Between smoke breaks and tired employees, you could be losing a lot of productivity without realizing it.

One of the ways you can lessen your downtime is by implementing preventive maintenance strategies. When you perform preventative efforts, you ensure that you’re one step ahead of any problems.

Here are four tips you can use to ensure your food packaging line runs like clockwork.

Vaccuum packs of carrots on a food packaging line

1. Focus on Communication

When you’re putting together a maintenance program for your packaging line, you need to streamline communication. Maintenance is everyone’s least favorite aspect of a job, but if you divvy up the work and communicate clearly, you can get it done painlessly.

Our suggestions:

  • Schedule a meeting to plan and delegate tasks for preventative maintenance. Rotate these tasks via a schedule so that you can ensure that everyone gets a full 360-degree view of your line.
  • Integrate all your teams and be sure to address their concerns to reduce losses and errors. Hiccups can stop the whole line and cost you money in lost labor and productivity.
  • Take the time to review your previous year or quarter’s issues during your meetings, and make sure all voices get heard.

2. Make Time for Planning

You know the importance of setting goals and targets for productivity, but you should have the same kind of targets for maintenance. When you perform corrective repair and maintenance that aims at preventing issues, you can keep your promises.

Your schedule matters to your employees, your supervisors, and your customers. When you make time for planning, you make sure you always hit your goals in the time that you promised.

Document your actual downtimes and compare them to what you projected. This helps with future planning.

3. Get Strong Metrics

When you’re maintaining on a regular schedule, you’ll end up with measurable results that can describe your execution levels and how you succeeded. When you track your maintenance-related metrics, you’ll get a feel for how you can improve your efficiency.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Maintenance will always yield a result, one way or another. It should let you know over time how long it usually takes before you need maintenance somewhere on your line.
  • If you see persistent issues, you can figure out where you can improve your efficiency and make an action plan for the future.
  • You can continually improve as you learn more about how your line works and where it malfunctions.

4. Figure Out Integration

When you integrate your operations and maintenance data, you can figure out how to improve performance. You need to put formal processes in place so both new and older employees are working under the same conditions.

Because you can’t predict when things will break down on your line, you also need your entire team to be able to plan how maintenance will impact them. Productivity could drop and you need to be prepared for that.

Preventive Maintenance Is like Preventative Medicine

Just as preventative medicine aims to treat illnesses before they worsen, preventive maintenance helps you see problems before they get bigger. Large problems in a workplace can lead to lost profits, low morale, and customers not getting the service they expect.

If you want to learn more about how the latest food packaging equipment on the market can keep your food packaging line moving smoothly, check out our guide.