Maintain mechanical equipment within an engineered system used in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Food and Drink
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard identifies the competences you need to carry out corrective maintenance on mechanical equipment within an engineered system used in food and drink operations, in accordance with approved procedures. You will be able to maintain a range of mechanical equipment, such as gearboxes, pumps, motors, conveyor systems, processing plant and packaging equipment, which are working in an integrated system involving interactive technologies: electrical, fluid power or process controller. Food and drink operations is a term used in this standard to cover the following sub sectors of Meat, Drinks, Confectionery, Fresh Produce, Bakery, Seafood and Dairy.

You will be able to isolate and disconnect items and components of the interactive technologies in order to gain access to and remove the mechanical units and components that require replacing or repair. This will involve dismantling and reassembling a variety of different types of assemblies and sub-assemblies which, in some instances, will need to be dismantled to component level.

You will be able to work with minimal supervision, taking personal responsibility for your own actions, and for the quality and accuracy of the work that you carry out.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. work safely at all times, complying with health and safety, environmental and other relevant food and drink regulations, directives and guidelines
  2. plan and communicate the maintenance activities to cause minimal disruption to normal working
  3. obtain and use the correct issue of company and/or manufacturers' drawings and maintenance documentation
  4. select equipment and materials for mechanical maintenance activities
  5. check equipment has been safely isolated in accordance with organisational procedures (including mechanical, electricity, gas, steam, air, stored energy or fluids)
  6. provide and maintain safe access and working arrangements for the maintenance area
  7. carry out the maintenance activities using appropriate techniques and in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. follow the relevant maintenance schedules to carry out the required work
  9. reconnect and return the system to service on completion of the maintenance activities
  10. report any instances where the maintenance activities cannot be fully met or where there are identified defects outside the planned schedule
  11. complete maintenance records and documentation in accordance with organisational procedures
  12. dispose of waste materials in accordance with safe working practices and approved procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the health and safety and environmental requirements of the area in which the maintenance activity is to take place, and the responsibility these requirements place on you not to compromise food safety and quality
  2. the isolation and lock-off procedure or permit-to-work procedure that applies to the system, including the critical control points
  3. the specific health and safety food and drink precautions to be applied during the maintenance activity, and their effects on others
  4. the requirements of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) guidelines and standards in relationship to the maintenance activities
  5. the specific requirements of your customer/client specifications in relationship to the maintenance activities
  6. your responsibilities in relationship to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points (TACCP), Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points (VACCP) during the maintenance activities
  7. what constitutes a hazardous voltage and how to recognise victims of electric shock
  8. how to reduce the risks of a phase to earth shock (including insulated tools, rubber mating and isolating transformers)
  9. the importance of wearing protective clothing and other appropriate safety equipment (PPE) during the maintenance activities
  10. hazards associated with carrying out maintenance activities on an integrated system (such as handling fluids, stored pressure/force/temperature, electrical supplies, process controller interface, using damaged or badly maintained tools and equipment, not following laid- down maintenance procedures), and how to minimise these and reduce any risks
  11. how to obtain and interpret drawings, charts, specifications, manufacturers' manuals, history/maintenance reports and other documents needed for the maintenance activities
  12. the basic principles of how the system functions, its operation sequence, the working purpose of individual units/components, and how they interact
  13. the principles of the equipment's design features for safe operation in a food or drink environment such as minimising the chance of contaminates or foreign bodies in the final product
  14. the procedure for obtaining replacement parts, materials and other consumables necessary for the maintenance, including their safe/hygienic storage before use
  15. company policy on repair/replacement of components during the maintenance activities
  16. the sequence to be adopted for dismantling and reassembling the equipment, to both sub-assembly and individual component level
  17. methods of removing components that have interference fits (expansion, contraction or pressure)
  18. the techniques used to dismantle/assemble integrated equipment (including release of pressures/force, proof marking to aid assembly, plugging exposed pipe/component openings, dealing with soldered joints, screwed, clamped and crimped connections)
  19. methods of attaching identification marks/labels to removed components or cables, to assist with re-assembly
  20. methods of checking that components are fit for purpose, and the need to replace `lifed' or consumable items (including lubricants, seals, gaskets and bearings)
  21. how to make adjustments to components/assemblies, to ensure they function correctly
  22. how to check that tools and equipment are free from damage or defects, are in a safe and usable condition, and are configured correctly for the intended purpose
  23. the processes in place to segregate the tools and equipment used into high or low risk areas
  24. the checks required to ensure that all tools, materials and components are all accountable before operating the equipment
  25. the importance of making `off-load' checks before proving the equipment with the electrical supply on
  26. the cleaning requirements/policies in place before returning the equipment into full operational production
  27. the generation of maintenance documentation and/or reports on completion of the maintenance activity
  28. the equipment operating and control procedures to be applied during the maintenance activity
  29. how to use lifting and handling equipment safely and correctly in the maintenance activity
  30. the problems that can occur during the maintenance activity, and how they can be overcome
  31. the organisational procedure to be adopted for the safe disposal of waste of all types of materials including any spoilt food or drink products
  32. the extent of your authority and to whom you should report if you have a problem that you cannot resolve


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food and drink; Engineering; manufacturing; maintenance; engineered system; integrated system; mechanical