Why Invest in a Preventive Maintenance Program?

"Preventive Maintenance is not only a prerequisite program; it is also one area where a well-documented program can provide a company not just with significant cost savings but also with data for future savings. In the context of food safety management, well-maintained equipment will ensure that a facility runs smoothly, works properly, helps ensure the production of safe foods and provides a means to document performance.

But preventive maintenance is much more. It protects equipment, extends said equipment's life and enhances operating efficiencies. There are many other preventive maintenance activities that we take for granted. Most people see their dentist once or twice a year to have their teeth cleaned to ensure that they last and to minimize cavities. Additionally, who doesn't bring their car in for a checkup before a family vacation? The last thing anyone wants to do on a summer vacation is break down in the middle of nowhere. The bottom line is that preventive maintenance provides peace of mind for people and operators, and is one program where benefits, both quality and economic, can be measured.

A well organized preventive maintenance program is an essential part of a company's food safety and quality program. It is acknowledged as one of the prerequisite programs for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. What it can also do is save money in different ways. Well-maintained, sanitary equipment will last longer and perform better. In addition, maintenance records can provide management with a tool for more intelligent purchasing of new equipment. Cost is only one consideration when buying equipment. If the records indicate that a piece of equipment was down often or very expensive to maintain, maybe it is not a brand that one should buy again. And finally, without records, how does one ever troubleshoot a problem? A restaurant or cafeteria operator simply cannot operate without a good maintenance program."

** According to Richard F. Stier (April/May 2012), author of Preventive Maintenance: An Essential Prerequisite for Food Safety in Food Safety Magazine.