The Importance of Cleaning Manufacturing Equipment
Manufacturing facilities are often dirty, with the exception of food and beverage processing plants. Despite this, cleanliness is important, for many reasons. If you’re new to the world of manufacturing, or you are taking up a management position for the first time, here is a rundown of why equipment should be kept clean in a manufacturing environment.
Safety in the Workplace
Health and safety are crucial in the workplace, but especially in a manufacturing environment where there is often a high risk of accidents. Failing to keep equipment and machinery clean will increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.
Another safety aspect to be aware of is that dirty equipment is less hygienic. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, most people have a heightened awareness of the dangers of an unsanitary workplace, but hygiene is also critical in a food processing facility. When food and beverage products are being manufactured, not paying close attention to how clean equipment is could cause serious issues, such as cross-contamination and even a food poisoning outbreak.
Make sure everyone is aware of how equipment should be maintained and kept clean. If there are special processes to follow or specific cleaning solutions to use, make instructions available and ensure staff are appropriately trained in all aspects of cleaning the equipment.
Quality control is important. Customers expect the quality of goods produced in a manufacturing facility to remain high at all times. If equipment is not cleaned, debris and contaminants will build up, which will affect the quality of the goods manufactured. The end result is products that are inferior and don’t meet customer expectations. This will impact your bottom line and damage your brand reputation.
Inefficiency is the enemy of productivity. When equipment isn’t cleaned appropriately or regularly, grime and grease will build up in time. This leads to a loss of performance and precision, which will ultimately impact production schedules. Dirty equipment is also more likely to run less optimally, so this could lead to higher running costs.
To ensure manufacturing production lines remain efficient and productive, implement an efficient cleaning schedule so contaminants don’t have a chance to accumulate on surfaces and moving parts.
Extend the Lifespan of Equipment
Equipment that is well maintained and cleaned will last longer than equipment that is rarely cleaned. Allowing grime to accumulate on moving parts will damage them and shorten their lifespan. Since replacing parts is costly and can only be done when that section of the production line is shut down, this is not great. Implementing a regular cleaning schedule ensures equipment lasts longer and is less prone to expensive breakdowns.
There are various ways to clean machinery within a manufacturing environment. Manual cleaning and out-of-place cleaning are not always the best way, so look at the process of clean-in-place (CIP), which requires no disassembling or equipment removal; for more info, click the link.Have a cleaning schedule in place and make sure your employees are well-trained in essential health and safety protocols, to prevent accidents and injuries.