We know it takes a significant amount of water to clean a food processing plant properly. But exactly how much water is being used during sanitation? What are the overall costs associated with water usage? How can we help reduce the amount of water used each night?
PSSI recognizes our role in water usage and we’ve taken measures to reduce water consumption by tracking our water usage every shift. Water meter metrics are recorded each night pre-sanitation and post-sanitation as part of our comprehensive Real-time Performance Metrics (RPM) program. Water metrics, along with other sanitation data, are inputted into our RPM tracking system which helps us identify trends and guide our water conservation strategies.
One of those strategies was introduced after analyzing our water usage data. By using auto shut-off nozzles on our hoses, we can significantly reduce the amount of water wasted during sanitation as the new nozzles only flow when the sanitor is actively cleaning. We worked with a market leader in water boss nozzles to create a design that not only reduced the amount of water used, but also featured ergonomic fit for our team members.
“Automating the off position on a sanitors hose ensures the highest percentage of ‘off trigger time’ during the cleaning process,” says Ronnie Raper, Senior Director of Continuous Improvement. “This results in water savings without drastically changing the process and enhances safety as it requires a hose to be firmly gripped to activate flow.”
Using RPM, we can validate the positive impact these new nozzles have on water usage. Over the last year, we’ve seen between 13-15% hose water usage savings* among plants involved in the new nozzle testing project.
We also use data collected to build KPIs at each location to further implement new tactics for water reduction and additional cost savings. One of these KPIs includes labor efficiencies. By identifying efficiencies in labor, such as sanitors always cleaning from the “top-down” in a direction that doesn’t lead to costly rework, we have seen an additional 2-3% water usage savings year over year.
PSSI’s goal is to implement these nozzles in every facility by the end of 2021 to continue to reduce water waste and the added costs associated with water usage.
*Results may vary per location based on internal water usage.
RPM Data in Action
During a recent business review, our customer was able to visibly see trends and spikes in the data that related directly to issues they were facing in the plant. For example, the data showed a spike in water usage right around the time the customer received a higher than average water bill from the city.
PSSI’s Site Manager had reported a two-inch water line that was leaking very badly to the plant’s maintenance department, but it wasn’t fixed right away. Without the data PSSI collected around water usage and waste, our customer would not have known the impact this leak was having on their overall costs.
After the leak was addressed and fixed, it dramatically reduced the amount of water waste each night according to PSSI’s water usage data reports in RPM.