We received a request for a maintenance audit on a high volume meat processing line that is a supplier to fast food restaurant chains. The first round of inspection uncovered several maintenance issues:
A Pump Feeder motor kept tripping the breaker and caused constant down-time.
The gearbox bearings were bad and was causing excess loading. The gearbox was replaced which fixed the issue. Reducing down-time for that Pump Feeder.
Mixers on the processing line did not pull sufficient vacuum.
Both mixers had multiple vacuum leaks through cracked welds, worn out seals, incorrect seals and improperly installed seals The seals were replaces and the cracked welds were repaired which allowed the unit to pull required vacuum 2 minutes faster, decreasing cycle times.
Inspection uncovered possible catastrophic failure of the agitators.
Both mixers had agitators with cracked welds. They were repaired during scheduled maintenance.
Vacuum Stuffers were underperforming.
Two stuffers in the processing line were underperforming and producing poor quality product due to lack of vacuum. Both stuffers had worn out pumps that were rebuilt and worn out seals that were replaced. These changes gave the processor a 28% increase in throughput out of the stuffer and better-quality product without air bubbles.
The cost for the maintenance audit, including a detailed report was $2000, plus travel expenses. The result was savings in energy, down-time, batch turnaround and overall increased production. This processor in fact, contracts with Mepaco every six months for a maintenance audit to avoid unplanned delays and to make sure their line is running as efficiently as possible.
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With the complex demands in food processing and production, safety, and quality, every component within food equipment is critical. Any machinery with moving parts will utilize bearings. Here are some tips to reduce wear issues and extend bearing life:
Mepaco's Field Services team have developed a quick-read download on the seal trouble signs that our technicians see in food processing plants. Also Learn about and compare Mepaco recommended seals commonly used on our equipment.
Download the Tech Paper to learn about the Top 3 Seal trouble signs and what to do to fix them:
1. Product escapes or purges out of the seal
2. Downstream food contamination
3. Loss of vacuum
Our techs make hundreds of service calls to troubleshoot and make repairs to seals on all types of food processing equipment and in many applications. If you have any questions or have seal related issues, give Joe Hertel a call in Mepaco Field Services at 920-356-7334.
DOWNLOAD TECH SHEET
[Infographic] 7 Parts to Consider for Holiday Shutdown.
Tis the season: Are you planning maintenance during the holiday shutdown? Do you have a spare parts budget to use before year end?
The infographic is a quick guide for common Mepaco parts. Some items have a longer lead time than others. Some parts are must-have inventory items. If you have any questions about parts or timing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please have the model number and the serial number available for inquiries, and include the Apache/Mepaco part number on purchase orders.
Order parts now for your holiday shutdown!
Depending on the complexity of the equipment and controls, there are a few options for production personnel to learn how to operate the equipment. The manual explains the operation of the equipment and its components. The customer can visit Apache for training and testing or contract with Mepaco Field Services for on-site training.
In one example, the production staff did not understand how to operate the HD3000 Dumper, causing the carriage to bind-up where cylinders weren't lifting in tandem. The issue was caused by incorrect operation.
Due to the operational configuration of the hydraulic cylinders, the HD300 dumper must be fully cycled (complete cylinder extension and retraction) each time it is used. The production staff was not fully retracting the dumper leaving the carriage 12 - 18" off the ground. This allowed the cylinders to start up unevenly and compounded if the staff did not fully extend the dumper. This caused the dumper carriage to misalign and bind against the dumper frame.
Once the carriage binds against the frame the only way to safely correct the situation is to lock out the hydraulic power unit, disconnect the hydraulic line from the overextended cylinder and allow the carriage to drift down until it is re-timed. Once the cylinders are re-timed the power unit can be operated to bring the carriage to the fully down position. Air will need to be bled from the cylinder that had the hydraulic lines removed.
Please call Joe Hertel, Field Services Manager, at 920-219-2286 if you have any questions about the operation of Mepaco equipment or if a training visit is necessary for new personnel.
Here are the top three reasons why spare and replacement parts should be purchased from Mepaco, your equipment supplier.
Download Mepaco's Field Service Flyer!
Our long time service expert, Greg Ebert, has retired. Greg served Mepaco for over 30 years in a technical support role. We wish Greg a very happy retirement and we thank him for sharing his expertise with our sales, service and engineering team.
Meet our new service tech team who are ready to service your equipment and troubleshooting needs, from left: Bob Dolan, Jacob Jongebloed, Mike Sutton, Ray Henry and Josh Schladweiler.
If you are in need of service, please call your sales representative or call Monica in Parts and Service at 920.356.7347 or 920-344-2085.
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