If you fail to consider the layout of your drainage in conjunction with the location of your factory equipment, you run the risk of having to rectify the drainage at later stage – a time consuming, costly and difficult process that will directly impact upon production and your business. Here Michal Bačkovský, ACO's Head of Business Development, provides some best practice advice.
A properly specified drainage system will positively impact upon hygienic performance, food/beverage safety, employee health and safety, and operational costs, and it is vital to consider drainage at the initial stages of a factory build or refurbishment.
If drainage is treated as an afterthought, food and beverage manufacturers run the risk of having to rectify the drainage at a later stage in the build. This is not a quick, cheap or easy process, and involves the removal of production equipment and floors, and considerable disruption to the manufacturing process. Inevitably this can impact significantly on plant capacity and your business.
So when it comes to drainage/equipment compatibility, what are the key points to consider?
1.What equipment will be generating waste water or fluid, and where should it be located?
It sounds obviously but during factory audits we often find that the equipment generating waste water is not located anywhere near to the drainage. As a result, factory floors are wet and waste water pools or moves around the production area creating contamination, hygiene and slip risks. Make sure the layout of your key manufacturing equipment is planned at the same time as the layout of your drainage so the two elements work together.
2.Ensure your production equipment isn’t’ blocking your drainage
Even if you ensure your drainage is located near to your production equipment, its’ important to check it isn’t sitting on top of or partially covering the drainage. Partially covered and blocked drainage not only stops waste water from going down the drains but also makes inspections and cleaning difficult if not impossible and so compromises hygiene.
3.Can the drainage you’ve specified cope with the loads generated by site traffic?
What site traffic will your drainage be subjected to now and potentially in the future? It’s important to specify drainage gratings which can cope with the loads generated by fork lift trucks and other site traffic. A failure to specify the correct grating will result in grating failures and costly delays in the production process.
Finally, changes in food trends happen much faster today than they have done historically. As a result, it’s vital that you think about what your drainage may need to do in the future and where any additional equipment in which you may invest will be located.