When production lines are running 24/7, preparation is everything. Downtime is rare, and in order to optimize the minimal downtime available, a plan is developed of what needs to happen during that time. When the maintenance team has some direction from the plan, preparations happen.

Just because downtime is rare, doesn’t mean the maintenance team gets a break. To ensure valuable downtime is optimized, the maintenance team should do as much work as possible ahead of time, so that repairs and replacements can happen quickly. This means that between downtimes, maintenance crews are collecting parts and tools needed to complete their tasks.

“If you look at trying to maximize or minimize the amount of time you need with that machine to make the repair, the more you can kit or prep the parts in advance,” said Rowdy Brixey, president, Brixey Engineering Strategies & Training. “Then the more valuable time you save for that most precious window you have to get as much done as you possibly can.”

This can sometimes mean assembling entire replacement components ahead of time. That way, no time is wasted searching for parts or assembling pieces that could have been put together while the line was still in production.

With a finalized plan and all the parts prepared, when the downtime comes — whether it’s a full eight hours or just a production changeover — maintenance teams can be staged and ready to get the job done quickly.    

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