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Title: Design of equipment safety & reliability for an aseptic liquid food packaging line through maintenance engineering
Author: Riccetti, Sauro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 3528
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2011
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The organisation of maintenance, in the Aseptic Liquid Food (ALF) industry, represents an important management task that enables a company to pursue higher manufacturing effectiveness and improved market share. This research is concerned with the process to design and implement maintenance tasks. These two complementary processes (design and implementation) have been thought and designed to answer the particular needs of food industry regarding product safety and equipment reliability. Numerous maintenance engineering researchers have focused on maintenance engineering and reliability techniques highlighting the contribution of maintenance in achieving world class manufacturing and competitive advantage. Their outcome emphasizes that maintenance is not a “necessary evil” because of costs associated, but it can be considered an “investment” that produces an added value which generates a real company profit. The existing maintenance engineering techniques pursue equipment reliability at minimum cost; but in food industry, food safety represents the most critical issue to address and solve. The research methodology chosen is based on case studies coming from ALF industries. These show that low maintenance effectiveness could have dramatic effects on final consumers and on the company’s image and underline the need of a maintenance design and implementation process that takes into consideration all critical factors relevant to liquid food industry. The analysis of measurable indicators available, represents a tool necessary to show the status of critical performance indicators and reveals the urgency of a research necessary to address and solve the maintenance problems in food industry. The literature review underlines the increasing regulations in place in food industry and that no literature is available to define a maintenance design and implementation process for ALF and in general for food industry. The literature review enabled also the gap existing between theory and real maintenance status, in the ALF, to be identified and the aim of the research was to explore this gap. The analysis of case studies and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) available highlights the problem and the literature review provides the knowledge necessary to identify the process to design and implement maintenance procedures for ALF industry. The research findings provide a useful guide to identify the process to design maintenance tasks able to put under control food safety and equipment reliability issues. Company’s restraining forces and cultural inertia, that work against new maintenance procedures, have been analysed and a maintenance implementation process have been designed to avoid losing the benefits produced by the design phase. The analysis of condition monitoring systems shows devices and techniques useful to improve product safety, equipment reliability, and then maintenance effectiveness. This research aimed to fill the gap in the existing literature showing the solution to manage both food safety and production effectiveness issues in food industry. It identifies a maintenance design process able to capture all conceivable critical factors in food industry and to provide the solution to design reliable task lists. Furthermore, the maintenance implementation process shows the way to maximize the maintenance design outcome through the empowerment of equipment operators and close cooperation with maintenance and quality specialists. The new maintenance design and implementation process represents the answer to the research problem and a reliable solution that allows the food industry to improve food safety and production effectiveness.
Supervisor: Au, Y. H. J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Maintenance implementation ; Food quality ; Production process ; Team work ; Production key performance indicators