Preventing Breakdowns of Snack Food Processing Equipment

Every snack food processing plant wants to ensure its production output is continually operating at maximum efficiency, while maintaining standards for quality, safety, and cleanliness. Unfortunately, there are three potential problems that can throw a wrench in your snack food production.

By properly maintaining your processing equipment, you can to prevent these three potential problems from taking place, keeping your equipment running safely and smoothly.

Potential Problem #1: Unsafe or Unsanitary Equipment

Safety and cleanliness are the top priorities of every snack food processor. The well-being of your employees and your customers should always be at the forefront of every operational decision and task.

Always follow FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandatory safety regulations and guidelines. Encourage your employees to do the same by providing ongoing training. Consider offering incentives for meeting or exceeding workplace goals.

If an incident or near miss does take place, document every detail and report it immediately. Don’t punish an employee who reports an incident; it will only encourage others to not report. Learn from mistakes and improve your systems to guarantee the same mistakes won’t be repeated in the future.

Potential Problem #2: Parts or Equipment Failure

The most important thing you can do to prevent the failure of specific components or an entire process is to purchase only high-quality products from an experienced, reputable supplier. Choose industry-specific equipment that offers extended warranties. It is also necessary to purchase proper breakdown insurance coverage to protect your plant financially should operations slow down or cease due to an equipment malfunction.

Regularly scheduled maintenance will go a long way in preventing problems from happening in the first place. Also, schedule periodic inspections for normal wear and tear of each component.

If possible, stock spare parts such as wires, cables, and shear pins so that if one fails, your production can get started again quickly.

Potential Problem #3: Lower Productivity and Throughput

Even if your equipment doesn’t experience an outright failure and cessation of operations, lower productivity and throughput has the potential to significantly increase your expenses and decrease your profits.

Keep your production schedule running at optimal speed by performing the following tasks:

  • Use a computer-based product control system specific to your industry. With every individual process being automated and carefully monitored, most errors and delays will be eliminated. There will be an increase in accuracy and operational safety and you will be producing at a higher rate.

  • Choose electrical and mechanical components that will stand up to the rigorous environment of ingredients, chemicals, heat, water, and continuous operations.

  • Calibrate your equipment, gauges, scales, and measuring devices to obtain accurate readings.

  • Provide ongoing training to your machine operators to keep processes efficient and  extend the life of your processing equipment.

By taking care of your snack food processes and preventing these three potential problems, your investment in equipment will pay off for many years to come.

For more ways to prevent problems and breakdowns of your snack food processing equipment, visit APEC today.