Pro Tip: Adding annual reminders to your preventive maintenance program can reduce the loss of important data.

Have you had a critical piece of equipment, such as a variable frequency drive (VFD) or human-machine interface (HMI), fail, and after installing the replacement, it’s discovered that no one saved the configuration data?

Start the new year by creating backups for your critical machines. January offers less production volume, thereby making it a prime time to replace all processor batteries and record valuable data. Create an annual reminder in your preventive maintenance program and cross one worry off your mental checklist.

Today’s standard cellphone camera can make recording a VFD configuration, HMI setpoints and recipe data a breeze. Simply toggle through each screen snapping pictures, then save them on a shared drive that others can access.

I have countless videos and pictures cataloged to help me recall important information. It’s much faster to collect, and I find pictures more informative. As long as the data is backed up, you never have to worry again about losing that valuable knowledge.

Additionally, I recommend developing a naming convention when saving these pictures to make recalling them easy in the future. Such organization can save you time and headaches. I guarantee you’ll be looking for them someday and be glad you did.

Rowdy Brixey is founder and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn.