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Bristol – Cleaning Up

07/03/2019 | General

Since February 2018, Pirtek Bristol has been working at Whirlpool’s tumble dryer factory in Yate to improve the efficiency of its hydraulic systems through data-led preventative maintenance.

Explaining what Whirlpool makes at the Yate factory, Maintenance Manager Matthew Wyatt says, “We have multiple hydraulic machines running here, including drum manufacture lines, which are cutting, forming and seaming the drums. “There are four 600-tonne hydraulic multi-stage forming presses creating the front, side and rear panels for the products. There are folding machines and a few things like that but most of it is drum, side and rear panel manufacture. “As with any factory now, there’s lots of componentry brought in but all the steelwork is manufactured on site, so we are manufacturing all of the primary process steel here and then fitting and assembling the final finished product. “Two years ago, we hit a peak production output of 1.2m units per year, with a weekly high of 38,000 a week. We employ around 400 people here.”

The brief

Darren Squire, Franchisee of Pirtek Bristol had mentioned Whirlpool to his sales manager, Jason Greenwood, as a potential client and it was perfect timing when Matt took hold of the maintenance department in May 2017. Jason made contact with Matt, they came together for a chat and things developed from there. Matt could see a lot of improvements were required. “For a UK manufacturer, reliability, efficiency and performance is critical. There is a drive at Whirlpool towards world class manufacturing, so the focus is on professional, preventative maintenance and quality of machinery.

“I knew the standards that Whirlpool wanted us to work towards and Pirtek was offering exactly what we wanted – hose register, total management and control of preventative maintenance,” Matt says. “It is our MSST who is very much at the coal face,” says Jason. “He is involved with and speaks directly to Matt. Darren has also come and sat in on meetings. “We’ve got good communication, which is half the battle, knowing who’s doing what, when we’re doing it and having the right people to do it. At Pirtek we have the right stock in the right place to do a professional job in a timely manner – that’s what we do.”

Work flow

“I would say over the past six months, we’ve had someone on site from Pirtek probably every two to three weeks,”

says Matt. “We operate three shutdown periods a year, plus the Christmas holiday. In the three major shutdowns this year, so far Pirtek has been in for every one of those, making the Total Hose Management register, performing the

site inspections and giving us a view so we can forecast the work looking forward to the following shutdown. “There have been little or no surprises and the failures have been forecast, budgeted and paid for prior to fitting,” Matt concludes.

Hose register

“When Pirtek came in we were looking for a supplier that was going to be able to deliver timely and effective hose fitting, help us with site registers and asset management on the hoses,” he says. “In the last six months we’ve gone from having no record or track of the standard of hoses, their quality, length or type, to now having a full hose register and being able to identify every one of the hoses on site.

“Now we’re in a situation where we can pick up the phone and request a hose from Pirtek and they know they’ve got the right material on the van to bring out within an hour callout. We don’t need to keep any stock. We can rely entirely on the callout service.” Jason explains further. “Because of the Total Hose Management register we know every single hose on site. Bristol is kitted out purposefully, it has the largest size fittings on the shelf waiting.

“That’s what Pirtek does – one-hour hose replacement. We have the right stock, we have our MSST on standby and if a breakdown comes along, he’s here with the right stock and the parts are replaced.”

“It’s very much an ongoing relationship,” says Matt. “That’s why we’ve got them managing our hose register. What we’re looking for is periodic inspection so we have a clear view of hose safety on site and reliability. The real view is entirely preventative maintenance.” Jason elaborates, “All the hoses are now dated so we refer to that and say it now needs inspecting and changing. We control it rather than it controlling us.”

Making progress

Over the first six months working at Yate, Pirtek’s achievement has been impressive. Jason says, “The focus of our efforts here was to reduce the leaks and reduce the downtime and I think that has been wholly effective so far.” Matt agrees. “The condition of the machinery in terms of leaks and losses has massively improved since we began working with Pirtek and I think we have exchanged around 40 per cent of the hoses on site in the last six months.

“I would say site leaks have reduced by 90 per cent in that time. That’s a massive improvement. We were having heavy oil leaks and the condition of the machinery was poor because of that. Pirtek’s work has improved availability and environmentally as well because we’re saving vast amounts of oil.”

A proactive approach

Matt continues, “We’ve been conducting regular audits and now have a healthy register of hoses on site. That has come purely through Pirtek’s involvement, managing the hose register and health check of our hoses.” What runs inside the hoses is important too. “Pirtek is helping us with oil analysis,” says Matt, “so we’ve been doing periodic oil analysis checks on machinery, as required. We’ve been running live filtration on the hydraulic packs to improve the oil analysis to the kind of preventative standards that we want from the machinery.”

Jason sums up, “Although we still have a lot of hoses to replace, we can undertake more proactive projects like moving on to Shell oil, which works in a different way and can be filtered better, improving the plant’s efficiency even further. “We’ve changed from a reactive to a proactive approach. Everything is now professional maintenance rather than breakdown reaction. We could have gone in and simply replaced hoses, but we didn’t. We fitted the hoses correctly and resolved issues to give much greater reliability. This way, we gained their trust. As you saw in Matt, we are very well looked upon now – trusted.”



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Lockdown Update - January 2021

Lockdown Update - January 2021

As we enter a new phase of COVID-19 restrictions nationally, we would like to assure you that Pirtek will remain entirely operational throughout this period. All our local... MORE