A clear, unequivocal maintenance strategy to stay ‘best in class’

A unique passion for chocolate. That is what typifies the Swiss company Barry Callebaut that processes more than 350,000 tonnes of cacao beans into about 50,000 tonnes of high-quality chocolate and chocolate products every year. To stay ‘best in class’, it was necessary to formulate a clear, unequivocal maintenance strategy. In order to improve the efficiency of production and reduce costs, PDM was brought in to draw up and implement a single maintenance strategy for all the branches in Europe.

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Consolidation

Thanks to consolidation, Barry Callebaut has grown rapidly in recent years into an international company employing some 9,000 people. In Europe alone, the company has no less than 17 sites where chocolate and chocolate products are manufactured. The chocolate, varying from fondant and milk to white chocolate, is supplied to industrial customers in liquid form or in 5-kilogramme blocks. “Callets” and blocks are also supplied to bakers, patissiers, chocolatiers and chefs.

Until recently, every European production site had its own, local maintenance team that constantly strove for far-reaching production optimisation. The focus was usually on availability and fewer maintenance costs. For Jo Thys, operation manager of Callebaut this was reason enough to call in the assistance of PDM to set up and introduce a single European maintenance strategy, introduce it, optimize the maintenance processes at local level, and implement a cost monitoring system at local and European level.

Jo Thys
Operations Manager, Europe and Asia, Barry Callebaut

So the greater part of the maintenance work will stay the responsibility of the local site in the future too.

Approach

As a pilot, PDM started at the beginning of 2004 with carrying out an analysis in Wieze, Belgium, the biggest site in the group. We spent 1 or 2 weeks examining all four sites with technicians and supervisors in order to map the work processes and control systems. Then we thoroughly analysed the organization and the results, held interviews and workshops and carried out data analyses. As soon as the results of the analysis were known, a three-phase programme was drawn up in consultation with the regional management.

Among the items in phase 1 in Wieze, the large-scale maintenance and the reliability engineering were centralized and a maintenance management system was implemented so that a close eye could be kept on the realization of the plan and the job efficiency.

In this phase, an investigation was also carried out into the possibilities for combining the technical stocks in the region and a number of regional maintenance strategies were benchmarked. These results too were then implemented on the Belgian site. The KPIs were redefined at corporate level and a European Maintenance Coordinator was appointed.

Since September 2005 (phase 2), PDM started with the implementation of the management system at the cacao site in France. We are also working with the Barry Callebaut IM department to make an SAP blueprint to enable the management system to be supported in the most efficient way from SAP.

As soon as phase 2 is complete, we can start on phase 3: rolling out the management system and the best practices to the other sites in Europe. “We have set aside a period of 2 years for the entire programme,” says Thys.

Results

The management methods have been professionalised and the organization structure at both the Belgian and French sites has been modified at local level. Thanks to the PDM approach, Callebaut succeeded in saving approximately 10% of the costs of the total maintenance budget on the Belgian site. This is a result that Callebaut also hopes to achieve on the other European production locations.

It is worth saying that introducing a single European maintenance strategy has not resulted in all maintenance activities being centrally managed but only those activities that involve a lot of money. So the greater part of the maintenance work will stay the responsibility of the local site in the future.

Jo Thys
Operations Manager, Europe and Asia, Barry Callebaut

Thanks to the PDM approach, Callebaut succeeded in saving approximately 10% of the costs of the total maintenance budget on the Belgian site. This is a result that Callebaut also hopes to achieve on the other European production locations.


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