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Stop wasting money on maintenance

Too many UK food and drink manufacturers are wasting huge amounts of money by not taking a more holistic approach to their asset care and maintenance operations, according to the boss of a leading specialist consultancy."

While the asset care trend is towards a more holistic approach, many firms are too focused on individual aspects of maintenance, said Richard Jones, joint md of MCP Consulting and Training. As a result, they can waste hundreds of thousands of pounds by unnecessarily holding spares they will probably never use, he added.

Over recent years food and drink firms have formed maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) partnerships with equipment and parts suppliers that may have different levels of understanding and a different agenda. For new projects in particular, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) sometimes push their clients to hold more spares for planned preventive maintenance (PM) than needed, said Jones.

He said: “They take people to the cleaners. You end up holding spares to cover your backside.

“Too often the PMs are quite poor from the OEMs and therefore you don't know what the risk is so basically you are obliged to buy all the spares… the OEMs as well as these MRO partners need to adopt a more strategic approach.”

Jones went on to say: “You are only as good as your contract. A lot of these contracts are driven by procurement to reduce cost. But the poor manufacturing/engineering manager on site is getting worse service [although] the service levels for procurement have been achieved. They don't look at the business-wide requirements for spares.”

MCP has supported the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink with its operator asset care (OAC) programme, and works with many blue chip food and drink firms in the UK and abroad, covering some 370 sites. In the UK MCP works with branded and own-label food companies: from food firms such as Mondelez, Kraft, Warburtons, 2 Sisters Food Group, Dairy Crest, Müller, S&A Foods, Greencore and Morrisons, to drinks firms such as Diageo, William Grant and Bacardi.

“The current direction is a more holistic approach to include various techniques and philosophies, such as lean, loss analyses/benefits, total productive maintenance (TPM), reliability, spares, computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS), early equipment management, OAC, organisational development, training /competences, etc,” said Jones. This helps to identify what critical spares need to be held and their history of use, he added.

One of MCP's tools to assess and improve its client's maintenance is the Asset Management Improvement Service (AMIS), which is basically an auditing process.

Many sites MCP works with start with an AMIS score of about 20%, which Jones describes as “chaos”.

Those in control of their operations should have an average score of 45% and those that are world class score 75% when all processes are in place, said Jones. Exceptional performers achieve scores higher than 85%, he added.

“Exceptional performance in a typical packaging site would deliver: full engagement of each role with defined processes and key performance indicators to sustain performance; engineering downtime of <1%; upkeep cost or maintenance cost/capital asset replacement value (CARV) <3%; spares holding <1% CARV; craft spending 20% of time on continuous improvement, replacing reactive work, which needs mature OAC competences,” said Jones.

Source: - 10 February 2014