Supply chain disruptions, labor issues and unplanned downtime currently are the biggest challenges to operations in the food & beverage industry. There are no surprises there, of course, but those facts were confirmed by a survey Food Processing undertook in December 2021 and January of this year with Augury, a provider of machine health solutions.
Perhaps what was surprising were the deeper dives into labor and machine and plant downtimes. Companies' inability to attract and retain skilled labor puts a strain on current resources to maintain production and maintenance schedules – cited by 42% of plant respondents. About the same amount said inexperienced employees take longer to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair issues, thereby extending downtime.
Both plant floor and corporate respondents were asked a dozen or more questions each. The resulting report details how often and how long typical plants experience downtime, the causes of unplanned shutdowns, the surprisingly high amount of machine data that is being collected and analyzed and the importance of standardized global maintenance and reliability programs.