April 3, 2020

Keeping your packaging equipment at optimal operation levels

There’s no doubt that while some manufacturing sectors are slowing down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other select industries, including food and pharmaceutical packaging, are likely ramping up production.

To ensure critical machinery such as vertical form fill seal and other packaging equipment are operating at a high level, Matrix Packaging Machinery recommends companies follow these important maintenance guidelines:

Keep it clean. One of the simplest things you can do to keep your machinery running well is to keep it clean; the cleaner a machine is, the better it will operate. Cleaning should include all mechanical parts and be performed once a shift. It’s important to always turn off and disconnect power to the machine prior to cleaning.

Don’t ignore preventive maintenance. If you’re experiencing an increase in production, it may be tempting to push back the preventive maintenance schedule for your machines — it’s critical to not skip preventive maintenance. Packaging machines are engineered to be serviced at specific intervals. Delaying service could lead to premature component failure and a longer, more costly downtime when you can least afford it. Cleanliness and preventive maintenance go hand-in-hand; don’t cut corners and skip these two essential steps.

Keep spare parts on hand. Hopefully, you have a bench stock of spare and consumable parts, such as belts, knives and heating elements readily available. This will obviously help facilitate quick repairs and minimize machinery downtime. If you don’t have an adequate bench stock set up, some OEM suppliers can perform a parts audit and prepare a recommended parts list of common replacement parts to keep in stock. Essentially, a parts audit helps you develop a parts plan, streamlining the inspection, repair, and maintenance processes for your packaging equipment.

Schedule a service call. Most reputable OEM suppliers are still conducting service calls with customers. If your OEM supplier does handle your machines’ preventive maintenance, those field-service visits will likely occur as scheduled. An uptick in business means it’s more important than ever to keep those maintenance appointments. Keep in mind that some service and troubleshooting can also be done through remote monitoring.

Review your machinery’s owner’s manual for exact cleaning, preventive maintenance practices and recommended spare parts. Overall, it’s best to keep the lines of communication open with your OEM supplier when it comes to machinery uptime.

For more information, contact Matrix Packaging Machinery at 888-628-7491; www.matrixpm.com/.

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