French fry manufacturer sees cost savings, increased reliability

Tags: maintenance and reliability

The potato was first cultivated more than 4,000 years ago in Peru. Today, thanks to companies like PAS Grantham Ltd. (McCain), the potato is one of the world’s most widely eaten and enjoyed foods. For instance, it is said that the average American eats 140 pounds (63.5 kilograms) of potatoes per year, the average German eats more than 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) per year and the average person in the United Kingdom consumes 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of potatoes per year.

PAS Grantham is one of Britain’s favorite chip manufacturers. They produce a nutritious and delicious assortment of products, including oven chips, home fries, french fries, low-fat french fries and have also entered into the mini pizza market.

Their foods are made with quality in mind. Not only do they carefully select their ingredients, they also adhere to a strict manufacturing process. This manufacturing process helps the company increase equipment reliability and productivity, and decrease operating costs.

Tim Wainwright, mechanical engineer at PAS Grantham for the past 32 years, says that the greases the company uses in its machinery play a big role in its manufacturing protocol, and in the company’s ability to increase productivity and decrease operating costs. PAS Grantham’s Total Preventive Maintenance program is a cornerstone of its business, and Wainwright constantly searches for products that will enhance the capabilities to achieve quality improvement throughout the plant.

The Lubricant Trial
The production lines at PAS Grantham run 24 hours per day, at least five days per week – sometimes even seven days per week. If a machine goes down, it can result in the entire line being shut down.

“When the line goes down, it costs us £900 per hour – that’s the figure we use as our benchmark,” says Wainwright. “Productivity is everything, and proper lubrication plays an integral role. We are always looking for lubricants that will perform, protect and save us money by reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiencies.”

Four years ago, Petro-Canada account manager James Ross suggested that PAS Grantham put “food safe” PURITY FG Synthetic Grease to the test.

In 2004, Wainwright ran a six-month trial using Petro‑Canada’s PURITY FG2 synthetic grease, an advanced food-grade grease specially formulated for the toughest food-processing applications. He compared it to his existing product to see which grease provided better protection of gears, bearings and equipment. Wainwright also compared the difference in cost between the two products.

The Results and the Switch
“Lubrication improvements were noticeable. There was a decrease in actual volume used vs. what we were using before and our reliability was enhanced,” explains Wainwright. “James Ross ensured we achieved excellent efficiency results by ensuring that we had the right products for all of our applications.

“After this six-month trial of PURITY FG2 synthetic grease, we quickly realized the benefits of the product. There wasn’t any need to do any further trials; we went ahead and switched to a full line of PURITY products, including PURITY FG2 Grease, PURITY FG00 Grease and PURITY FG AW Hydraulic Fluid 68.”

PURITY FG2 is now used on their standard conveyors, PURITY FG2 Synthetic on their steam peelers and fryers, PURITY FG AW Hydraulic Fluid 68 on their freezer chains and PURITY FG00 on their auto lube systems. PURITY FG gear and hydraulic fluids are also used throughout the PAS Grantham plants.

The Products and Savings
PURITY FG Greases provide outstanding lubrication and pumpability over a wide range of temperatures, exceptional equipment protection and resistance to water washout and water jet spray loss. PURITY FG2 synthetic grease also maintains consistency and lubrication in the presence of demanding cleaning processes.

PURITY FG AW Hydraulic Fluid 68 is an advanced food grade lubricant formulated to deliver enhanced, long-lasting protection. It resists oxidative breakdown better than leading specialty food grade hydraulic fluids and minimizes the formation of sludge and varnish to ensure smooth and reliable operation. This can result in longer fluid life and reduced downtime.

“PURITY FG food-grade lubricants provide us with improved reliability and cost savings,” says Wainwright.

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