In this era of rapidly changing health and safety regulations, and with greater degrees of responsibility and liability falling squarely on individual Food Manufacturers and Processors, there is ever increasing pressure to properly maintain, and in most cases to re-evaluate, the efficiency and performance of Food Production/Processing Equipment. One can consider several key factors/elements that will impact the magnitude of improvements and changes required to Food Production/Processing Equipment:
- Food Market Segment(s) involved whether its Dairy, Fruits & Vegetables, Meat & Poultry et al.
- Food production processes, including preparation, sorting, cutting, mixing, transformation (Baking, Blanching, Drying, Freezing), weighing, packaging, storing.
- Sizing of equipment in relation to process and physical limitations of the environment
- Standardized versus customized construction requirements
- Environmental stresses such as extremes of temperature, moisture, chemicals, repetition, load
- Food grade materials used in the fabrication of equipment
- Degree of focus on Hygienic Design
While all these factors can be evaluated in technical detail, a practical approach with examples may be easier to envision. Consider two (2) examples that upon a simple walk through of a production facility illustrate clear, visible, and measurable examples of inefficiencies with existing equipment:
- Product Losses: Processed product(s) visible on the plant floor, i.e. diced Carrots, Lettuce pieces, sliced Tomatoes, collecting around or under discharge chutes of Dicers, Slicers, Grinders, Conveyors, Mixers, and other points of transition from one process stage to the next.
- Poor Design or Maintenance: visible rust, poor fitting joints, gaps, cracks, excessive use of nuts & bolts, lack of proper stand-offs and re-engineered fabrication/ poor repairs on a variety of critical equipment where direct contact with food products poses a clear health & safety hazard.
We have used these examples as a helpful starting point when considering ways and means of taking deliberate steps and actions to make improvements in support of a culture of responsible food safety.
When it comes to reducing or, better yet, eliminating product losses throughout a production line process, start with a critical review of product transition points. Sometimes, it’s as simple as taking a little more time to carefully adjust the fit (position, height, seal, etc.) between different equipment components. Perhaps it’s a small modification to a machine chute or hopper to ensure optimal product flow and containment, say, from a cutting machine onto a transfer conveyor.
When we witness examples of excessive wear, damage, or clear neglect of production/processing equipment, we suspect a much larger problem or challenge to be addressed.
Should these examples ring any alarm bells, we recommend that you seek out the guidance and expertise of a Food Processing Equipment Technologies provider. Such companies focus on solving problems and delivering value-added, measurable solutions to address objectives such as the ones listed below.
- Optimizing available processing space
- Streamlining required product flow
- Reducing manual efforts involved in the preparation and cutting of finished products
- Improving cut quality and output yields
- A keen focus on Hygienic design of equipment, food safety, operator safety
- Offering processing equipment that is simple to use, quick and easy to set-up, clean and maintain
You are most welcome to contact Deville Technologies, a leader in this technology space, with a keen focus on offering Ultra Hygienic Industrial Food Cutting Solutions, expertise, service and support.