Food-processing assets are some of the most important pieces of equipment in any food manufacturing plant, enabling manufacturers to sustain their production output and maintain consistent quality. However, all production machines are subject to wear and tear and, if not adequately maintained, they can break down and cause costly downtime.
In the food industry, moreover, production engineers have other issues to consider besides costs.
For example, food processing machines must also comply with various regulations and industry standards to ensure consumer safety and food quality. If a machine fails and causes contamination or other issues, the manufacturer could face regulatory fines or legal action. Even if this doesn’t happen, the failure of a key food-processing machine can damage a manufacturer’s reputation by leading to delayed orders and dissatisfied customers.
In this article, we will look at various ways to increase the longevity of your food-processing assets, reduce downtime, and streamline your manufacturing processes.
1. Perform Regular Servicing And Maintenance
Regular proactive maintenance is essential to keep your food-processing machines running smoothly and to avoid unexpected breakdowns. The approach required will vary from asset to asset, but common maintenance and servicing tasks include lubrication, cleaning, tightening loose bolts, and replacing worn parts as they are identified. By performing regular maintenance, you can catch potential problems at an early stage before they become major issues, and thereby help extend the lifespan of your machines.
2. Use Robust Housings
Food-processing assets require robust housings to prevent corrosive cleaning agents and water from causing internal damage. These housings should be adequate to protect internal components and maintain the required temperature to keep the food safe and usable.
3. Process Automation
Process automation can help you identify areas in which your machines are over or underworked. By monitoring the efficiency and performance of each machine, you may be able to uncover hidden inefficiencies or bottlenecks in your manufacturing process, and target investments to resolve these issues. This data can assist you in making informed decisions about where to deploy new equipment or make other strategic improvements. Furthermore, by optimising your production processes, you’ll be able to extend the lifespan of your existing assets and increase your overall productivity.
4. Invest In Targeted Upgrades And Retrofits To Your Food-Processing Line Equipment
Upgrading your food-processing equipment or retrofitting it with new technologies can help extend the lifetime of your assets while simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing downtime. For instance, upgrading your machinery with more energy efficient motors, or using materials that are easier to clean and maintain, can save time and money long-term and lower your operating overheads. Investing in upgrades can also make your machines less susceptible to breakdowns as they approach end-of-life.
There are various strategies that project engineers and managers can use to increase the longevity of food-processing assets. By taking a proactive approach to maintenance, equipment management, and upgrades, you’ll be able to stay ahead of potential issues and keep your manufacturing processes running seamlessly and profitably.
To find out more about food-processing optimisation and how Premier Forrester can help, please get in touch today.
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