward to the June issue. While things are definitely not back to normal, positive signs are emerging. Businesses that were forced to close are beginning to reopen, albeit with new health and safety measures in place. Businesses that were able to remain open by having their employees work from home are now debating if they should have them return to the office or continue to work remotely.
Some businesses are endeavouring to help fight the pandemic. OEMs are donating much-needed supplies and money to food banks, charity organizations, and hospitals. And many automotive production plants—in addition to restarting vehicle production—are on their way to producing a number of supplies, including face masks, face shields, ventilator parts, and gowns.
However, things at these plants are definitely not as they were before. Physical distancing is in use where possible, face masks must be worn, employees have their temperature checked upon arrival at the facilities, and sanitation is of the utmost importance.
What these changes show, though, is the ingenuity of companies to adapt. Instead of trying to go along with the status quo—which, during a pandemic, is not feasible—many businesses are getting back to pre-shutdown production with more stringent health and safety procedures.
In “Optimizing Maintenance Work: How to Accommodate Increased Production Volume During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” we look at how companies in the food manufacturing, safety equipment, and medical gear industries are seeing an increase in production and how they can plan, schedule, and optimize their maintenance in a difficult time.
We also look at precision maintenance in two features: “Are You Using Coupling Tolerances to Align Your Machines? You’re Doing it Wrong” and “A Proactive Lifestyle for Your Machines – Focus on FLAB” .
And, we have our regular departments: MRO Quiz “Designing Equipment for Maintainability and Reliability,” What’s Up Doug “Magnetism and Bearings,” and Maintenance 101 “Routine Maintenance on Production Equipment. Who Should Do It?”
As we’ve been doing for the last few months, we’ll have to wait and see what comes next, and what the “new normal” will be. In the meantime, from all of us here at MRO, stay healthy and stay safe. MRO