With the correct computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) any facility can utilize AI-powered automation to streamline its routine safety checks and cleaning schedules. Our 2022 article, “Reducing Manufacturing Plant Downtime,” focuses on the mitigation of unplanned equipment downtime and is the perfect preface for FOOD ENGINEERING’s conversation with Life Cycle Engineering, an information and consulting firm that aids plant owners in finding a best-fit system for avoiding costly equipment malfunction.

There are two types of plant maintenance—reactive and predictive—one results in unscheduled downtime and financial loss, and the other results in scheduled downtime and facility optimization. On paper it’s a no-brainer that it’s better to be active than reactive, so why is plant maintenance such a large topic of discussion in food and beverage facilities?

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One reason is the pressure to abide by strict food safety guidelines by maintaining regularly scheduled procedures and thorough cleaning protocol; the other is supply-chain uncertainty. It’s no secret that plant maintenance is an ongoing part of managing a facility, but it doesn’t have to be a never-ending money pit. Sometimes all it takes is equipment protocol manuals, employee education and the utilization of automated systems.

Taking all of this into consideration, plant maintenance can be as easy as brushing your teeth—or, in the analogy that Life Cycle Engineering’s John Cray states, “…deciding which equipment needs preventative maintenance is the same as deciding which teeth to brush—only pay attention to the ones you want to keep.”

John Cray, is a principal consultant for Life Cycle Engineering, an information and consulting group that leads facility owners in deploying technology, introducing equipment and facilitating organizational change management styles for a best-fit approach to plant maintenance. In this podcast managing editor, Samantha Russo and John Cray discuss how to plan ahead, react to the unexpected, utilizing automated technology, horror stories and much more.