Maintain compressed air systems and equipment used in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Engineering Maintenance in Food Manufacture
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 31 Aug 2015


‚ÄčThis standard identifies the competences you need to carry out corrective maintenance activities on compressed air systems and equipment used in food and drink operations, in accordance with approved procedures. You will be required to maintain a range of compressed air equipment, which will include compressed air generation, distribution and control systems. This will involve dismantling, removing and replacing faulty or damaged components, including pumps, valves, couplings, receivers, driers, motors, regulators, compressor components, sensors, pipework and hoses, filters, electrical wiring, gaskets and seals. You will be expected to apply a range of dismantling and assembly methods and techniques,¬†including proof marking/labelling of components to aid the assembly, dismantling components requiring pressure techniques, torque loading, and setting, aligning and adjusting components. 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 expected 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 and other relevant food and drink regulations, directives and guidelines
  2. follow the relevant maintenance schedules to carry out the required work
  3. carry out the maintenance activities within the limits of your personal authority
  4. carry out the maintenance activities in the specified sequence and using the correct techniques in an agreed timescale
  5. report any instances where the maintenance activities cannot be fully met or where there are identified defects outside the planned schedule
  6. complete relevant maintenance records accurately and pass them on to the appropriate person
  7. dispose of waste materials in accordance with safe working practices and approved procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:


IMPEM152K **Understand how to maintain compressed air systems and equipment used in food and drink operations


  1. Carry out all of the following during the maintenance activity:
    1.1 plan and communicate the maintenance schedule and activities to cause minimal disruption to normal working
    1.2 obtain and use the correct issue of company and/or manufacturers' drawings and maintenance documentation
    1.3 adhere to procedures or systems in place for risk assessment, HACCP, TACCP, VACCP, COSHH, personal protective equipment and other relevant safety regulations and procedures to achieve a safe system of work
    1.4 ensure the safe isolation of equipment (including mechanical, electricity, air, steam or fluids)
    1.5 provide and maintain safe access and working arrangements for the maintenance area
    1.6 carry out the maintenance activities using appropriate techniques and procedures
    1.7 re-connect and return the system to service on completion of the maintenance activities
    1.8 record the results of the maintenance activity and report any defects found
    1.9 dispose of waste items and any spoilt products in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner, and leave the work area in a safe and clean condition

  2. Carry out maintenance activities on all of the following types of equipment:
    2.1 compressed air generation
    2.2 compressed air distribution
    2.3 compressed air control

  3. Carry out all of the following maintenance techniques, as appropriate to the equipment:
    3.1 dismantling units to component level
    3.2 dismantling equipment to unit/sub-assembly level
    3.3 marking/labelling of components
    3.4 checking components for serviceability
    3.5 replacing damaged/defective components
    3.6 replacing all lifed' or consumable items (including seals, filters, gaskets)
    3.7 setting, aligning and adjusting replaced components
    3.8 tightening fasteners to the required torque
    3.9 cleaning of maintained equipment
    3.10 making
    off-line' checks before starting up
    3.11 required food safety checks
    3.12 testing the system for leaks
    3.13 functionally testing the completed system

  4. Maintain and/or replace a range of compressed air equipment and components, to include twelve of the following:
    4.1 pumps
    4.2 reservoirs
    4.3 compressors
    4.4 flexible pipe/hoses
    4.5 switches
    4.6 receivers
    4.7 couplings
    4.8 silencers
    4.9 gauges/indicators
    4.10 electrical wiring
    4.11 driers
    4.12 rigid pipe
    4.13 manifolds
    4.14 gaskets and sealants
    4.15 safety devices
    4.16 motors
    4.17 vanes
    4.18 sensors
    4.19 control equipment
    4.20 pistons
    4.21 filters
    4.22 lubricators
    4.23 electrical connectors
    4.24 valves
    4.25 regulators
    4.26 separation units
    4.27 monitoring equipment
    4.28 other specific components

  5. Maintain compressed air systems equipment which complies with two of the following:
    5.1 organisational guidelines and codes of practice
    5.2 equipment manufacturer's instructions
    5.3 required food safety checks
    5.4 BS, ISO and/or BSEN standards

  6. Complete the relevant maintenance records from one of the following, and pass it to the appropriate people:
    6.1 job cards
    6.2 permits to work/formal risk assessment and/or sign-on/off procedures
    6.3 maintenance log or report
    6.4 work orders
    6.5 company-specific documentation

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Aug 2020





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Production Operatives, Maintenance Engineer

SOC Code


Food and Drink; Engineering; manufacturing; maintenance; compressed air; generators; distributors; control; compressors; pumps; ducting