Cheese Production Line Efficiency

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This cheese factory had huge production efficiency problems. Poor machinery reliability was prevalent. Asset down time was deemed to be excessive, and costing money in terms of production losses. There was a culture of conducting maintenance with no rational justification or data.


  • Increase production efficiency.
  • Increase equipment reliability.
  • Analyse and rationalise the maintenance schedule.
  • Increase availability.
  • Reduce life cycle costs.
  • Improve workforce knowledge and the poor maintenance culture.


  • DORA RCM Level 1 training was delivered to the whole workforce at the location, including the Director, the complete management team and all operators and technical support personnel.
  • Facilitator training (RCM Level 2) was delivered.
  • Maintenance data and schedules were analysed.
  • FMEAs were conducted and imported into DORA.
  • All failure modes were reported in DORA.
  • Continuous improvement activity occurred daily and data gathering, recording and analysing became the norm.
  • Issues became known and were resolved through Root Cause Analyses, process design changes and better training.


  • Within 1.5 years the corrective maintenance man hours due to unplanned stops decreased by 50%.
  • Pro-active maintenance increased.
  • The OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) increased by 14% in 3 years to 79.5%.
  • In 7 years the unplanned downtime of the production processes decreased from 51 minutes/year to less then 1.9 minutes/year.
  • Quality output went up about 12%.
  • Scrap and wastage reduced by 17%.
  • Payback time was lower then 9.5 days.

This organisation is still optimising. Maintenance plans are never finished.

There is always room for improvement when maintenance is focused on not just the assets, but ALL factors that influence efficiency, like people, processes, procedures and environment.

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