Who will look after your crate-washer?
Our machines are low maintenance. However, low maintenance does not mean no-maintenance. Any machine needs regular care if it is to perform at its best and our crate-washing machines are no different.
In my experience, having one person in charge of running the machine, making sure it is cleaned daily and weekly, will mean it can run for massively long hours with no breakdowns. It’s that simple.
The process is not just about the cleaning of the products. The crate-washing machine itself needs to be washed and sterilised regularly. When there’s ever an issue with hygiene (at worst this might mean a product recall), it always comes back to when the machine was last sterilised.
How often this needs to be done depends on the product, the type of pollution and the running hours of the machine. A machine running two shifts a day for seven days will require a different cleaning regime to a machine running only for half a day a week.
Some factories use different temp workers each day to operate the crate-washing machine. This situation means no-one is responsible for taking care of it. I have seen this happen with seasonal machines that are rented. If nobody is in charge of taking care of the machine, it can lead to breakdowns and interruptions to product cleaning. This can be devastating in a short season. However, it is completely avoidable. Even in seasonal operations, it is still vitally important to have someone responsible for the machine’s care.
I have a client who bought a machine from our company 12 years ago. The client has a designated worker who is responsible for making sure the machine is properly cleaned every week. The worker keeps a record of the cleaning of the machine, which operates five days a week, eight hours a day, for the last 12 years. It has had no breakdowns and minimal running costs. I do regular services and notice that the machine looks as good as new, inside and outside.
To achieve this, I recommend that when the machine is installed, I meet and discuss the care requirements with the designated person in charge. Then for the next two to three services, I will do the service with that person. Although workers may constantly change on a daily basis, the person in charge should always be there to brief the new crew on how to operate the machine. Most machines need to be cleaned every night, have a chemical wash to remove scale monthly, and checks to make sure the heating works and the pump is running properly.
By following a simple care routine, you can ensure that your cleaning and sterilising is of the highest standard.