When you think about foreign object debris (FOD) removal, you might only think about airfields, runways, race tracks, and roadside construction job sites and other such areas. However, the removal of FOD in the manufacturing industry is equally important to deliver quality finished goods and products.

Whether you build multimillion dollar aerospace equipment, airplanes, military vehicles, automobiles, smaller parts and components, or consumer goods, your facility should have some sort of foreign object debris removal plan in place. We highly recommend you review the following tips and suggestions to see if your plan is sufficient or needs some improvements.

  1. Inspect work areas where FOD is a concern.

Your objective should be to determine what sort of “housekeeping” functions should be used to remove FOD. FOD can be a by-product of manufacturing processes, as well as from human sources. For instance, workers could drop tools, pens, paper clips, screws, nuts, bolts, or other such materials while working.

  1. Remove any objects or equipment that is not necessary from the production floor.

It is not uncommon to have certain equipment or objects on the manufacturing floor you do not use frequently or which is just sitting taking up space. If you no longer use a piece of equipment, get rid of it. If there are stacks of materials that are in the way, remove them and place them in a different location. Ideally, you want your production floor to only contain what is needed for the current manufacturing processes, as this helps limit and reduce the introduction of FOD.

  1. Simplify FOD removal

Review current procedures to determine if there are redundancies or ways to simplify the removal of FOD. For example, the use of FOD mats can speed up sweeping processes if you have sufficient space to use these mats. They can quickly be used to sweep larger open areas and collect a wide array of debris.

Industrial engineer in factory

It can also be beneficial to implement procedures so employees maintain clean work areas throughout their shifts. For instance, you may do a sweep of the areas before the start of each new shift. During shifts, your workers should do visual inspections periodically every few hours to look for FOD on the ground and pick it up.

  1. Do an inventory of tools and materials at the end of each shift.

Have your employees do a quick inventory to ensure all tools they used are accounted for and not lost or misplaced. They should also confirm any materials they took out of inventory match what they used during their shift and return any leftover materials to your inventory storage area.

Taking the time to review current FOD removal procedures and making adjustments periodically, as needed, helps ensure you maintain safe working conditions, as well as deliver quality products. To learn more about foreign object debris mats for faster sweeping and cleanup, please feel free to contact Aerosweep at +61 (0)3 9894-2100 today!