Recently, customer demand for meat has undergone several changes, driving many businesses in the meat processing industry to reevaluate their business practices. In particular, customers are now seeking smaller, ready-to-prepare cuts that allow them to side-step waiting in line at the butcher counter. Consider these tips and tricks for optimizing your meatpacking plant to improve OEE and better meet the needs of today’s market.
Eliminate Floor Waste
Floor waste is one of the most common ways a meatpacking plant can lose efficiency. Floor waste occurs whenever employees are poorly trained, leading to miscuts, improper filling, and poor handling techniques. To prevent or correct this problem, ensure that all employees receive regular training on industry best practices.
Reexamine Control Limits
If you haven’t updated your control limits in a while, it might be time to reexamine things. Control limits dictate what a plant considers an acceptable product. Unnecessarily strict limits create waste, while lenient guidelines allow unacceptable products into the marketplace. Every plant must find the right balance for these control limits.
Install Easy-To-Maintain Equipment
A machine that breaks down during peak operating hours is a productivity disaster. You can mitigate these kinds of problems by using equipment that is easy to clean, such as FDA-compliant food-grade conveyor belts, which resist adhering to the oils and organic matter that plants and animals produce. Additionally, look for machinery with a predictable maintenance schedule so you can avoid surprises.
Use Machine Monitoring
One of the most helpful tricks to optimize a meatpacking plant is using a machine monitoring system to keep an eye on the status of equipment. Such systems allow managers and employees to see the operating status of plant machinery in real time, thus eliminating surprise repairs.
Improve Plant Environment
Sometimes the simplest solution is best. If your plant is struggling with product loss, you may need to review your temperature and humidity settings, as well as sanitation protocols. Occasionally, these small aspects of plant operations can have big consequences, particularly in warmer parts of the country.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
As a plant manager or owner, it’s up to you to provide the kind of leadership that makes a business successful. You can help your plant stay ahead of market demands by optimizing productivity at all levels of operation.