Apart from the unavoidable ravages of use and friction, the greatest danger to your machinery is damage to the material it's made of – rust being the prime culprit. Many machines which would otherwise still be able to provide years of good use have to be scrapped because of corrosion.
It's very hard to prevent the metal surfaces of hardworking machines from being exposed to air and moisture. Protective coatings get pierced or worn away over time. Once the metal is exposed, it is only a matter of time before corrosion sets in. Making matters worse is the fact that almost all machines are used in exposed areas where they cannot always be protected from moisture.
If rust gets a foothold, it encourages a chemical process that causes it to spread. This detracts from the appearance of machinery, but the real problem is that it undermines the structural integrity of the metal. It may soon be too weak to perform its function.
Since it's virtually impossible to prevent rust completely, the best course of action is to combat it regularly. When you spot rust on your machinery, respond before it gets worse. First you have to remove the rust that's there, then you have to provide new protection where feasible.
Depending on the location or extent of the rust, it may require only a hard scrub with a scraper, wire brush or sandpaper. However, these manual methods are time-consuming and therefore not practical for all but the smallest operations. It is not very effective and unlikely to clean tight seams and areas that are difficult to reach.
Industrial abrasive blasting offers a far quicker and more effective solution. It reaches the difficult spots and cleans the metal very thoroughly.
Once the metal surface is properly clean, it makes sense to apply a protective coating as soon as possible. Many abrasive blasting outfits (such as Tauranga Sandblasting) offer this as part of their comprehensive service.
No matter what kind of work it does, regular abrasive blasting and recoating is the practical way to prolong the working life of your machinery.