M.C. Herd is a large family-owned meat processing facility supplying high quality Australian lamb, sheep and beef to both local and overseas markets. Founded in 1951, the company employs over 300 staff, and is proudly committed to ‘operation of a processing facility which satisfies the community’s right to meat of the highest hygiene standards’.
It is this unerring commitment to hygiene that drives the company’s continual improvement focus. Engineering Manager, Mr Trevor Egan, shoulders much of the responsibility for sourcing and evaluating new equipment that will assist the Company in meeting its objectives.
One of Trevor’s main challenges is ensuring there is no risk of external contamination entering the plant. Managing the infrastructure in an aging plant poses many challenges, not the least of which includes the many doors in and around the facilities.
Regular repairs and maintenance for these doors was an on-going requirement for the engineering maintenance team, but Trevor had found that the doors they had in place were a liability. Not only were the doors difficult to use, resulting in a lot of accidental damage, but external contamination was a very real threat.
“The implications were serious. The doors we had were just so hard to open and close, so people just wouldn’t close them. We had the threat of rodent infiltration, and temperature fluctuations in our cooled areas to contend with.”
Mr Egan experienced frustration with being able to get malfunctioning doors repaired quickly enough, in order to prevent further losses through down-time and production loss.
“The implications were serious. The doors we had were just so hard to open and close, so people wouldn’t close them. We had the threat of rodent infiltration, and temperature fluctuations in our cooled areas to contend with.”
The existing doors were slowing the speed and ease of operations.
“The doors were not people-friendly. They were easily damaged and they needed lots of maintenance.”
From previous experience at another food processing plant he recalled the efficiencies gained by installing rapid roller doors in busy doorways, and began looking at his options for installing this product in the doorways at M.C. Herd. Capital equipment procurement is a time consuming and painstaking process for any Engineering Manager.
Get it wrong, and the company could risk significant loss through poorly scoped or inferior quality equipment. Trevor found the procurement process for selecting the right kind of doors for his plant, no less daunting. REMAX became involved with MC Herd and the doorway upgrade project, midway through the evaluation process.
A number of site meetings at the Geelong plant took place, with REMAX conducting a detailed analysis of the doorways, traffic movements, and the company’s hygiene expectations. Proposals were submitted by REMAX, that Trevor in turn presented to company management for financial approval.
“We had certainly tried some different types, but in the end, we opted to go with REMAX. They weren’t the cheapest, but they had the best door in terms of reliability. They came out and took all the necessary measurements.”
The installation and implementation stage of the project went smoothly.
“I found the REMAX team to be very professional – they were thorough and everything was done to the standard we expected.”
The new REMAX doors provide M.C. Herd with exceptionally reliable high speed doors that significantly reduced the risks of non-compliance and contamination. A significant factor of this reliability is found in the door’s unique self-relocating curtain, which reset automatically in the event of accidental impact to the door.
“A forklift can drive right through them and the door won’t get damaged. We just need to press a button and the doors will reset and instantly go back to operating correctly,” Trevor said.
Not only is this a win for M.C. Herd’s maintenance team, with on-going repairs reduced significantly, but productivity and operational efficiency has improved for the plant.
“REMAX’s Rapid Roller Doors are nearly indestructible, so we save time and money on maintenance.”
Trevor is very happy with his decision and hasn’t looked back since.
“A forklift can drive right through them and the door won’t get damaged. We just need to press a button and the doors will reset and instantly go back to operating correctly.”