Enhanced preventative maintenance is a critical component to any maintenance strategy, particularly in the demanding environment food manufacturing facilities present. It is the key to lowering maintenance costs, reducing downtime, increasing uptime, improving asset lifespan and efficiency, as well as increasing workplace safety.
Without preventative maintenance, operations can be compromised, made inefficient, cause injury or hazard to employees, and result in significant loss of time, produce, money and reputation.
Types of EPM
There are three main types of preventative maintenance – all of which can be used in conjunction with one another to maximise the efficiency of your site.
This is the most common type of preventive maintenance. Typically software is used to set up a recurring, time-based maintenance schedule, based on the type of asset – some requiring monthly maintenance, others only requiring annual maintenance.
While it’s the easiest type of EPM to set up, it’s not always the most efficient, as individual assets often vary in their need for maintenance – typically because of usage, which leads us to the next type of maintenance.
Rather than relying on the amount of time that has passed before a maintenance check is carried out, usage-based maintenance relies on how much an asset has been used. This is far more efficient and reliable, but more challenging to set up and get started on.
Particularly relevant and useful for food manufacturing facilities, predictive maintenance allows for maintenance managers to predict when system downtimes may occur, based on pervious patterns and to schedule maintenance tasks to reduce production downtime.
Benefits & Challenges of Enhanced Preventative Maintenance
Implementing EPM has huge benefits for any food/beverage manufacturing facility, but does throw a few challenges into the mix as well. The key benefits are:
- EPM will decrease production downtime and closures due to hazards or equipment failure
- EPM will increase equipment life expectancy, saving time and money
- Ensures most shutdowns are planned in advance, ensuring efficiency and highest-quality outcomes
- Significantly reduce safety risks for employees and customers
Some challenges that may be faced are:
- Time consuming scheduling and inspections – which may not be feasible given the typical responsibilities of a maintenance manager
- Staff time and resources – causing some employees to work overtime in order to carry out the preventative maintenance activities
- Unnecessary preventative maintenance, leading to money being spent on precautions that aren’t needed.
What this means for flooring
EPM has significant benefits when it comes to facility maintenance of assets like flooring. If scheduled well in advance, flooring companies can ensure a fast turnaround on maintenance and projects that need to be carried out.
With many food manufacturing companies carrying out maintenance work on weekends, companies like ours plan our weekends months in advance. And while we have room to increase our capacity, knowing well in advance ensures that you will be guaranteed the best possible flooring solution for your needs.