For several years, Gaillon, the leading French thermoforming company, has implemented a preventive policy for its drive and transmission equipment. Pascal Granger, Maintenance and New Works Manager, looks back at this collaboration.

DV GROUP: Mr Granger, what is your role at Gaillon?

Pascal Granger: I am the Maintenance and New Works Manager. My role is to maintain the facilities and production equipment in order to ensure their maximum uptime. As part of new work, I develop new lines and manage changes to lines or processes. To do this, I am surrounded on a daily basis by four technicians. As for specific projects, I entrust them to external providers.

You entrust our Group with the preventive maintenance of your electromechanics facilities. Why do you do this?

When I joined Gaillon four years ago, we suffered a great deal of breakage with our motors and reducers. These were handled by service providers, who gave us with very little information about the work carried out. They also neglected to produce any follow-up forms. We therefore had no database and no traceability. But my role is to ensure the maintainability of our production tool. I had to find a solution - and quickly. I therefore called on DV GROUP, where I found contacts who understood my production requirements. Your solution was to carry out preventive maintenance in order to avoid any curative maintenance.

Can you tell us about this partnership with DV GROUP? What does it involve?

Each year, generally in May, your teams carry out two vibration measurement campaigns, followed by cleaning services, visual inspection of motors and reducers, inspection of brushes, and continuity measures. Based on these reports, we determine the actions to be carried out, allowing me to draw up a precise schedule. We only make the changes that are deemed necessary. These days, we plan our shutdowns better. We also have improved monitoring and reduced maintenance costs.

What has this preventive policy brought you?

Since carrying out preventive actions and annual interviews, we have only suffered one stoppage, which was due to a motor breakage. This defect was also flagged, but I had hoped - in vain - that the intervention could have waited for a scheduled stoppage. The evidence is there that prevention is essential for our company. It allows me to schedule machine shutdowns and manage production times. Admittedly, we will never be able to have zero machine stoppages, due to wear. But the maintenance allows us to plan and move production to other lines. Our strategy these days is to anticipate rather than suffer.

You went to our new Electromechanical workshop in Cambrai. Why did you make this trip?

A few years ago, you made measurements for a production line that revealed two critical reducers. Shortly afterwards, we were affected by the economic crisis, which forced us to reduce the operation of this line. We have logically delayed the overhaul of these products. Recently, the line was put back into production, and I naturally decided to entrust you with these two reducers. The DV GROUP Sales Engineer with whom we work invited me to your site to show me your methods and repair procedures, and to discuss the repair of my products. I was also able to get to know your technicians, with whom I am in regular telephone contact.

What did you learn from this visit?

I am entrusting you with the important parts of our plant. So it has been comforting to observe that my partner has technical skills, a methodology, a means of repair and comprehensive tests. Your technicians have explained how my products are repaired, and detailed all the procedures involved. I have found myself dealing with experts whose objectives are the same as my own - that is, the maintenance of Gaillon production. This allows me to work with confidence. DV GROUP is our leading partner for maintenance of our motors and reducers thanks to the quality of its work, its monitoring and its transparency.