The Importance of Preventative Maintenance in the Food Industry
Preventative maintenance should be an integral part of every food processor’s daily operations. An efficient food processing facility requires specialist machinery, quality control, skilled labour, to name but a few. In saying this, equipment maintenance is arguably the single biggest variable when it comes to production efficiency, cost saving and safety.
Low standards of equipment management can result in foreign materials entering the food chain. Materials such as bone, glass,metal, wood, nuts, bolts, cloth, and plastic frequently contaminate product on a production line. The use of quality control systems such as metal detectors and x-ray systems has significantly decreased this risk – but if the machines are not maintained then problems can quickly occur. The damage to a company’s reputation is incalculable. It can take a long time for consumer and business confidence to recover.
Don’t risk unexpected downtime
Preventative Maintenance is a programme that can help to keep consumers safe, reduce downtime, prevent or minimize equipment damage, extend the life of your systems and can be used to evaluate equipment performance for forward-planning and systems upgrades. If undertaken correctly, preventative maintenance can be a true cost-saver within the food industry.
Preventative maintenance involves the systematic inspection of equipment where potential problems are detected and corrected in order to prevent equipment failure before it happens. In practice, a preventative maintenance schedule may include things such as cleaning, adjustments, repairs, inspecting and replacing parts, and partial or complete overhauls that are regularly scheduled.
However, preventative maintenance includes much more than simply performing routine maintenance on equipment. It also involves maintaining accurate records of every inspection and service, as well as knowing the lifespan of each part to understand the replacement frequency. These records can help maintenance technicians anticipate the appropriate time to change parts and can also help diagnose problems when they occur.
Preventative maintenance offers food producers a number of important benefits, including:
- The prolonged life span of machinery
- Improved consumer safety
- Less unplanned downtime caused by equipment failure
- Fewer errors in day-to-day operations
- Improved reliability of equipment
- Fewer expensive call-out costs caused by unexpected equipment failure that must be fixed quickly
- Reduced risk of employee injury