One of the most important investments you can make in your packing operations is your equipment. The speed and accuracy of your equipment directly impacts the efficiency of your crew, which in turn directly impacts your bottom line. Fox Solutions is focused not only on our helping our customers find the right automation solutions to maximize that efficiency, but also on helping you know how to get the most out of that investment.
Here are five ways you can get the most life out of your equipment:
- ‘Blow Out’ your equipment after each use
- Turn off equipment after each run
- Allow warm up cycles prior to running equipment
- Routinely clean removeable components with degreaser (especially citrus packers)
- Only allow certified and/or trained technicians to work on power board
In addition, we've asked our team of equipment specialists to provide some maintenance recommendations for particular machines. Here's what they had to say:
- The unnecessary wear and tear of cylinders and tie rods is a concern for Newtec weighers. A way to avoid premature aging of these parts is to minimize the ‘slam’. There is misperception that the faster the buckets open and close, the faster that the machine works. In reality, this causes a need for more frequent machine maintenance
- At the end of every night, quickly blow off the machine to remove dust and debris. Also make sure that you hit the e-stop on the power cabinet of the machine.
- For citrus packers – if you have either a wash down machine or a 4000 series weigher with quick release bucket heads, remove the buckets and wash them with a degreaser at least once a week. The natural oils in the citrus rind will begin to corrode the stainless and the citrus juice can leave a sticky residue that slows the movement of parts. Clean buckets heads always translate to maximum production speeds.
- If you are running in a room with temperatures at 50 degrees or lower, let the bucket heads open and close for about 10 minutes to let air flow. We call this a warm up cycle.
- The filter on the vacuum generator should be blown out and cleaned once a day to reduce the amount of debris in the filter. We provide an air-house with a small quarter-twist hose on the back of the machine for easy access to the filter.
- The ramrod on the bag cylinder should also be blown out once a day.
- Always e-stop at the end of each shift to prevent electrical back feed.
- When you turn on the machine each morning, let it idle for at least 20 minutes before you begin running product. The Giro bagger runs heating elements for bag forming, so when you let the machine run in idle, it will allow the machine to reach the required temperature. This prevents immediate cool down and helps the plates maintain the necessary temperature.
- At the end of every shift, the Giro bagger should get a thorough blowout around the pliers and valves to remove small bag clippings or trash. For example, when packing onions, the husks will rest in the area above the pliers next to the discharge shoot and can become a fire hazard.
And maybe most importantly - only allow certified electrical-trained service techs to work with the electrical supply for your equipment!
If you need parts or service, on existing equipment, even if not purchased by fox, fox solutions can service that equipment.