22 October, 2018

Food for thought

27 March, 2018

Grant states technology that can facilitate Industry 4.0 is something many companies and equipment suppliers are looking at increasingly keenly. “This is totally understandable if it can help companies in sectors such as food & beverage achieve greater operational and maintenance efficiencies through greater information connectivity and analysis,” he remarks. “However, before Industry 4.0 adoption primary focus there still remains a need within many companies to educate users regarding the basics of a system – for example, the essential information needed to understand how a hydraulic system is designed, built and operated.”


Crofts maintains it is important that end user companies have a very good understanding of their processes in order not only to operate their machinery efficiently, but also to be in a position to provide suppliers with detailed information so that the right parts can be supplied when required. “As a supplier, we need to listen carefully to the customer and also ask the customer for full and accurate application information to ensure the correct seal is supplied,” he says. “Correct selection and supply not only enhances reputation and trust of both parties, but also improves production efficiency (we used to call this a win/win).”

Developing the knowledge theme, Grant believes there is a need to understand the basics of maintaining this system; and, in this regard, users should recognise the importance of things such as contamination monitoring. “Unfortunately, in many cases contamination monitoring is still seen as a luxury and an added cost rather than being embraced as something that can actually save money through increased uptime and system efficiency through the adoption of a more effective maintenance regime, not to mention the benefits related to keeping a production environment clean,” he says.

Advice and guidance

Grant emphasises that recognised industry bodies such as the BFPA can provide advice and guidance on the best solutions and suppliers to consider. “Such bodies can also provide training or recommend proven training organisations for the task of getting your workforce up to speed with understanding hydraulic, pneumatic and other related equipment better in order to ensure operation, maintenance and cleanliness are optimised,” he concludes.

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