How should the work environment in a packaging manufacturing facility be calibrated to protect both processes and products? How can a service provider get this done within a client’s means? Sri Ganesh Ravi, AVP-Engineering, SMS Integrated Facility Services Private Limited has all the answers.
Safeguarding the production process of packaging clients requires precise SOPs for both housekeeping and HVAC (including their monitoring and control). Plotting excursions at five-minute intervals is essential to intervene without causing an impact on production.
This can be done with properly designed filtration in the ventilation system & dust extraction system, close to the generation point. We provide clients with a professional audit (usually as a value add in their housekeeping contract) of the entire HVAC system, particularly the venting and dust extraction system.
Many plants have basic designs or antiquated systems that need upgrades. We assist our clients in system redesign, supply, installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance. Sometimes, we also do this on a deferred payment plan so that customers can obtain the right conditions without having their CAPEX impacted.
Indoor air quality maintenance
Air hygiene can be maintained by regular cleaning of air flow path (duct cleaning), regular air disinfection by fumigation and maintaining humidity levels (to avoid condensation on duct surfaces). Building Management/Environment Management Systems can provide facility managers with the real-time status of key parameters on the Cloud.
Temperature & humidity control
This is a Catch-22 situation. Usually, if the right engineering skills are not applied, efficiency can equal to being expensive. But this does not need to be the case. In fact, most efficiency programs can have payback periods of as low as six months, thereby saving the life of the equipment (which can range between 15-25 years).
To have temperature & humidity control, we need to have the most efficient way to generate chilled water and hot water available. Efficiency is at two levels: technical (how much heat is being extracted, what is the efficiency of the chiller) and commercial (is it cheaper to generate hot water using a boiler or a heat pump).
There is the element of practicality – implementing cutting edge designs in a new plant is easy but doing so in a running plant is a planning challenge (balancing production schedule with workfront availability). Finally, there is an element of sizing. Unfortunately, at the design stage, excessive factors of safety are built in and most systems are overdesigned. This means, they do not operate at their design point and hence cause inefficiency.