10 Minutes to Maintain Capacity & Avoid Downtime- VFFS Service Webinar

Emily Brogan
Nov 20, 2020 8:37:47 AM


Rovema NA experts Don and Shahram discussed how benefits like VFFS downtime avoidance, maintained capacity and seal integrity are directly related to daily task consistency, team member accountability and reliable spare parts.

Norcross, GA - On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, ROVEMA, North America Inc. hosted a free coaching session to give attendees the VFFS tips and tricks these experts have learned over their 60 years of combined industry experience. 

At the beginning of the webinar, viewers were polled and were asked to pick between three of five benefits of consistent preventative maintenance for their vertical form fill seal machine. These benefits were: maintained capacity, spare part longevity, seal Integrity, downtime avoidance and lower scrap rate.  Unsurprisingly, 91% of the attendees picked downtime avoidance as one of their three most important outcomes of consistent preventive maintenance. 

Unplanned downtime in CPG manufacturing is often catastrophic. Not only is it expensive from an overhead and fixed cost standpoint to have capital equipment sitting idle on your plant floor, but when a machine goes down, the clock starts ticking for the products in the queue and this can be costly due to expiring product.  This might not be an issue for a confectionery product like pre-wrapped candy but for products like coffee, nuts or potato chips, oxygen is enemy number one and as Shahram stated in the webinar, “you can lose tens of thousands of dollars in a jiffy”.

In his segment, Sharam introduced the four foundations of achieving great outcomes. The first was consistency in VFFS maintenance tasks. By establishing standard operating procedures, maintaining consistency throughout the decades of a vertical bagger's life becomes a no-brainer, as this ensures that team member accountability is upheld, which was the second foundation. The most valuable player in the case of preventive maintenance is the operator or maintenance person that has the most contact with the equipment. They are the ones best able to detect any issues as well as ensure that the machine is kept in optimum condition. Shahram also made note that a large component of avoiding down time and ensuring longevity of spare parts is sourcing reliable spare and wear parts for the audience’s vertical baggers. The last foundation was establishing a maintenance checklist that captures all of the make and model specific tasks and breaks them out by correct frequency so that this can be incorporated into the SOP. ROVEMA provided a basic VFFS checklist to attendees which can also be downloaded here.

While all of the daily, weekly, monthly and bi-annual tasks are important, the four foundations mainly shine through in the first 10 minutes of every shift, in the daily tasks. According to Don Lawrence, veteran VFFS service expert who has been with ROVEMA for 30 years, the key to achieving all five of the outcomes that were covered in the webinar came down to the first 10 minutes of the VFFS operators shift. After walking attendees through the most important daily tasks in meticulous detail, he stresses:

“If we do this 10 minutes at the beginning of every shift and your operators perform this correctly, this is going to keep you in production your entire shift. It's going to maximize your output, decrease your scrap rates, and it's also going to help with the longevity of spare parts, increasing the lifespan level. So the daily tasks take care of 90% of all issues that arise during your shift with just doing this first 10 minutes of every shift. I just can't say enough about that.”

The webinar was concluded with a question and answer session where questions like “What is the [brush] stiffness you recommend for cleaning bars without teflon?” and “Which product do you recommend for cleaning the transport belt & unwinding belt?” were addressed live. Due to the sheer volume of questions that came in, the rest of the questions had to be addressed here after-the-fact in a separate post on the ROVEMA website. 

This webinar was created to benefit any vertical form fill seal machine operator or owner, not just exclusive to ROVEMA customers. A pillar of ROVEMA’s mission to create “sustainable packaging solutions” is to help all CPG producers to minimize product and packaging waste globally and to get product to the market safely and efficiently. For anyone who would like to request the maintenance checklist to improve their VFFS service and maintenance processes, they can get in touch with an expert on www.rovema-na.com or at (404)640-5310.

About Rovema North America, Inc.

Rovema NA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rovema GmbH. Our operation in Atlanta is the North American sales, service and parts presence for all of Rovema’s engineered vertical form/fill/seal and end-of-line packaging solutions.

With over 1,000 machines installed in North America, we’re fully committed to the ongoing support of our machines. Although occasionally certain drive or control components are obsoleted by our suppliers, we provide all available parts and ongoing technical support for any operating Rovema machine.

Our team in Norcross is combining German quality & engineering with American market awareness and responsiveness. All our machines are built under a single roof (not a global master brand) and we’re aggressively building our staff to meet growing demand.