Delivering on the 6 Best Practices for Food Safety Preventative Maintenance

Published March 26 2018 by Sylvain Menard
Back to insights

In our recent deployments of Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP implementation projects for food companies, Fullscope’s consultants have seen an overlap between the requirement for an enterprise’s quality and food safety department and its plant maintenance challenges.

A recent article in Food Quality and Safety magazine outlines some key processes related to preventative maintenance (PM) that can help companies ensure that their production lines have adequate safety and hygiene plans to provide safe food products.

These practices include:

  1. Taking inventory of equipment used for food production
  2. Creating maintenance schedule based on operations
  3. Documenting every procedure diligently
  4. Choosing a leader who has the authority to enforce preventative maintenance plans
  5. Keeping maintenance supplies handy
  6. Keeping detailed maintenance records

With these practices in mind, we will look at how these steps can be put in place with a state-of-art maintenance solution such as Dynaway Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations:


1. Taking inventory of equipment

This practice involves taking inventory of all the equipment used for food production. For equipment that comes in contact with food products, it is best to assess the food safety risk that each equipment and to prioritize more critical equipment

One key function in planning maintenance for food production equipment is to categorize assets in terms of priority and criticality. In addition, an attribute such as equipment type can be used to set preventative maintenance “templates” for equipment that is subject to food safety guidelines.

Equipment that requires regular maintenance can be defined as objects in Dynaway EAM where we can assign a criticality level and priority for maintenance activities. Once these priority levels have been assigned, each maintenance work order will be sequenced accordingly.

Dynaway Equipment (Object) Profile

champion filler v25 - placing work order


Work Order List showing criticality and priority

Work order list

2. Create maintenance schedule based on operations.

In Dynaway EAM, you can set a maintenance schedule based on the manufacturer’s recommended frequency (e.g. every 7 days, every month, etc.) or based on the equipment’s usage or output (e.g. for every 20,000 gallons or pounds of product that has been processed by the equipment).

In times of peak production activity, you may need to allow for a time buffer since it may be best to work around some busy production days to schedule preventative activities.

In Dynaway EAM, you can set a preventative maintenance frequency and time buffer to perform that work.

For example, if based on our last preventative maintenance work order, your PM plan indicates that we should execute the next work order on May 1st, we can set a buffer time period where the work can be done within e.g. 3 days of the schedule recommended PM activity (i.e. no later than May 4th). This method will generate timely PM work order recommendations but will also give the maintenance planner some latitude so they can actually start the work when it is most convenient from an hour-to-hour production situation.

maintenence sequences for monthly inspection

In the example below for suggested PM work orders, Dynaway sets the expected start and end date within a three-day time period: 

Setting start and end date

Conversely, if some mandatory hygiene-related maintenance needs to be performed at some set intervals, the maintenance plan can be configured so that these activities occur in those specific dates.


3. Documenting every procedure diligently

a.) Attach maintenance documents to the equipment (object) profile attaching documents to maintenance profile


Viewing attachments for object 

This feature allows you to store detailed maintenance documents in one location and these will be easily accessible to your maintenance personnel. Any type of document can be attached such as PDFs, hyperlinks to a manufacturer’s web site, “How To” videos, etc.

b.) Maintenance Checklist: The maintenance checklist will also allow you to document “structured” instructions for a particular maintenance job where you can make each checklist step mandatory and/or audit-trailed.

adding notes and measuring points

The checklist will be easily displayed on a mobile device to provide step-by-step instructions to the maintenance technician:


c.) Keeping a log of all maintenance activities: in Dynaway EAM the Object Timeline will provide a quick link to all maintenance activities that have occurred for specific equipment:

keeping a list of activities


4. Choosing a leader who has the authority to enforce preventative maintenance plans.

This practice is mostly related to enterprise change management and re-alignment. Someone within the organization needs to grant authority to a maintenance leader who will actually enforce the programs that have been configured in a maintenance solution such as Dynaway EAM.

The maintenance leader would have the authority to make sure that the maintenance team does not skip established maintenance procedures to save time. The maintenance leader should be aware of the leading food safety practices and the consequences of not managing a safety-driven preventative maintenance plan.


5. Keeping maintenance supplies handy.

A robust maintenance solution should provide real-time visibility of spare parts inventory, demand from upcoming maintenance activities, and the status of maintenance parts procurement (from requisition to three-way matching). Dynaway EAM can record parts consumption in real time, enable you to maintain a minimum/safety stock for key MRO parts, and provide visibility of upcoming parts demand. 


net requirements - setting minimum


6. Keeping detailed maintenance records.

In the event that your facility is audited by a food safety agency, Dynaway EAM will provide detailed records of equipment maintenance in its work order history. 

work order timeline for audit

Dynaway can also store historical data related to common equipment faults and resolutions along with cost and downtime impact.

object fault symptoms


object fault cost control


Actual maintenance cost by fault case


Six degrees of Food Safety: Conclusion

Maintaining rigorous controls over your food safety preventative maintenance plan is easy with a robust maintenance solution such as Dynaway EAM. The key is to have executives realize the criticality of these practices and to promote policies where maintenance managers have the authority to enforce the steps needed to manage food safety requirements. From a day-to-day usage standpoint, the maintenance solution also needs to be easy-to-use, “mobile-friendly” and intuitive in order to expedite user adoption. 

Could your organization survive a recall? Download our free guide to learn the importance of food lot traceability: 

Sylvain is an experienced Solution Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the information and process manufacturing industry. With skills in Enterprise Software Development, Software Implementation, Microsoft Dynamics AX (now Dynamics 365) and Enterprise Asset Management Software, Sylvain maintains a strong background as an information technology professional.

Contact us