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Importance of Maintenance in Feed Factories and Maintenance Types

No equipment has an endless operating life. It should not be forgotten that there is no broken equipment; there is poorly maintained equipment. The economic life of each piece of equipment with periodic maintenance and replacement is easily extended for many years.

Mahmut Tatlıdil
Business Development Assistant Director
Yemmak Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
Today, in feed factories that perform commercial sale, one of the main factors in determining the prices, optimization of costs, presentation of goods with reasonable prices in a sustainable fashion is the operating cost of facilities. Principally, the essential factor in making a difference between the two facilities that use the same equipment is how effective equipment is used.

Here, the meaning of management is to use machines “without a problem,” “without malfunction,” and with “minimum cost.” Generally speaking, every piece of mechanical equipment and their control systems have a certain life span. Designer and manufacturer’s engineering infrastructure and their approach to process and supportive sub-elements can extend the economic lifespan and the working health of specific equipment, and in some situations, the lifespan of equipment can shrink. Short part life and non-durable designs are the main reason for the unplanned downtime and increased maintenance costs of the enterprise.

The dictionary meaning and definition of maintenance is continuation of care to the equipment. But, under the definition of maintenance in today’s industrial culture, you can come across with sub-concepts such as periodic, predictive, and corrective maintenance and with rich concepts in different utilization process.

PERIODIC MAINTENANCE
Periodic maintenance means lubrication, part exchange, visual, and parametric controls of equipment and parts forming them as specified by the manufacturer. Although this has been ignored to a large extent because of the lack of personnel and lack of time due to personnel, this has been actively applied in automotive, aviation, chemistry, and mine.

PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE
Predictive maintenance is the foreseeing the possibility of process failure with the necessary technical and hardware applications. In this way, the necessary precautions are taken and the problem has been prevented with maintenance or part replacement. With this method, the period of halt is limited but this requires investment and technological infrastructure.

Traceability has been increased as active heat sensors, vibration detector, and electrical current meter and other control devices supported by Industry 4.0 are directly coupled with online and facility control systems, and there has been development in getting support from outside and measure-taking.

On the support of the technology related to predictive maintenance, more equipment can be positioned inside or outside the building due to the variety of operations. Under this circumstance, regular maintenance of this equipment is not possible during adverse weather conditions and night periods. However, even under these conditions, with the help of sensors operating in a healthy way, it is possible to obtain data that may be helpful against a bad situation that can happen to this equipment or to make a diagnosis. The expert maintenance team can interpret this data and can act.

CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE
Corrective maintenance is a type of maintenance which is performed after the failure under the name of repair and the company attempts to revise with their own methods and information when disassembled. Since this type of maintenance is experienced in unexpected times, it often catches the enterprises unawares in the sense of personnel and material. In such cases, long stoppages are experienced, and the quality of labor is relinquished in order to speed up the work.

Over the years, the equipment diversity of developing sector facilities and the capacity and physical dimensions of these pieces of equipment have increased; enterprises spread their operations to a wider area. In this way, unscheduled maintenance personnel in comprehensive enterprises has no chance to manage the time, preparation or business stance. At this point, the biggest helpers, in fact, are automation and control systems with comprehensive equipment. The maintenance teams are directed to the corrective maintenance in the interpretation of critical data belonging to equipment at Scada software and alarm systems at critical threshold values.

MAINTENANCE, REPAIRING, AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (MRMS)
Together with this, package software like “Maintenance, Repairing, and Management Systems”, known as MRMS in short, is the biggest helpers for maintenance personnel. When you give these programs information such as parts lists, checkpoints, regular check intervals and control levels of the equipment in these checkpoints, as well as part replacements and stock level of the part to be replaced, the program will manage all these independent processes in the background and prepares daily tasks for the maintenance personnel. Purchasing personnel will work more carefully in the part procurement process in accordance with the information to be obtained from this program and increase their contribution to the enterprise with cost-reducing activities. Together with the planning of stoppage, the managers can manage feed orders, capacity targets, the stock level of raw and finished materials. Another benefit of MRMS is that it can manage the stock movement in part usage and provide maintenance cost of the facility including labor and material at specific periods. In the annual budget periods, the firms may decide to perform bulk purchase or hire personnel.

In all these maintenance processes, we think that companies are self-sufficient. But, many companies do not have maintenance personnel. Or, this person does not have a technical background. With “Mobile Clinic” which is a common system in Europe companies can get professional service with annual contracts. These technical clinics consist of three technicians and one engineer. In the process flow chart which was adopted by these clinics, they can carry out periodic maintenance at critical points of companies. And they submit a list of equipment that needs to be changed and whose economic lifespan is completed and show the importance and urgency situation to the company. In addition to this, revisions and repairs that may be encountered in the next period from predictive maintenance perspective can be submitted to management. After the procurement process of the parts approved for the change, this change is applied at a mutual stoppage time.

Together with this, in the case of unplanned stoppage and malfunction that can cause a stoppage, these teams intervene within eight hours at the latest after they are informed and solve the problem.

As Yemmak that knows the sector’s problems and is the manufacturer of user-friendly machines for years, we provide “Check-Up” service. In this service, we provide service for the companies that do not have their own experienced maintenance team and face with a regular stoppage or have problems in production quality. One experienced engineer and two technicians conduct a three-day long exploration program, after this program, they conduct a trial production. Once this is over, they prepare a detailed report so that they show which part and/or equipment needs to be replaced. As a result, in the case of equipment needed, companies can shape their investment schedule and know better the real reason behind their problems in quality.

Additionally, this program can be considered as investment coaching. Requirements such as possible project area, energy infrastructure (electric, air, steam, gas, etc.) can be determined, real needs and financial situation of the company are taken into consideration and health information-sharing can be conducted. We observe that some of the biggest mistakes made in the facilities are failing to foresee technical infrastructure before the investment and the creation of bottlenecks with unnecessarily large or small equipment. Please remember that every piece of equipment without a plan carries the potential for malfunction.

No equipment has an endless operating life. Every tire that was not changed timely and unchecked motor may lead to potential malfunctions or crash. Just like that, every piece of small or large equipment that is not maintained in feed production facilities constitutes a potential failure. The only and real aim of these companies established with high investment costs and with a view for sale or integrated feed is to work with minimum stoppage.

It should never be forgotten that there is no broken equipment; there is poorly maintained equipment. The economic life of each piece of equipment with periodic maintenance and replacement is easily extended for many years.

We also suggest you to read our previous article titled "Remote Maintenance Solution for More Service in Grinding, Pelleting and Conditioning".

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