A growing bread specialities production company has high requirements for safety and maintenance. When Lantmännen Unibake acquired the Belgian company Pastridor in 2006, it needed efficient maintenance and management software. Rimses, the Maintenance Management system of Realdolmen, provided the most suitable solution. Rimses was first implemented in the production site of Mouscron and the other branches of the company followed progressively. Lantmännen will soon switch to the latest software version 6.1.
“Rimses 6.1 focuses even more on safety and user friendliness, combined with excellent reporting features”, summarises Gianni Malfait, maintenance manager at Lantmännen Unibake in Mouscron.
Swedish company Lantmännen Unibake has three bakeries in Belgium. The bakery in Brussels produces frozen bread specialities. The two other production facilities are located in Londerzeel—specialising in the production of baguettes, French sticks and piccolos— and in Mouscron—specialising in the production of pastry in all sizes and shapes.
“Lantmännen Unibake has developed through many acquisitions and the acquirement of new knowledge and new skills”, says Malfait. “That had a great impact on the growth of the company.”
Targeted maintenance prevents stoppage
“Our factory in Mouscron has various production lines where a wide strip of dough is continuously rolled out on an assembly line. After the production process the various products go to a freezing tower where they are frozen until they are ready for storage and transport. Predictability and scheduling are very important for Lantmännen Unibake”, says Gianni Malfait. “Stoppage means high losses because the products stay in a certain phase for too long. Due to the long process that we work with, we have lines of several kilometres long, we must maintain the machines in such a way that we can make a correct evaluation and planning regarding stoppage and interventions”, says Malfait. “Rimses contributes to high performance with few unexpected stoppages. The software enables us to make the correct analysis, undertake appropriate and targeted maintenance, and follow-up decisions well.”
Checks and food safety go hand in hand
“We often are confronted with checklists that must be carefully followed in line with checks for food safety. If you have to do that on paper, it often is very cumbersome. But if you can integrate something like that in a maintenance package, it represents huge added value” says Malfait.
Successful audits without additional measures
“We notice that we get through the various audits more easily with the Rimses package”, says Gianni Malfait. “That required more energy in the past. We deal with the strictest audits in the food industry, and Rimses helps us to pass them successfully without additional effort. Everything is constantly monitored and the system guarantees the complete technical organisation. If repairs are carried out, the task remains open until it is accepted or someone signs off the work. The name of the employee who carries out the steps is always indicated.” Gianni Malfait continues: “There is great traceability and the employees have great personal responsibility.”
Good communication helps to resolve problems quickly
Initially, mainly the technical department of Lantmännen used Rimses for the management of the work orders. In the meantime, this has extended to the employees in the production department and the safety people. Gianni Malfait: “A web portal that is very user-friendly was therefore created, e-Rimses. The line operators can easily enter problems in the system, and monitor the solutions step by step. The threshold to report a problem is much lower. The system ensures that the report is followed up, and that everyone receives feedback.”
“The communication between production and the technical department is optimal. Employees see their messages on the list of priorities and can monitor the actual status at all times. Thanks to the clear and accessible system, technicians can easily combine various assignments of the same type. Co-operation, mutual understanding and communication have considerably improved. The technical department also follows up irregularities reported by operators more strictly. Things that in the past were communicated verbally, on post-its or via mail were left untreated more often”, according to Malfait.
Excellent management tool
The transparency of the Rimses package provides various advantages. Management can easily check how many working hours go to a specific production line, and how much time, money and energy is required to maintain a specific installation in good order. The management tool also helps in the consideration of certain investments.
“A traditional accounting package provides less thoroughness and it is more difficult to map everything out. With this transparent system you are not only in control, you also exude it to the outside world. Everything that happens here is perfectly traceable and everything can be consulted black on white", says Malfait. “Cost efficiency has improved, we do a lot more with much fewer resources. “
Lantmännen opted for Realdolmen as system integrator after previous positive experiences and for the support and the flexibility. “For the implementation of the software you must count on a very intensive period in which all processes must be transformed. Realdolmen's assistance in this regard was excellent”, according to Gianni Malfait. “The day maintenance management via Rimses becomes operational, everyone must be ready for it. Realdolmen has completely prepared our employees.” Gianni Malfait also says: “The implementation of course requires a lot of energy, but once that is done, the system runs itself. There are few systems that require that little maintenance to make the complete management run smoothly.”
“We are very interested in Rimses Mobile, which is integrated in Rimses6.1. We work at different sites, but we want to use only one database for mutual exchanges. The ‘lock out/tag out’ function is also a reason for switching to the new version. The LOTO function is used in the context of safety to ensure that no-one can restart a production line by accident. For food safety too the LOTO function provides an important added value. If a technician has worked on a line, that line cannot be released before it is completely cleaned. And finally, the transfer to 6.1 provides even better reporting features.”
“Realdolmen listened carefully to the opinions of their clients by the development of the new version. Lantmännen Unibake played an important role in the Advisory Board of Rimses 6.1. The Advisory Board unites a number of reference clients of different sectors twice or three times a year, to listen to them and make suggestions on current requirements in maintenance management and the processing thereof with maintenance software. Based on that feedback, the package continues to grow as a very functional, high quality, and user-friendly solution", concludes Gianni Malfait.