Why Food and Beverage Manufacturers Must Streamline Their Production Process
The food and beverage industry is extremely competitive. Despite growing at an unprecedented rate, product pricing, raw material costs and traditionally low profit margins continue to cause headaches for food and beverage manufacturers.
From “plant-based”, “low-sugar” and “high protein” to “sustainability”, “free-from” and “CBD-infused foods”, the food and beverage industry must also react quickly to ever-changing consumer demands.
With new players entering the market each day, to remain competitive food and beverage manufacturers need to ensure their production processes are as streamlined as possible. Not only will streamlining production reduce costs, but it will also boost profits.
In this article, we’ll look at how to optimise the food and beverage production process, so manufacturers can produce their products in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. One of these ways is by using liquid product recovery (pigging) technology.
Staying Ahead of Market Trends
The first way to optimise the food and beverage production process is to keep up to date with the latest market demand and information. With consumer tastes, needs and desires continually changing with every season, food and beverage trends are constantly evolving.
Therefore, it’s important that manufacturers are diligent, observant and react quickly to changing trends. One of many trends currently impacting the food and beverage industry is CBD infused food and beverages. Take a look at our article from last week where we went in depth on the CBD infused trend shaking up the food and beverage industry.
Although it may be exhausting for companies and brands to keep up with the constantly changing trends, doing so is the only way to remain competitive in the food and beverage industry.
Flexible Production Equipment that Can Handle Demand
With consumers demanding food and beverage products that meet changing dietary and lifestyle requirements, such as gluten-free, plant-based, and organic, manufacturers continue to expand their product portfolio. This has challenged manufacturing plants to produce a wide range of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs)
With the number of SKUs continuing to increase, it’s critical that production facilities have enough equipment and capacity in their production plants. Processing equipment built with the flexibility to change from one production run to another in response to shifting trends, is particularly valuable to manufacturers.
By employing flexible production equipment, food and beverage manufacturers can reduce downtime, ensure maximum uptime, and increase capacity. In addition, using the same line for multiple products is a more efficient use of equipment and reduces the cost of installing more dedicated lines.
Make Food and Beverage Preventative Maintenance a Priority
Another effective way to optimise the food and beverage production process is to ensure plant maintenance is carried out regularly. Although many food and beverage manufacturing plants run their production 24/7 to remain competitive, regular maintenance is critical to ensure equipment runs at optimum performance.
In addition, regular maintenance enables companies to identify potential problems in critical production equipment before they turn into anything major. This enables food and beverage plants to repair or replace items on a schedule rather than facing an unplanned and costly line shutdown. When unplanned downtime occurs, no product is being produced that contributes to profit, yet the cost of overhead operations continues to increase.
Not only does unplanned downtime result in lost productivity, but it can also have a negative impact on the quality of finished food and beverage products. At the same time, unplanned downtime has negative implications for production capacity and manufacturing lead-time. It can also create production bottlenecks, and ultimately hinder profitability.
However, with a regular maintenance schedule in place, this will help prevent expensive downtime and keep the associated stress of loss of revenue to a minimum.
Automate Food and Beverage Production Process
Food and beverage manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase profits, reduce costs and meet consumers’ changing needs. However, automating certain processes in production plants can streamline the food and beverage manufacturing process.
Instead of relying on human intervention, online sensors, robotics, computer vision systems and other automated processing systems are used to automatically connect key manufacturing components. This includes everything from processing, to packaging, to distribution and so on.
Automating the food and beverage production process delivers increased efficiency, improved traceability, and enhanced production flexibility. Automation also helps food and beverage manufacturers fill in the gaps caused by an increasing labour shortage as well as achieve quality consistency, production speed and improved productivity.
In addition, through automated solutions, food and beverage manufacturers can adapt easier to changing production needs and create mass customisation or personalisation for their customers.
Get a Pigging System
An effective way to optimise the food and beverage process is to get a liquid product recovery system, commonly known as a pigging system. Pigging uses a specialist projectile (the ‘pig’). The pig recovers product from the pipeline or tubing, rather than letting it go to waste.
Process pigging systems offer multiple benefits for food and beverage manufacturers. Firstly, instead of throwing away valuable product, pigging reclaims it. Many food and beverage plants have a lot of product transfer pipelines which are left full of residual product at the end of transfer batches. In this way, there’s a lot of product for the hygienic (sanitary) pig to reclaim, which ultimately increases yields, reduces waste, saves money and improves the bottom line. Here’s an article which looks at the ways pigging systems save money.
How Pigging Improves the Changeover Process
Another major benefit of pigging is that it makes the changeover process much faster and more efficient. With manufacturers using the same line for multiple products, cleaning and sanitation is essential before the next product is processed to reduce the risks of cross-contamination.
Clean-in-place (CIP) is used in food, beverage, and other hygienic applications to prepare the equipment for the next production run. However, the CIP process can be time-consuming and waste large amounts of energy, water, and cleaning chemicals. In addition, it is estimated that food and beverage plants can spend 20% of each day on cleaning processing equipment, which equates to significant downtime for a plant.
However, using pigging before CIP delivers major gains in process efficiency and productivity. Because HPS liquid product recovery solutions recover practically all residual product in pipelines, there is less product in the pipeline after pigging. So, there’s much less cleaning and rinsing required, and changeovers are much faster.
Pigging systems can also optimise and improve the efficiency of the food and beverage production process by increasing the capacity of operations, enhancing production quality, lowering contamination risks, improving lot control, and allowing for greater flexibility in changeovers.
Contact the Pigging System Experts
Since 1995 HPS has been helping food and beverage companies transform their processes through pigging and liquid product recovery solutions.
Our customers include Coca-Cola, Campari, Kraft Heinz, Haribo, Nestle, Rowse Honey plus many more. Learn more about pigging systems for the food industry and pigging solutions for the beverage industry.
Alternatively, for more information about improving your food and beverage processing using pigging solutions, then please contact HPS.