One of the plants operated by this multinational food and beverage company had a high number of unsterility cases because its operators lacked the knowledge and skills for proper maintenance and cleaning. (The plant produces milk products primarily.) Although some aspects of cleaning are common-sense, others require precise knowledge about the equipment, such as the areas to clean and the required frequency of cleaning. The resulting unsterility cases led to increased cost of waste due to batch recalls.
Tetra Pak carried out an Assessment of Operators and determined that targeted assessment and training would improve competence levels within the 4-M model (man, method, machine and material). Customised staff assessment and training were then developed following the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) methodology, which helps producers eradicate losses and overcome their specific challenges.
The assessment was carried out by means of written tests, individual interviews and observation in order to determine competence levels and training gaps. Based on this information the training was developed using short and effective sessions to teach operators how to clean production equipment safely. The programme has a practical focus, with 20% classroom training and 80% actual tasks at the machine.