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Biscuit, Cookie and Cracker Production
The maintenance plan has to be respected and executed

Service ... or mechanics, electricians and software ... commissioning engineers or technicians, such as burning technician, are often called at the last second, desperate phone calls from the customer because the oven or line from days of production suddenly stops, sending alarms that cannot be reset or worse still need spare parts unavailable in the short time ... and you know, time is money; a line that does not produce and stand still is a huge money leak.

 

Our preparation and experience are the key ingredients (always in the field of good recipes for good products) for solutions in a short time span for various faults that may arise in a more or less complex biscuit line.

The company, however, might (indeed should) adopt some caution and a good maintenance plan to improve and optimize any production stoppages due to various breaks.

  1. THE MAINTENANCE PLAN

Every machine used in a biscuit line is always sold with its owner's manual, which must also include the maintenance part of the machine itself. Take an example an oven. The final customer must find attached instruction manual for a proper scheduled maintenance plan:

  •  Mechanically- it must be highlighted how many engines and mechanical parts require lubrication, which lubricant to use (not all are equal, each application must have its own specificity), and above all the periodicity with which to inspect and fill or fill.
  • Air and gas must have a cleaning plan and spare parts always in stock; a customer cannot call and say that his oven does not heat up anymore. This can happen when the amount of air and gas in the combustion mixture of each single flame decreases because of very dirty filters ... I have unlimited number of similar examples!!!
  • The electrical part is the brain of a line, the one that needs less maintenance, but possibly spare parts that are ready and stored in the warehouse. It is not so difficult to get information from the manufacturer on which parts are most expected to be ready in need (for example, I am thinking of thermoregulators already programmed for an oven without the ones not working) but there are tabs or components that are in quantity. For example, do you neglect the cleaning of the air conditioner or fan of an electrical cabinet? Overheating of inverters, plc or thermoregulators is among the first causes of breaking in an electrical component; but few people make sure these parts are clean. Who owns an ups, is he sure enough to take that chance? These accessories also need inspection and maintenance if you want to be covered in need.
     

Bad filter maintenance

Every maintenance plan has to be respected and executed, each production line must have time for cleaning and maintenance, you cannot just think about making and patching the failures somehow, having successive risks: visible changes in the product quality (uneven uniformity with weight difference, eg on rotary or rototropic machines or an unhealthy cooking ovens), and finally stop production even for extended periods of time.

2- MANUFACTURERS

The choice or the good fortune of having a good maintenance team is definitely a good start not to fall into too long production stops. I often note that maintainers in companies are poorly selected and still little praised by the employer. It seems that this figure can be replaced at any time, or found immediately in staff shortages ... but who has gone in big production stops and found the staff to be able to solve any problem can say ... "this technician I will try to keep on staff because he can solve many problems. " The maintainer really makes the difference, a good maintainer can help you stop wasting time and money!

3 - THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Industry 4.0 has finally come to Italy; fourth industrial revolution, characterized by the increasingly widespread use of complex analysis of data and information exchanged by physical and digital systems that allow real-time productive adaptations made possible by the use of intelligent, interconnected and internet-connected machines. This new technology finds wide margin in several stages:

• Optimize and streamline production processes

• Supporting industrial renewal processes

• Encourage collaborative enterprise collaboration through advanced distributed planning techniques, integrated logistical network management

You can develop clones of the machine that is working, being able to actually predict a failure, or monitor various components, for example by monitoring the clock of a single relay and when close to the limit guaranteed by the manufacturer to indicate the replacement, thus avoiding a possible sudden production stop. Create a periodic maintenance program by sending notices on the monitors because the maximum working time has been reached and the use of engines, filters, etc. ... we can really do everything today to avoid many breakages or at least foresee them.

  1. CONCLUSION

All products supplied to your customers must have well documented and described the part of cleaning, maintenance and spare parts (often the part dedicated to spare parts is not attached, but this is a company’s choice). For mechanical and electrical components you should use high-level brands that are easy to find locally, even locally; the customer, I assure you, will appreciate and probably will still choose you for this aspect ... in Italy there is a saying: "those who spend less spend more", in the sense the ones who often use very cheap brands to reduce costs can have a duration and limited reliability, and then to find a replacement in local markets becomes impossible. The industrial lines of cookies also work 24 days a day for several days continuously, so each component must be very very reliable!!!

Not use original spare parts

THE FINAL USER:

When signing a test sheet (therefore the machine has been tested with the product and complies with the requirements), it must be aware that any defects or faults cannot be requested in replacement or warranty; rely on your maintenance technicians to check that the various features are actually affixed and in order, that the most sensitive parts are easy to disassemble and reassemble ... the training must be done very well, having all the explanations on the functions of the machine, on the correct use, on how to solve the various alarms, on how to replace the various parts etc ...

• MAINTENERS:

Never under any circumstances attempt to solve faults, bypassing the faulty or malfunctioning part; can create serious problems to the line and danger to the working staff. I have seen furnaces exploded only because a pressure switch that gave the chimney alarm clogged had been bypassed; and after a few hours of work came the final explosion!!! Take maximum attention to replace even a simple inverter ... every motor needs the right parameters, the maintenance technician must be very well prepared.

When I am a customer and I have to train with maintenance staff (and especially with the production manager of a company) I always carry the example of the machine that is used every day to move; you always keep under control the time of cutting, of the oil change, of the tires, otherwise they are in serious trouble if it stops or gets damaged ... have you ever seen that beautiful red symbol on the dashboard that indicates "finished oil”??? and this does not make you go immediately to the mechanic???? Well think how many engines or gears or moving parts are in an industrial line of biscuits ... you can imagine you send signals on the monitors saying ... "hey it's time you give me a check-up just like your car, otherwise I stop and block all"…

Of course the sudden or unexpected breakdown can happen, but I assure you that often it is only because you do not have planned and well thought out maintenance.

Good job everyone!!!!!!!!

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