Planned Maintenance Activities Revitalize An Aging Plant

Kathy | November 1, 2007

Teamwork is truly a key ingredient in the juiced up production and maintenance efforts at this facility.

The Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. [OSC] Bordentown, NJ facility was getting a bit “long in the tooth.” Originally constructed in the late 19th century as a Worsted Wool plant and then converted by OSC in 1946, it operated for many years with minimal preventive maintenance. Over time, the facility began having difficulty meeting its obligations. In August 2004, newly appointed plant manager Tim Haggerty and corporate continuous improvement manager Jerry Langley invited Charles Brooks Associates, Inc. (CBA) to conduct a maintenance benchmarking evaluation and help develop an action plan to improve the overall performance of the facility. This process had been used in other OSC facilities for a number of years with great success. Over the course of the next two years, the Bordentown plant began making remarkable improvements in both production and maintenance performance.

During the initial benchmarking by CBA back in 2004, the facility scored 466 out of a possible 1000 on a worldclass maintenance scale. Specific opportunity areas were identified during the survey and recommendations were communicated to the management team during the wrapup meeting. The team was encouraged to:

  • Develop and communicate a coordinated plan for asset care improvement.
  • Develop effective metrics for measuring maintenance contribution to plant performance.
  • Restructure the maintenance function to support the operations.
  • Improve the utilization of Maximo:
    • Capture of maintenance costs
    • Analysis of asset performance data
  • Determine if assets were capable of performing at required levels (and upgrading if necessary).
  • Evaluate maintenance skills and provide the required high-impact training.
  • Determine the appropriate maintenance approach for each asset, including center-lining.
  • Improve the execution of the planned maintenance process:
    • Level 1 (Operators’) PMs
    • Maintenance PMs
    • Overhauls

1107_pmactivity1The local OSC management team began to evaluate its staffing and processes immediately after the benchmarking and discovered that it was not prepared to take the plant to the next level. At that point, plant manager Haggerty chose to move the facility out of the reactive maintenance mode into a planned maintenance mode through a series of staff moves and strategic hires.

A plant-wide strategy
In September 2005, Charles Brooks Associates began providing interim maintenance management by assigning Dan Simpson to the facility on a full-time basis. A thorough analysis was made of all hot-fill bottling equipment to determine what steps were required to bring the facility up to acceptable standards. OEMs and vendor representatives had been contracted prior to Simpson’s arrival to conduct complete technical evaluations of their equipment.

The result of the evaluations was a plant revitalization strategy that identified over $325,000 in parts that were required. One fact was evident: the equipment was not receiving the preventive maintenance attention it required. The following month (October 2005) the plant conducted its first “revitalized” maintenance down day. The postmortem revealed the following:

  1. Hourly employees from both production and maintenance completed a great deal of very necessary work.
  2. The planning process and the presentation of THE PLAN from the maintenance department needed improvement.
  3. More and better interaction with production operations was needed. Production participation in the preventive maintenance (PM) process needed to be expanded to enhance equipment knowledge and increase available PM resources.
  4. There was a definite need for a “make ready” meeting prior to the down day kickoff, as well as a need for a process to allow the team’s progress to be tracked throughout the day.
  5. It was determined that critical equipment (filler, capper, labeler, case packer) must receive preventive care during every down day, both from production and maintenance.

As time went on, each and every down day was evaluated and improvements were made before the next down day was scheduled. The maintenance team included the maintenance manager, maintenance supervisors, maintenance planners and hourly employees who had specific technical knowledge of the critical equipment. Twelve-hour maintenance down days were scheduled every week for each of the packaging lines.

Delivering via a reshaped program
When new technical services manager, Herb Nielson, came onboard, he began to reshape the technical team, including the maintenance operation. One notable change was the assignment of Phil Camerota as permanent maintenance manager. Camerota had a background in aircraft maintenance with the U.S. Air Force—he definitely understood the importance of prevention. His experience with aircraft coupled with his plant experience gave him a full appreciation of what could be accomplished.

To support the planned maintenance effort, two maintenance planners were assigned to work with the existing Maximo maintenance management software. Tom Krepp and Warren Bell assumed the roles as maintenance planners, conducting both pre- and post-down day meetings. Down day schedules were prepared and monitored, assigning work orders to individuals on an hour-by-hour basis. By continuously monitoring the progress of the down days, resources could be shifted from one activity to another to ensure that the most critical activities always were completed.

1107_pmactivity2To address the technical skill needs of the maintenance department, Chris Guldner of CBA worked with the OSC maintenance team to develop and implement a skills evaluation process. The process included supervisory observations, self evaluations and the use of the Minimizer, a device for evaluating mechanical and electrical ability. The results of the skills evaluations were used to create individual development plans for maintenance personnel.

Working with the new production manager, Bill Garcia, the maintenance team has been able to signifi- cantly improve the performance of the packaging assets of the facility. The cooperation between maintenance and production has improved, and the results show it:

  • 25% improvement in bottling throughput efficiency performance
  • 25% reduction in unplanned downtime
  • 24% increase in bottling output (cases/day)
  • 1,068,240 additional cases produced in a 5-month period due to increased line efficiencies.
  • $1,068,240 of additional available sales volume

Haggerty, Nielson and Camerota all recognize that none of this progress could have occurred had it not been for the buy-in and support of the front-line mechanics, electricians and controls technicians. As Haggerty says, “All of those individuals are professional in their own right, and as such have been looking for a professional, specific, process to follow. These people have always wanted to do the right job, with the right equipment and parts, but past decision-making put them in a position of having to do the ‘best job they could with whatever they had available.’ This new focus and drive has really made a significant step improvement, not only in the operations, but in the daily work life of each maintenance employee.”

The sweet taste of success
While a great deal has been accomplished, there is much left to be done as the facility strives to become a world-class bottling facility. The OSC team at Bordentown has accepted the challenge and is moving ahead implementing new tools, conducting additional training and exploring creative ways to improve asset performance.

In July 2006, Charles Brooks Associates once again conducted a maintenance benchmarking of the Bordentown plant. The survey revealed the percentage of maintenance work that was planned in advance had increased from less than 20% in 2004 to 71% in 2006. Maintenance personnel are now recording over 90% of all hours worked on work orders and maintenance schedules are being honored. Production and maintenance managers meet every day to discuss asset performance and the top three downtime causes are analyzed. The Bordentown facility improved its overall maintenance score by 39% and recorded “best in class” in the areas of planning and scheduling and maintenance procedures.

Bordentown plant manager Tim Haggerty has spent 33 years in container manufacturing and beer/ juice packaging, including 27 years with Coors and 6 years with Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.






View Comments

Sign up for insights, trends, & developments in
  • Machinery Solutions
  • Maintenance & Reliability Solutions
  • Energy Efficiency
Return to top