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July 14, 2020 Preventive & Predictive Maintenance — How Frito-Lay Built a World-Class Manufacturing Facility July 14, 2020/ Michelle Segrest
High-performance machines require highly skilled professionals who use a race-car team approach to preventive and predictive maintenance and reliability at Frito-Lay’s world-class North American manufacturing facility. Recently, the snack food giant announced it will add 120 jobs in a $200 million plant expansion.
By Michelle Segrest,Navigate Content, Inc. — Reporting for Maintenance Technology
The one million-sq.-ft.Frito-Lay manufacturingfacility in Perry, Georgia, operates like a well-oiled, high-speed race car track.
The operations teams drive the machines, but it’s the 100 maintenance professionals on five specialized teams who work in the garage and in the pits to build, repair, and optimize the equipment—taking it from the shop to the track. They ensure the production stays in constant motion as it circles the refined Frito-Lay course, around-and-around, nonstop, 24/7.
Perry’s director of maintenance and engineering, Craig Hoffman, is the crew chief. The overall maintenance philosophy requires proactive maintenance and methodologies, he said. However, just like a race-team pit crew, they must have the ability to respond to unexpected issues.
“NASCAR teams spend a lot of time in their shops building their cars, analyzing, making adjustments, and fixing problems. We use similar techniques,” Hoffman said. “Our foundation is planning and scheduling, which is supported by preventive and predictive maintenance and root-cause analysis. We do everything we can to make sure our equipment is ready to perform.”
In a facility that produces thousands of pounds of potato chips, tortilla chips, and many other Frito-Lay products per hour, the equipment must stay in optimal condition to deliver high-performance production, he said.
“Our job is to turn the equipment over, in the best possible shape, to the operations group. But every race day there is a situation where you have to respond. When something happens, we go into the pit-crew mentality—it’s all hands on deck. What is constantly on our minds is how to keep our equipment in safe, reliable, food-safe condition so that the drivers can continue to move the lines around the track. We do a great job up front with our proactive technologies. I would love to say we are perfect. When, however, you have as much equipment as we do, something is going to happen. And we have to be able to respond.”
The different teams play different roles, yet all share a common goal: to produce millions of pounds of snack foods annually.
The Perry facility houses 15 manufacturing lines that produce all flavor varieties of Frito-Lay snacks, including Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Ruffles, Lay’s, Fritos, SunChips, Stacy’s, Smartfood, Rold Gold, and Funyuns. Built in 1988 with just two lines, the largest of Frito-Lay’s 36 North American manufacturing facilities has built several expansions in nearly three decades.