When downtimes are few and far between, prioritization becomes of the utmost importance. Maintenance teams must determine what should be done to keep a line running and what can be put off. Criticality ranking can help make those decisions. There are several questions that help guide this discussion: How critical is the equipment to the business? How often is the production line running? And what is the impact going to be to sales if this line or equipment shuts down?

The first question evaluates each machine’s impact on production if it were to fail. This considers how much downtime and waste would be created if the equipment were to malfunction. That may seem like the end of a criticality conversation, but the second question places equipment within the context of the entire operation.

“If you have a really critical piece of equipment that would cause a line to be down for multiple hours, but that line is only scheduled to run 20% of the week, then that would have a lot lower critical ranking,” said Eric Jarvis, vice president of operations, Orlando Baking Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

Then there are the critical equipment and components like a gear box, motor or bearing that are failing and need to be repaired or replaced. 

Rowdy Brixey, president, Brixey Engineering Strategies & Training, suggested using the idea of two buckets to guide what gets fixed when downtime is short: Maintenance needed to keep critical assets running and those repairs that have made themselves known.

This article is an excerpt from the June 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on preventative maintenance, click here.