Preventative Maintenance for Automation in Food Manufacturing

Are you leveraging preventative maintenance in your food manufacturing company?

The message is clear: the future of food manufacturing lies in automation. Machines can work harder, longer, and faster than people. They don’t get sick, take time off, or require a large investment in human resources. On average, the ROI on automation is roughly 24 months.

However, when machines break down, they can slow down or even halt the production of your product, dealing a blow to your productivity. For this reason, some manufacturers are hesitant to invest in automation.

While automation may appear to be a double-edged sword in this regard, preventative maintenance can eliminate breakdowns. Using a trusted partner like Quantum can help ensure that your machines continue running at full capacity, maximizing the value that you have invested in your automation.

Preventative maintenance is essential for those leveraging the benefits of these machines. In this blog, we define the two types of downtime, and how to reduce costs across the board when leveraging automation.

Planned and Unplanned Downtime

To understand the value of preventative maintenance, consider downtime in your manufacturing process. Some downtime is required by the very nature of food manufacturing, and will help your business by following food safety procedures or performing normal scheduled maintenance. Other types of downtime appear out of nowhere, wreaking havoc on your manufacturing line.

Planned Downtime – Planned downtime is the type of delays that you can schedule and control. This can be regular maintenance, sanitizing equipment for food safety, or product changeover. When you are in control of your downtime, you can plan and manage efficiencies in your business.

Unplanned Downtime – Unplanned downtime is a delay that you haven’t accounted for. This can be anything from absenteeism, machine jams, accidents, and broken machines. Because this downtime isn’t accounted for, and is unexpected, it can have devastating effects on your bottom line.

Reducing downtime is critical for your business. Preventative maintenance is the process of reducing or removing unplanned downtime by understanding in advance when your machines are likely to stop working.

The Cost of Unplanned Downtime

Unplanned downtime is one of the most expensive costs your business can incur. Thankfully, in many cases it can be prevented.

According to Forbes, manufacturers lose an estimated of $50 billion every year due to unplanned downtime. On average, companies have an average of two outages over the course of three years, costing companies roughly $2 million apiece.

Converting unplanned downtime into planned downtime has been calculated to reduce overall costs by around 40%. The process of preventative maintenance can help save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Investing in preventative maintenance is the best thing that you can do to ensure that this money stays in your business. By leveraging predictive maintenance, saved money can be invested in newer machines or upgrades that will reduce the need for maintenance even further over a long period of time.

Leveraging Preventative Maintenance in Your Food Manufacturing Facilities with Quantum

Preventative maintenance has never been easier to access than now. While software exists that can track the overall lifecycle of your equipment and give you data-driven insights around which automation will need to be fixed first, a technician trained in this type of maintenance can examine your manufacturing line for more concrete information about what parts of your pipeline need to be addressed first.

Quantum’s staff of experienced service technicians will inspect your equipment, diagnose potential problems, and make recommendations on repair, upgrades, and proper maintenance and operation of your machines. These services can be done on a quarterly, bi-annual, or annual basis, and include:

  • Inspection
  • Diagnosis
  • Repair
  • Advise
  • Train Operators

Preventative maintenance can reduce the cost on major repairs by discovering issues early, as well as extend your equipment’s lifespan. With regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, you can minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Contact Quantum today to learn more about our equipment inspection services.