Four tips for improving processing plant efficiency

Louise Davis

When it comes to your processing plant, even a small improvement in efficiency can reap big rewards.

And the magical part is that there’s always a way to improve efficiencies, no matter how high-tech and fine-tuned your processes. So if you’re struggling to get the most out of your processing systems, here are four tips from the processing equipment experts at APEC.

Increase Uptime - Reduce Downtime

Your processing plant is at its most efficient when it’s up and running and producing a robust output.

When is it at its least efficient? When the process is halted for maintenance and repairs.

Reducing downtime and increasing uptime is the best path to improve efficiency. One way to do this is with the help of high quality equipment such as APEC’s Mistcoater. The Mistcoater uses spinning disks, which apply liquids to dry solids in a continuous flow without the pesky nozzles that are notorious for clogging.

The Mistcoater is just one way to reduce the need for time-wasting and profit-sucking repairs and maintenance. Other approaches include:

* Implementing a strategic maintenance schedule

* Improving employee training

* Investing in back-up equipment.

2. Improve formula control

Formula control is crucial when it comes to food processing. Even in the pet food and animal feed industries, getting your formula just right and responding to changing tastes can help you set yourself apart from your competitors.

By improving your formula control, you’re reducing the time it takes for you to adjust and make changes. With APEC’s BatchBox, you’re put in the control seat. It’s easily integrated with most major brands of processing equipment and scale instruments, and it allows you to make instant changes to formulas. With an intuitive “point and click” interface, tweaking your formulas was never easier.

3. Improve traceability

Being able to trace ingredients, raw products, and everything that is in storage or getting shipped out of the warehouse is critical for food processing plants. For one thing, it helps you manage your inventory and avoid unnecessary waste. It also improves customer support, as you respond to concerns and complaints from your clients.

APEC helps you improve ingredient traceability with our barcode scanning and ingredient confirmation systems, standard in many of our processing equipment and available to add on to many others.

4. Integrate automation into processing systems

It’s a fact of life that machines are simply better at doing some things than humans. If this weren’t the case, we’d still be stuck in the stone age.

One effective way to improve your processing plant’s efficiency is to take it into the future with process automation. While you’ll never eliminate the need for highly-skilled employees (why would you want to?) the evolving food processing industry requires you to stay ahead of the curve with ingredient automation.

Terry Stemler is President of Automated Process Equipment Corporation (APEC).

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