While it is Nice to Be Paid for Solving Problems,
There is Usually a Reason Nobody Has Offered to do it for Free.
Consulting contracts have come through friends or connections because I am known for solving problems
by filtering through the confusion & noise to get at what is really happening.
Malfunctioning Machinery at a New Ocean Spray Cranberry Processing Facility
Weeks Before Harvest Comes in.
The case of the malfunctioning conveyer belts, built by Haza Mechanical of Wisconsin and installed in a new Ocean Spray Cranberry plant in British Columbia. The unpleasant part was absorbing the anger and frustration of the project manager who was looking to confirm blame on the manufacturer. The site superintendent however, was more interested in solving the problem so that they could run the plant at full capacity when the cranberries started coming in from the fields within a couple weeks.
Properly Spaced Sprockets
Problem: Belts Rubbing
Sprockets Pushed to one side during incorrect re-assembly by installers without informing the manufacturer or asking for direction on how to do so properly. The reasoning behind this lack of communication is unknown, but probably hinged on unrealistic deadlines and a culture of avoiding blame rather than finding solutions.
As with most situations there were enough mistakes in the process for everyone to eat a bit of humble pie and then solve the problems. In this case it primarily hinged on the equipment shifting during shipping and being improperly re-assembled, as well as miscommunication about specifications on both sides.
Getting to the causes and solutions took asking a ridiculous number of questions all around. In the end it cost the manufacturer a bit of his margin, but maintained a good relationship with the customer. Ocean Spray got their plant running in time with the onsite fixes paid for by the manufacturer as appropriate.
In a separate part of the the plant these belts were riding on the edges of the drain pan where they should have been pasting between the two sides.
The plant wanted to ensure sufficient headroom under the belt systems to ease cleaning, so installed them without providing enough slope to drain the washing water which is constantly flowing over the fruit during operation. So the water built up and the weight bent the pans inward rubbing on the belts.