Fast food is always in demand, which is why restaurants are required to be open for long hours. With multiple shifts passing through the restaurant each day and hundreds of meals being cooked, extractor fans play a key role in kitchen hygiene and general environmental control. When it comes to maintaining these fans within a demanding cooking schedule, time is of the essence, which is why Rotamec, an electrical and mechanical engineering service provider, reacted quickly when a noisy extractor fan risked production for a busy Bristol restaurant.
Channelling the odours and fumes produced by cooking out of the working environment is exceptionally important for productivity. If a fan were to fail, cooking would have to be stopped. In an industry where low profits are generated per unit, supplying food in quantity is paramount to ensure profitability for restaurants. With heated competition between leading brands in the sector, downtime not only risks profitability, but reputation too.
A potential extractor fan failure was what faced Darryl Beecham, Business Development Executive at Rotamec, one evening: “I received a text from the Managing Director of an air conditioning and refrigeration business which was contracted to the restaurant. They had been called to inspect a noisy extractor fan, and from the pictures and videos I received, it was clear the fan bearing had reached the end of its life. Ultimately, they required a replacement bearing as well as drive pulleys and belts, for 5am delivery the next morning so that the fan could be ready for the breakfast cook.”
Rotamec is a leading supplier of bearings and transmission components to industry, priding itself on its ability to provide a fast supply response to promote uptime for its customers. Dedicated site service teams are also on call to carry out assessments and maintenance work. This philosophy was well suited to the time pressures of the fast food restaurant, as Darryl was able to react quickly to solve the problem.
“That same evening, I organised the delivery of replacement grip tight bearing housings, which are ideal for these types of fans due to their accommodation for axial load and movement. New pulleys and belts were also dispatched to replace the redundancy items kept on-site. In addition, we sent two engineers to arrive for 5am in the morning to complete the replacement before the kitchen opened.”
Arriving on site at the allotted time, Rotamec engineers commenced stripping down and removing the existing shaft and bearings. Next, the new grip tight bearing housings were fitted. Drive pulleys were then aligned, replacement drive belts were fitted then tensioned accordingly. Once complete, testing was carried out to ensure proper operation, with engineers leaving site by 8am in time to start cooking for morning customers.
Darryl concludes: “The contractor was especially pleased with our prompt response, commenting that we were able to combine this short lead time with a high-quality repair. Due to the success of this job, we have been asked to tender for 12 additional sites within the fast food chain network. In this case, our proof of expertise is opening up additional opportunities.”