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Best Practices for Managing Equipment Not in Use

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ETHAN BAUER

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 09:25 PM

During times when certain equipment is not being used, what would the best practice to have in place be?

Should the equipment be: tagged "Do not Use", Put on a QA Hold, or no action needed?

 

(the equipment is just not being used at this time, there is nothing wrong with it)



SQFconsultant

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 10:15 PM

We normally wrap it (smaller pieces) or tape off with DO NOT USE and CONTACT QA FOR CLEARANCE TO USE AGAIN.


All the Best,

 

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Glenn Oster.

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nwilson

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 11:29 PM

I'll add to SQFConsultant's remarks as I would also apply a lock out to the equipment, and if possible move to another location.  Wrapping up, labeling, and Maintenance/QA-QC clearance prior to release back to production.  


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Tony-C

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 02:20 AM

Hi Ethan,

 

Such equipment must be kept in a clean and hygienic condition, be inspected regularly, would normally be covered and should have labelling to indicate that the equipment cannot be used without cleaning and a sign-off.

 

I don’t like the use of tape personally

 

Depending on the amount of use it gets I would consider moving it out into storage as nwilson has suggested. This helps avoid any ‘misunderstanding’  ;)

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

 

 



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MOHAMMED ZAMEERUDDIN

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 06:06 AM

When an equipment is not in use, it should be stored in a suitable location. This location should be clean, dry, and secure to prevent any damage or unauthorized access. Moreover, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for storage conditions, as certain equipment may require specific environmental conditions.

 

It is recommended to clearly label and tag any equipment that is not being used. The tag should include details such as the name or description of the equipment, the date it was tagged, and any additional information that may be relevant.

 

Regular inspections of the equipment should be conducted, even when it is not in use. This will help identify any potential problems or maintenance requirements.



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Dorothy87

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 12:09 PM

Hi, 

 

Just a few things from our procedure ; 

 

  • Not in use equipment must be registered on QC0435 – Not in use equipment register and it is engineering department responsibility to keep this log up to date.
  • Not in use equipment must be covered with blue food contact liner and labelled with sign “equipment not in use, clean me before commissioning”
  • Form QC0185 - Preventative/breakdown maintenance report form must be used to return equipment to production.
  • Not in use equipment must be not stored outside the factory
  • Equipment must be stored at least 30 cm away from the walls/corners.

;) 



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jfrey123

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 05:00 PM

Agree with all of the above: bag it and tag it and make sure it cannot be reused without first being washed and sanitized.  You should outline in one of your SOP's that stored equipment must be washed/sanitized and inspected prior to being added back into service.  You can add it to your regular hold log or develop your own out-of-service type register as others mentioned.  I'll add on that you don't want it to be long term stored in your production areas, that's generally a GFSI no-no.  When you store it in your warehouse, it should be in a segregated area and preferably not adjacent to any raw/finished goods or unsuitable materials (say all of maintenance's oils and greases).  Last plant I was in, unused equipment was stored in an open warehouse area between their raw material racking and some unused dock doors.



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ETHAN BAUER

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Posted 25 January 2024 - 09:13 PM

This equipment is used periodically, is too large, and has hookup requirements that prevent moving of the equipment.



jfrey123

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Posted 25 January 2024 - 10:11 PM

Oh gotcha.  In my old spice plant, we would clean/sanitize the equipment after its last run, then cover all the feed hoppers or open areas with poly bags and just leave it until it's next scheduled run.  I can't remember the criteria we had documented, but equipment could be left unscheduled/unused for a certain amount of time: within that time we could schedule a run and merely do our normal pre-op inspection for cleanliness.  If it was unused for beyond that time, we had to reclean/sanitize it prior to activating it.  Fairly often occurrence for us, as we were a 3PL toller and didn't have total control of our production schedule beyond a few days based on customer volumes and orders.

 

The areas around all equipment in our production environment was on a master schedule, so the area or little curtained off room the unused equipment might be in still got swept/mopped regularly per that schedule and kept our entire production room in compliance while that line or piece of equipment was idled.



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