Preventative Maintenance - Hasmate
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Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

The following is a true story from the New Zealand Dairy industry, and is an example of what can go wrong and that resulted in a very costly mistake.

An employee working on a bulk butter-wrapping conveyer line mentioned to the production area engineer that the there was a grumbling noise from one of the overhead rollers on the wrapping line.

She was told by the engineer that there were no immediate issues, and that when and/or if it got worse, he would check it out – it was his job to maintain the machinery.

The day’s production was loaded into containers and exported to the United Kingdom.

When the butter was re-processed in the UK, grease and metal filings were found throughout the shipment of the butter, in all the containers. As a result, all the containers were rejected, resulting in an expensive claim against the New Zealand supplier.

The claim resulted in a major non-compliance investigation and a traceback to the production site, batch number, the month, day, time of packaging and the employees working on the line at the time.

During the investigation, the employee recalled telling the production area engineer, who then said he had not heard any grumbling of any bearings, and that in his opinion, there had been nothing wrong.

The maintenance records were checked – no weekly checks or maintenance had been undertaken on the bearings on the production line.

A check was also made of the production area engineer’s annual medical monitoring record, where it was identified from the hearing check by the industrial nurse, his hearing had deteriorated from his previous check and that he had been advised to get hearing aids for his own benefit and his work. This was not taken up by the engineer.

Say no more.

A stitch in time saves nine.

This simple proverb says that it is better to spend time to plan and to deal with problems as soon as possible, than wait for things to bust, especially when you are in full production. If you wait until you have time, things will get worse, more expensive, and may take much longer to deal with – costing unplanned down time, loss of production, and dissatisfied customers.

That’s what preventative maintenance is all about. Does your business have a preventative program in place?

What the Health and Safety at Work Act says

Under section 36 of the new Health and Safety legislation, the PCBU has not only the primary duty of care and responsibility to keep their employees and others safe in the work environment, but also to have systems in place for the maintenance of the facilities and any equipment and machinery used or associated with the place of work.

The topic of preventative maintenance was brought to our attention recently by a Hasmate client who asked “Can this be done in the Hasmate program?”

Because Hasmate is flexible for the user, here is how it can be achieved:

  • It can be managed in the “Assets” module;
  • Enter your machinery, equipment, vehicles, tools, building or any other asset that has a maintenance or compliance check into the “Assets” module;
  • Treat the preventative maintenance as an internal compliance issue and record the planned/scheduled maintenance in the “Asset Compliance” section of the asset;
  • Treat the preventative maintenance date as the expiry date and this will add this to your “Alerts” for action;
  • By clicking “Email” beside this alert, you can send the appropriate employee or contractor the alert for their action;
  • When the maintenance has been completed, add a new “Asset Maintenance” record (note – you can also use this as your alerting method for the maintenance);
  • Make sure you include the cost of the maintenance, as this will enable you to produce a report to your manager or board of directors, showing the cost of the maintenance of the individual asset or all the assets over a given time period.

Note – do not delete the compliance/maintenance alert until you have been informed that the preventative maintenance has been completed and recorded by the person who was assigned the maintenance.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Hasmate today.