Maintenance Challenges and Successes
As a food processor, John Soules Foods has many guidelines and procedures that must be followed exactly to ensure that their product meets all health, safety, and quality standards at their facilities in Tyler, Gainesvile, GA and Valley, AL. Careful maintenance in all areas of their plant is a large part of this process, and their iMaint CMMS helps keep their maintenance procedures on track, while providing the necessary audit trail – down to the level of changing filters – for inspectors. This audit information is so important, that some customers require data on executed PMs in order to purchase any product from John Soules Foods.
When asked about how iMaint performs in relation to processing downtime, Marina Garza, Maintenance Purchasing Assistant for the Tyler, Texas plant replied, “We prefer to think of it as uptime, rather than downtime. Using our fully-implemented iMaint, we have gone from about 84% uptime to up to 98% uptime. That is something that makes management happy!” This change translates into a significant cost savings for the company that has calculated their downtime to the cost per minute.
John Soules Foods first began implementing PMC in their Tyler, TX plant in 2002. As they continued to grow and acquire other companies, their IT department felt they needed a more robust CMMS solution and they purchased iMaint in 2014. This change also allowed them to use mobile devices and the Integrator modules.
“Our facility runs two shifts, Monday through Friday, sometimes even weekends, with the third shift coming in to clean up and sanitize. Over 350 PMs are generated once a week by the maintenance planner and these are performed and closed out over the weekend, with records kept on all activities on things like electric knives, water jet knives, ovens, freezers, conveyors, packaging, and boxing machinery. “Operating on this schedule has greatly decreased the downtime for the lines during the week,” explained Garza. “We have a maintenance crew of around 65, plus supporting staff and they are responsible for completing the PMs. If a machine has a recurring problem, it will be noted almost immediately,” continued Garza. “We started the company with 2 or 3 packaging machines and now we have 15. With growth like that, the only way to trace a problem down is through the paper trail – or now the computer trail – with the machine number and line number so we can correct the issue.”
Using the features of the Inventory module have proven crucial to controlling the ordering process. “When we implemented the min/max options for inventory, this decreased the PO requests by about 50% for our plant in Texas. This meant that by ordering the necessary amounts, they were no longer held up on processing because of inventory needs. This was a game-changer,” enthused Garza.