Module 2. Plant operations

Lesson 3

3.1 Introduction

Operation of a dairy plant in a highly effective manner is possible only when all factors involved are synchronized. Perfection in efficiency may be considered impossibility. But the various operations which conform to the recognized standards of efficiency should at all times be equal to or above the standards. The overall efficiency of the plant operation is directly related to productivity and hence, it is absolutely necessary to maintain this efficiency as high as possible by optimizing the use of available resources and facilities.

3.1.1 Definition

Plant operating efficiency may be defined as the ability to produce the desired products with minimum efforts, expense and waste without sacrificing the workers' welfare.

3.2 Factors Effecting Plant Operating Efficiency

Some of the factors that effect the plant operation efficiency are as follows

3.2.1 Suitable location

A dairy plant should be located in such an area where collection and distribution of milk and milk products will be smooth and economical. There should be sufficient space for further expansion of the plant building.

3.2.2 Services and utilities

There should be uninterrupted supply of services and utilities.

3.2.3 Well planned dairy building

This is an important criterion for better working condition of the plant as hygienic condition, ease and safe production, lighting and ventilation largely depend on it.

3.2.4 Continuous supply of raw material

Adequate supply of raw milk into the plant and its scheduled arrival enhances plant operation efficiency.

3.2.5 Quality of raw material

This eventually reduces the number of quality tests to be performed for accepting the milk. A 10% rejection means 10% wastage of reception time.

3.2.6 Specific work schedule

Work schedules are to be prepared in such a manner that no working hour is wasted. Work force should not be idle at any time of operation due to weak work schedule.

3.2.7 Efficient labor

Skilled labors are an asset for a dairy plant as they will save time by their efficiency and prevent waste and damage to the equipments also.

3.2.8 Training facilities

This will enhance work efficiency as the labour force gets training on production and processing equipments.

3.2.9 Proper processing units

Several equipments that are related to processing must be appropriate and up to the standard because these are the pivots for plant operation efficiency. Some of the major equipments should be as follows:

Milk receiving equipment: For improving plant efficiency vacuum samplers, automatic weight records, etc. will save a lot of labour; vertical storage tanks saves lot of floor space and thus it allows space for free movement of workers.

Conveyors: Instead of manual handling of cans, mechanical conveyors should be used as it will save time and physical damage to the floor.

Control panel: The control panel should be within arm’s reach of the operator so that during crisis, the machine can be switched off very fast. It prevents worker's injury due to panic and rush.

Supply of clean water: Water quality makes the operation efficiency greater.supply of water should be at sufficient pressure and flow rate in each section of plant Because, many a time hard water causes lot of scaling in the equipments. Reducing the heat transfer or reducing flow rates.

Cleaning method: Instead of manual cleaning, CIP systems to be adopted as it saves lot of time and labour Thus, it increases plant efficiency.

Proper layout: The entire processing line and equipments should be set up in a logical sequence. This will save processing cost and time, principles of Dairy plant layout to be followed

3.2.10 Maximum use of floor space

All the equipments should be as per capacity of the plant. Instead of keeping smaller capacity equipments in large number, bigger capacity should be preferred: For example, HTST pasteurizer, multipurpose vat, storage tanks should be of bigger size.

3.2.11 Utilities

All the four basic utilities, i.e., water, electricity, refrigeration and steam should be easily available in the processing plant.

Water: Adequate and uninterrupted water supply is a must for the plant operation efficiency. There should not be any leaky valve or hoses left running. Wastage of water must be prevented.

Electricity: Proper selection of motors, proper wiring, proper lighting and correct capacity fuses are very important in the efficient use of electricity. Any wastage of power must be prevented. Power factor must be carefully monitored as well as peak load demand , power factor 0.95.

Refrigeration: Care should be taken for any refrigeration loss in the plant. The plant must be properly operated and maintained. Doors of the cold store room should be locked automatically to prevent refrigeration loss. Condensers must be cleaned periodically, compressors must be operated as for as possible at off peak load and night times.

Steam: Boiler should be properly maintained. It should be properly installed and free from transmission loss. Use of only soft water is important . Regular descaling operation by qualified personnel is essential. Thermal efficiency of Boiler should be to the rated value.

3.2.12 Stock of supplies and spare parts

Adequate quantity of consumable supplies to be kept in a neat and well maintained store. Cleaners and sanitizers use to be made judiciously so that it may not mix with edible items. All the glassware should be available in the stock, as any time it may be required due to damages.

3.2.13 Preventive maintenance

For all machine and equipments proper maintenance schedule to be followed to avoid breakdown loss. Trained personnel are needed for scheduled preventive maintenance.

3.2.14 Waste prevention

Carelessness and poor equipment are the chief sources of product waste. Increased waste means increase cost on waste disposal.

3.2.15 Well managed organization

Overall efficiency of a plant depends on good management practices (GMP) in a good organization; it is possible for everyone to know one's responsibility and authority. A well managed organization is the true solution to plant efficiency.

3.2.16 Total Quality Management(TQM)

It is also very important for food industry as well as dairy industry. Total Quality Management is a management approach to long term success through customer satisfaction. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work. Important concept in implementing TQM is Deming’s 14 points, a set of management practices to help companies increase their quality and productivity.

1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services

2. Adopt the new philosophy

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality

4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier

5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Adopt and institute leadership

8. Drive out fear

9. Breakdown barriers between staff areas

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the work force

11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the work force and numerical goals for management

12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self improvement for every one

14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

3.3 Assessment of Efficiency

It can be enumerated by the following ways:

3.3.1 Check-up

First of all it should be checked that the machines and equipments are at par with their published specifications, else adjustment to be made immediately before final installation. Sufficient instrumentation should be there to observe the same

3.3.2 Clocking the performance

Periodically, the performance of individual items or equipments to be monitored. In case wear and tear is above the normal limit, it must be adjusted immediately. This is possible by maintaining log books about the equipment accurately.

3.3.3 Synchronization

It is coordination between different machines, equipments to prevent any unscheduled breakdown by periodically determining that the entire plant is operating as a coordinated unit and to make corrective adjustments in machines or processing schedules.

3.4 Financial and Managerial Efficiency

As manager he should be aware of financial matters of the organization and utilize properly the fund for various activities to get the necessary financial resources, their profitable assignment and usage.

The financial management efficiency contain the following:

>To evaluate the effort, from the financial point of view, of all the actions that are about to be made in a given administration period;

> To provide, at the right moment, in the structure and the quality conditions claimed by necessities, the capital, at the lowest possible cost;

> To follow how the capital is used;

> To influence the decision factors in each performance centre in order to insure an efficient usage of all funds attracted in the various departments of the organization;

> To insure and maintain the financial balance according to the company’s needs;

> To try to obtain the anticipated financial result and to distribute it on destinations.

Last modified: Friday, 5 October 2012, 5:51 AM