In any food or beverage manufacturing line, cleaning is a top priority as they want to avoid any kind of contamination in their product. Therefore, they choose all their production equipment, parts and accessories that can be easily cleaned and maintained in the running line itself. Due to this reason, often maintenance of the line can become little challenging at times.
Following are few of the maintenance issues that most of the engineers who are working in such industries often have to face while either replacing any sanitary replacements parts or trouble shooting any breakdown problem that may happen while production is in full force.
- Hard to know what is programmed in PLC controller
Usually, the programming logic in the PLC are developed during installation time by the supplier of the production line, which many of the people who are responsible for maintenance cannot understand. Quite often the installation people have set the parameters for running of pumps under certain assumptions. With time those parameters must have shifted due to certain different production needs or changes in certain parameters of the product that is running in the line. Due to this reason, quite often operation of various motors and pumps may go totally out of control.
Therefore, it is essential that maintenance team must have all the details of PLC programming so that if the process parameters are changed then the same changes may be incorporated in the PLC programming too. However, it is necessary that before making any changes in PLC programming process people may also get involved.
- Improper selection of pump or any other parts
If the pump of right size or specification is not used then either it can run too fast and increase the flow. This may result in increased wear and tear and as a result frequent break down may take place. This may also happen if the piping of right specification is not used which can end up in damaging pumps.
- Pump is running dry
If the pumps run dry for much longer duration then it can also increase wear and tear and its seal may get damaged due to lack of lubrication. Frequent breakdown may cost loss of production and as a result, company’s profitability is affected.
- Pump seal leaking
Leaking seal can lead to various safety related problem and also contaminate the product under manufacturing. One idea could be to use seal less pump to avoid such problem or maintain a schedule of replacing them after certain period.
The best way to avoid frequent breakdown in any production line is to do regular preventive maintenance so that the downtime due to unplanned repair activities can be minimized.