MRO Q&A: What are the do's and don'ts for food industry maintenance?

July 27, 2010
MRO Q&A is a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants.

Q. What are the do's and don'ts for food industry maintenance?

A. Given today's high uptime demand on food industry processing and packaging operations, the primary requirement for good maintenance is having the operational management commitment to providing the time required to do good preventive maintenance. Gaining this commitment from operational teams will require maintenance managers to provide a detailed analysis of potential breakdowns by major processing and packaging component and outlining cause, effect and preventive maintenance programs with timing, risk level and manpower requirements.

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This Strategic Preventive Management Outline is essential to demonstrating the impact of not providing adequate downtime for preventive maintenance. You will find this outline is helpful when discussing what must be done now (your Do's) and what can be delayed until another outage opportunity (your Don'ts). While the total maintenance program must be achieved over time, documents like this will help the maintenance team explain the impact of potential downtime while providing the flexibility for meeting critical manufacturing objectives. Tools like this should help the maintenance department become a critical team member while allowing the operational management group to better evaluate the risk associated with their team decisions.