Maintenance in the production plants is connected with a number of issues and constitutes a truly complex subject. The continuity of the production process, servicing of machines and conveyor lines, occupational health and safety, servicing of life storage racking are just some of the issues under the responsibility of specialists from the maintenance departments. Many innovative and individual solutions are connected with the work efficiency. One of them is to create sets or racks for formats used in the production process.
What are format sets?
The name is symbolic. It refers to the structure allowing to
maintain formats for the machines in the production line in good order. The good order means efficient exchange of formats without the necessity of stopping production for a longer time. The format sets extend the lifetime of formats, promote compliance with the OHS regulations by the employees and limit a number of incidents when the format dedicated to a given machine in used on another device.
Why are format racks a good solution for maintenance?
Formats are diverse, dedicated to different devices, e.g. filling labeling machines, grainers and board machines. Appropriate storage is one of basic problems encountered by the production employees. Sometimes there are tens of formats for one line. The format sets created specifically for a given production line may be a solution to such problematic storage. The process of creating a particular structure to a large extent depends on the place where a given set or rack could be potentially located. Sometimes free space is very limited. A rule of a thumb is that formats must be virtually on the doorstep. Both ergonomics and functionality of the created format set are the most important. To keep permanent order on the racks and near the production lines, it is crucial to put special handles for formats and sets or racks, on which they are installed. Therefore, it will be impossible to mount formats in wrong place and cause mess on the already installed format racks.
SMED and format sets
The use of format racks is closely related to SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die). It is a set of techniques and solutions aimed at shortening the set-up times of machines and production processes. The goal is to reduce the time of set-up to a single digit (i.e. less than 10 minutes). According to the research, it is evident that the organization of work environment constitutes 80% of success in reducing the changeover times to minimum.