In the food industry, ALMA guarantees efficient maintenance and quality

There can be hundreds of different machines at a food industry production plant, a significant number of which are directly related to the production process. Because of this, food business machinery must operate as planned and without interruptions. Maint-ALMA is a maintenance information system that keeps the wheels of the food industry running.

Every outage or unplanned maintenance work due to equipment breakdown is immediately reflected in the food company’s economic result. When the characteristics and maintenance history of machinery can be found in MaintALMA, maintenance, repair, and equipment replacement can be done in a planned and timely manner. Based on data accumulated in the maintenance and quality system, many analyses and conclusions can also be made, based on which the company’s production can be enhanced and the economic result improved.

Using data accumulated in Maint-ALMA, various Top 10 fault lists can be produced for an overview of what and when has troubled the individual machines. With this data, the need for, and duration of, maintenance of individual machines can be assessed with great precision. This way, it can be ensured that production-critical machines are out of production use for the shortest possible time.

Seasonal products reliably to the markets

Many food companies produce widely different seasonal products in summer, autumn, winter and spring, sometimes using various production machines of different age. The production plant’s oldest and most intensively used machines are the ones that most often end up in the Top 10 fault lists. When changing the configuration of a production line, it is beneficial to acquire detailed information about the condition and maintenance history of each machine. This avoids unpleasant surprises that can happen in the middle of the season.

With the help of ALMA, maintenance work processes can be streamlined. Duplicate records can be eliminated, data can be added and updated faster, and the transparency of work processes is improved. The installers and supervisors are aware of the state of production at all times.

Easier communication with the authorities

There is typically a lot of communication between food companies and the authorities, and various inspections are carried out at the production plants. The supervisory authority might inspect the production facilities almost monthly to make sure everything is in order. ALMA quickly produces the reports required that can be forwarded to the authorities. A good maintenance system with up-to-date information is also a major advantage when ensuring the validity of various quality certificates.

In addition to the context of production facility inspections, documents available from the information system, which often need to be in a predetermined format, are very useful. These provide information, for example, on the temperatures of different process stages, hygiene levels, or scale calibrations.

No more production idling

In the final analysis, in food industry, the benefits of a maintenance and quality system always translate into improved production efficiency. Provided, of course, the system operates as intended. However, clear financial benefits of an information system can sometimes be difficult if not impossible to calculate.

With the help of information system innovation, duplicate work can be removed from production and production idle time can be reduced. Owing to the system, installers will have more time available for actual installation, maintenance, and repair work, as spending a lot of time on dull work-related reporting is no longer required. The planning and scheduling of work and the operation of supervisory staff can clearly be optimised, as information on the work done by installers and the state of the work is available almost in real time. In the same connection, the personnel can engage in more meaningful and useful activities, as the work processes are more rational and straightforward than before.

Jukka Manninen
Business Manager
Vitec ALMA Oy