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The proof is in efficient Christmas pudding

By Rod Addy , 01-Jul-2010

Northern Foods' Matthew Walker Christmas pudding factory has completed an asset care programme with MCP Consulting and Training, that has allowed it to improve equipment effectiveness and prevent contamination.

The project was part of a scheme embracing several Northern Foods sites, initially focused on sharing best practice.

MCP conducted Asset Management Improvement Service audits at the Matthew Walker plant in Heanor, Derbyshire, in consultation with the engineering department. Outcomes included implementing a plant register, where process and production machinery and major instruments were recorded and numbered, with basic history logged and a maintenance programme prepared.

The engineering department was restructured, with dedicated production engineers responsible for pre-cook and post-cook sections, an improvements/project engineer and planned maintenance engineer.

A new, stringent logging system gives details of the machine, fault, reason for repair, initiator of request, engineer responsible, time taken and result. The data is used to create a percentage score for operational effectiveness.

Production line staff learnt to handle simple technical problems typically related to hygiene, start up, changeovers and system tripping, freeing up engineers.

"Our overall equipment effectiveness has improved and I have tangible figures on available machine time and a criticality analysis of key plant," said Nick Garnett, chief engineer at Matthew Walker. "I never let my team forget that maintenance is also about preventing contamination, which could have a disastrous impact on our business, potentially costing thousands of pounds per event."