Preventative Maintenance and Profitability

Pump Repair Capabilities

Industry professionals have long recognized that a well-documented preventative maintenance program provides a company with significant cost savings. Maintenance costs may amount to as much as 35% of total production costs, particularly with many downtime events. Downtime naturally lowers production levels, but quality often suffers too. Machines do not perform properly when they are out of factory tolerance; this inefficiency is an expensive mistake that leads to product loss. 

Preventative maintenance costs come from three main sources:

  • The money needed to pay overtime to get production back on track
  • The cost of special ordering parts on an emergency basis
  • The substantial price to get a new unit on a time-crunch, with limited suppliers available immediately

Implementing a maintenance management program reduces downtime, improves reliability, monitors unit performance, and helps diagnose equipment problems before they cause failure. Maintenance serves as a way to be proactive, instead of reactive. It also helps to minimize equipment damage and extend the life of process systems, increasing the return on investment on equipment. Proper reporting allows each company to plan for the future, schedule system upgrades, and cut costs.

A safe food preventative maintenance program should include at a minimum:

  • A list of equipment requiring preventative maintenance procedures
  • A schedule for preventative maintenance
  • Documentation for preventative maintenance and work instructions
  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts 
  • Procedure for equipment turnover

Not following the above standards can have a negative impact on a company's bottom line. Many regulation violations occur because of improper maintenance, malfunctioning or faulty equipment, or improperly calibrated monitoring devices. Food-borne outbreaks are often directly attributed to unsanitary conditions due to improper maintenance.  

Equipment maintenance directly impacts product quality and consumer trust. 

Maintenance staff have many responsibilities and may not record problems or performance changes, such as vibration in a machine or an unusual sound. Consequently, small issues can grow into enormous setbacks. When the production line is working at full-speed, production personnel may skip gasket changes, lube machines less often, or rush through equipment reports. In addition, thorough preventative maintenance records are part of compliance requirements for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs and the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) provision.

With more pressure to produce, managers may find they have little time to verify that work is being done properly and on time. Maintenance records give management a tool to do just that, as well as allowing them to better judge equipment reliability and return on investment (ROI).

Outsourcing services is a practical solution when an organization is short on resources. Outside professionals have the training, equipment, and reporting systems already in place, making it easy to integrate into an existing structure. Industry leaders that specialize in sanitary hygienic processing systems can offer reliable solutions for valve, pump, and homogenizer services. All preventative maintenance service programs are customizable, allowing a company to outsource what is needed, while keeping other procedures in-house.

Expert Bio

Lance Strenfel, Business Development Leader

Lance Strenfel has been working at Central States Industrial as a Business Development Leader since 2013. He works with CSI's state-of-the-art service and repair team, who are all factory-trained and fully qualified to service valves and pumps.