AIB Preventive Maintenance.indd by hijuney6


									Plant Operations

                                                           Every food plant or distribution center,
                                                             designed and properly implemented

         ood safety is the principal responsibility of any food Consider the manufacturer’s recommendations, equipment his-
         manufacturer. Without programs that guarantee safety tory, and past experiences. Tasks could include inspecting, moni-
         of the food manufactured, companies could not survive. toring, lubricating, and replacing parts. A comprehensive program
 Total food safety can be achieved by various plant programs includes condition monitoring (actions that detect failures) and
 including sanitation, pest control, chemical control, preventive predictive maintenance (actions that prevent failures). Condition
 maintenance, etc. Every food                                                                       monitoring should include the
 plant or distribution center,                                                                      equipment, facilities, structure,
 regardless of size or age, re-                                                                     and grounds. Monitoring can be
 quires a well designed and prop-     Information gathered through Preventive                       completed by critical scheduling
 erly implemented Preventive          Maintenance Programs should be analyzed                       protocols, daily work orders,
 Maintenance Program. Poorly                                                                        and employee observations.
 maintained equipment and             to determine the cause of the issue and                       Predictive maintenance looks
 facilities contribute to product                                                                   at the recognized condition of
 contamination or hinder the
                                      prevent failures. This enables the facility to                the equipment and determines
 ability to efficiently produce       plan and schedule downtime for repairs and                    failure based on the information
 safe quality products. The goal                                                                    gathered.
 of the Preventive Maintenance        replacements.                                                     Next, determine the fre-
 Program is to maintain the                                                                         quency of each task. There
 process environment to opti-                                                                       are several factors that affect
 mize production and minimize food safety risks and equipment frequency, including manufacturer recommendations, how often
 failures. The program has to be very aggressive in order to meet the equipment is used, criticality of the equipment, and how the
 that goal.                                                       equipment impacts food safety and quality.

 KEY STEPS. Before you develop the program, you should first              ROLE OF RECORDKEEPING. Records are required to manage
 establish a clear and concise definition of preventive maintenance.      the Preventive Maintenance Program. Several software programs
 This definition should be embraced by personnel to ensure it             have been specifically developed for this purpose. Once the data
 is understood and helps them recognize and reach established            has been entered, the software programs are reasonably easy to
 goals.                                                                  manage. Routine
     The first step in developing a Preventive Maintenance Program        work orders can be
 is to gather data and create a master list of equipment in the plant.   printed and given
 This list should include all equipment used for food handling,          to the mechanics
 storage, processing, packaging, as well as any equipment not di-        and the complet-
 rectly in the processing or packaging areas, such as air-handling       ed orders can be
 units, HVAC, compressors, boilers, storage silos, temperature           retained for the
 and humidity controls, and water backflow preventers. Structural         required period.
 items such as doors, windows, dock levelers, and dock pads also         Software automa-
 should be included.                                                     tion makes it easier
     The next step is to identify maintenance tasks for each item.       to monitor work

regardless of size or age, requires a well                                                                                By Ahmed Vavda
preventive maintenance program.                                                                                         and Penny Hancock

  orders; however manual programs are just as effective. They can          clearly identify storage locations. Grease guns and other containers
  be managed through spreadsheets, checklists, forms, etc. Whether         should also be clearly labeled.
  using a computerized or manual program, documentation must be               Inventory control is another important part of the Preventive
  monitored to ensure tasks are completed at the specified frequencies.     Maintenance Program. You have to ensure that required parts
  The plant also should have a record retention policy that determines     are available at all times. As parts are used, the records should be
  the retention period and storage method and assigns responsibility.      updated. Minimum and maximum amounts should be set and
  The retention period could be dependent on regulatory require-           the stocks should be replenished as needed.
  ments, product shelf life, and the company’s internal policies.
      Information gathered through the Preventive Maintenance              FINAL STEPS. A post-maintenance inspection is important for
  Programs should be analyzed to determine the cause of the issue          food safety. Once the preventive maintenance or emergency repair
  and prevent failures. This enables the facility to plan and schedule     is complete, the production area should be cleared of tools, parts,
  downtime for repairs and replacements. Scheduled downtime                and other debris. The tools and parts should be reconciled and
  allows the facility to assess the need for additional repairs and ef-    signed off. If the equipment needs to be cleaned and sanitized,
  fectively control maintenance costs.                                     this should be formally communicated to the appropriate person-
      One of the activities often forgotten when Preventive Mainte-        nel. The post-maintenance inspection should be carried out by
  nance Programs are developed is the policy on temporary repairs.         trained personnel and records should be maintained.
  Temporary repair materials, such as duct tape, wire, string, card-           Finally, no program is complete without fully developed and
  board, etc., should only be in place until a permanent repair can        implemented training. Maintenance personnel should be qualified
  be made. They are not suitable in areas where they could directly        to perform maintenance tasks. They should also receive regular
  contact food or food-contact surfaces. Some plants decide not to         training on the plant’s food safety, GMP, and HACCP programs.
  allow any temporary repairs. If they are allowed, clear guidelines       Like any other program, the Preventive Maintenance Program
  must be established. The policy should define the type of mate-           should be regularly audited to verify compliance to policies and
  rial allowed, where it can be used, and how the repair should be         procedures. AIB
  identified. The purpose of a temporary repair is to keep production
  running until a timely permanent repair can be completed.
      Lubrication is a critical element of any Preventive Maintenance
  Program. Greases, oils, and sprays are used for lubrication in food
  manufacturing facilities. There are various types of lubricants;
  but it is critical to distinguish food grade and non-food grade
  products. When determining the type of lubricant to use, select           The authors are Food
  those that are approved by regulatory agencies for incidental food        Safety Auditors at AIB
  contact. Physical contamination is another lubrication concern.           International.
  To prevent physical contamination, relocate bearings, gearboxes,
  and drive chains out of product zones. If this is not practical, catch
  pans should be installed to catch lubricants in the event of a leak.
  They should be routinely cleaned. Bearings should be regularly
  wiped clean to protect the product. To prevent incorrect usage,
  store food grade and non-food grade lubricants separately and

                                                                                                             AIB UPDATE MARCH/APRIL 2007      11

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