The last thing you want is to lose efficiency and money with downtime caused by broken equipment.
Instead, learn how to prevent problems by making wise purchases and properly maintaining your animal feed processing equipment.
Buy high-quality equipment
The most important way to prevent a breakdown is to purchase high-quality equipment that can withstand the heavy use and rigours of feed processing. Also, when equipment is customised specifically to your manufacturing needs, there will be fewer errors in use and a lower chance of breakdown.
It’s important that you acquire your animal feed processing equipment from a company with a long track record of high-quality products and excellent customer service. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you look for a supplier who offers the following:
* Personal service with a 24-hour support line
* Insightful, innovative options
* A reputation of experience and expertise
* High customer satisfaction
* Extended warranties
* Equipment and service discounts
* Expedited delivery of replaced parts.
When you purchase the right equipment from the right supplier, you’ll have the best chance of preventing problems and breakdowns and receiving quick service if one does happen to occur.
Use a product control system
When you use an industry-specific, computer-based product control system, you can eliminate most user errors and make complex programming and processes more manageable and convenient. Automated systems allow for exact control, proper handling of ingredients, a significant increase in accuracy, and operational safety.
With a control system, your equipment will be able to produce at a higher rate without risking the chance of problems or breakdowns since every process is carefully programmed and monitored.
Follow a maintenance programme
It’s recommended that you follow a scheduled maintenance programme to maximise the chance that an impending problem will be caught before it causes a serious issue. The schedule should include an examination of the following items: Valves; Gaskets; O-rings; Pumps; Screens; Filters; Heat exchanger plates.
Remember to wash and sanitise all tools before they are used for maintenance and after examination and maintenance have taken place. Clean and sanitise all equipment prior to restarting production.
Clean and sanitise
To minimise the potential for contamination, it’s imperative that a strict sanitation program is implemented, followed, and recorded. Review the recommended sanitation standard operating procedure (SSOP) written by the FDA and be sure to use sanitisers that have been approved by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Make the detailed schedule readily available to all cleaning personnel.
Along with keeping the feed healthy and safe for animals, following these guidelines will also help your equipment last longer.
Equipment breakdown insurance can be obtained and covers the cost of mechanical breakdowns, damage caused by power surges, operator error, and business interruption costs.
Some insurance carriers will help you prevent breakdowns from happening by offering infrared testing, inspections, assistance in sourcing replacements, batch testing, record keeping, product identification services, and more. Talk to your insurance agent for more details.
Terry Stemler is President of Automated Process Equipment Corporation (APEC).