Avoiding run to failure (RTF) on equipment requires a number of factors, including proactive maintenance and skilled workers who know what to look for on the components of a machine. But before that, it must begin with simplified equipment design, and that starts with communication.

Bakers must be in the right mindset … not so much as producers of baked goods but more as purchasers of equipment.

In that context, they’re better prepared to have real conversations with suppliers about building machines that will be simple to maintain with the minimum possible workforce.

“Bakers must be prepared to have interaction with the equipment manufacturers,” said Rowdy Brixey, president, BEST: Brixey Engineering Strategies & Training.

He offered similar advice to suppliers.

“Be prepared to have a conversation about how you can justify the engineering you put into your machine,” he said. “Suppliers need to touch on areas that, in some form or fashion, help with the labor shortage.”

In terms of everyday maintenance, the future is wide open for equipment manufacturers to develop data tracking and mix augmented reality with remote maintenance, according to Matthew Wallace, president, VRSim.

“There are a lot of things that can be done by remote maintenance, which requires the help of the OEM,” he said. “Augmented reality — using GoTo Meeting and putting a graphic overlay on top of the screen — will fundamentally change the industry. When you start mixing augmented reality with remote maintenance, that’s where the future will be.”

This article is an excerpt from the September 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Run to Failure, click here.