The importance of a well maintained plant operation…how clean is your site?

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With maximum productivity being at the forefront of most businesses minds, very often the basic principles of site housekeeping are overlooked and even ignored.  While plants are processing material, it’s easy for the operator in charge or even the site owner to assume that it will continue to do so without any type of care or attention given to the surrounding areas and the plant itself.

This isn’t always the case, however.  As well as obviously being a major step towards promoting a healthy and safe working environment, good, consistent site housekeeping can go a long way in ensuring that your plant continues to produce high quality products at a consistent rate and here’s why…

The advantages of best practice site maintenance

1.    A reduction in clean-up costs:Taking a proactive approach to site maintenance and adopting a ‘tidy as you go’ policy over the life of the quarry will ultimately reduce the time and money spent on site clean-up during periods where the plant may be shut down or be non-operational, for examplethrough the winter months in some cases.  A well conserved site is less laborious than trying to maintain one that has been subject to poor upkeep in the past.

2.    Avoidance of regulatory fines: A company who ensures aclean, well-organised site avoids potential penalties from various industry related regulatory bodies and other legal entities.

3.    Enhancement of employee safety & morale: Employees that feel safe at work are more prone to feeling happier in the workplace which in turn can lead to staff making a greater personal impact in the company.  In simple terms, this canmean increased productivity, reduced absence from work and even higher staff retention.

4.    Generation of revenue& increased efficiency: Regular site maintenance can help to accommodate high productivity levels and more importantly the creation of high quality end products for resale.Furthermore, a clean and well-organised quarry site can increase production efficiency by ensuring open paths and roadways for easier access to the plant.  Regular preventative maintenance on key areas of a plant will ultimately maximise uptime through planned and routine checks.

5.    Freeing up manpower: By having a continuous and regular focus on site maintenance, this will ensure that site housekeeping is integral to the business and therefore more manageable.  This can in turn save employees more time in the long term and allow them to be more productive on other plant related tasks with a focus on the primary objective of maximum productivity.

6.    A saving on fuel costs:  A clean, easily accessible plant can also provide site operatives with a direct route to specific areas of the plant when using other items of machinery.

such as loading shovels which could mean a reduction in fuel consumption

7.    Enhancement of company reputation through corporate social responsibility: Adequate maintenance and site housekeeping practices could potentially help a company to retain current customers and attract new ones.

The maintenance of equipment shouldn’t be undertaken on a ‘one-off’ basis, this should be a daily, on-going part of any quarry or site operation.In most cases, maintenance work candone by employees on site provided that they are adequately trained, but some work may require the expertise of plant providers for more technical maintenance schedules.

Furthermore it has been said that by maintaining site cleanliness and a general programme of maintenance this will actively reduce the chances of dirt or debris entering the plant and will ensure that maximum uptime is maintained at all times where possible.

The creation of a housekeeping checklist can also assist in maintaining a clean, effective site.
Moreover, improvement in health and safety is most effectively achieved when it becomes totally integrated into everything that a business does and as a result, employees therefore should be educated that it’s necessary to ‘tidy as you go’.

In addition, preventative maintenance measures can increase efficiency in day-to-day operations, as well as increase the overall readiness of plants in case of unexpected levels of processing requirements, allowing you to meet and exceed the demands and expectations of customers and in turn provide a quality service.  Not only does regular maintenance improve plant performance, maintenance includes and is not limited to adjustments, cleaning, lubrication and the replacement of parts.

Likewise, regular plant inspections will identify any areas for enhancement that you would not otherwise have known and very often these can be easily rectified by having a competent service engineer on site.

In summary, by regularly maintaining a clean site and plant operation, not only are you maximising production, you are also providing a safe working environment, which both in the long term can provide significant cost savings.

CDE Global is the leading provider of washing equipment for quarries, mines and recycling operations.  The CDE equipment range has applications across a wide range of materials and is delivering significant efficiencies in the construction and recycling, mining, specialist industrial sands and environmental sectors.

CDE Global operates in 4 sectors, construction and recycling, mining, industrial sands and environmental, across the 7 main global regions.  The CDE Global Design Headquarters is in Northern Ireland and the company also have an office in Kolkata, India to serve the Asian market, an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil to serve the Latin American market and an office in North Carolina, USA, to serve the North American market.

Custom Care is a service afforded to all CDE Customers offering maintenance advice, service and support, a range of training programmes, a range of parts and spares and product warranties.

Ryan Barker, Global Service Manager at CDE Global evaluates the often underestimated gains of maintaining a clean and tidy site over and above regular plant maintenance…