Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dining services replaces broken conveyor part

By Valery Jorgensen, Guest Writer

As lines formed to drop off dishes, frustration grew in the Commons. After 11 days, the accumulator — a mechanical system that conveys dishes to the kitchen — has been fixed.

The accumulator broke on Oct. 19. Director of dining and culinary services Erin McGinnis oversaw the repair.

When the part broke, a technician from 3 Wire — a company that specializes in food and beverage service parts — came to campus. He found a broken chain driver, a part that allows the accumulator to continuously rotate. A lack of clear communication resulted in delivery delays and  a disgruntled dining services.

After students dined, they waited in line to scrape food plates, dump liquids and stack dishes.

McGinnis said students were inconvenienced and that she shares their irritation. “We are really, really frustrated with them [3 Wire] as a service provider,” McGinnis said.

The delayed repair also disrupted employees who had to leave the dishwashing station to assist students in emptying dishes.

By Oct. 26, the part had been ordered but not delivered. 3 Wire told dining services it would be in by Monday. The part arrived and was fixed on Tuesday, allowing the dining hall to return to normal.

McGinnis said the accumulator was installed in 2004 and has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. To avoid this happening again, McGinnis said dining services will look into keeping  spare parts on hand for future repairs.   

Dining services said it hopes to avoid further mishaps.