In the food manufacturing industry, multinational corporations and up-and-comers alike strive to achieve one thing to help them on their way to success: efficiency. It goes without saying that profits go hand in hand with efficiency in this industry. After all, time is money. Manufacturers often set goals such as cutting costs, reducing delivery times, and maintaining quality to improve their bottom line.
Whether you’re a large-scale manufacturer or a small family-run business, it’s important to achieve efficiency in order to succeed.
Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when improving the process efficiency of your food manufacturing plant:
1 – Risk-proof your plant by preparing it for challenges and risks
A common assumption that many people have about the food manufacturing industry is that one little error can wipe out an entire stock of inventory. Unfortunately, the assumption is very much true. From broken refrigerators to faulty chillers, there are so many little details that can affect the condition of manufactured goods. The sheer number of things that could possibly go wrong means that manufacturers need to learn to manage risk. Although it’s crucial to be proactive by carrying out regular maintenance for breakdown prevention, the best way to cope with the risk factor is to accept that things will go wrong.
Although accepting the risk is important, that doesn’t mean you can slack when it comes to risk management. There are several things that you can do to minimize the risk of breakdowns. Assess the equipment in your plant and think about what you can do to keep them operating at top efficiencies, such as carrying out periodic maintenance services for your refrigerators and tracking the status of your temperature control devices. Energy loss is another risk factor that is associated with food manufacturing, so make sure to install generators and maintain them regularly. By doing so, you are ensuring that you have a backup power supply to use when necessary.
Although risk-proofing your equipment is crucial, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, certain measures such as business loss insurance can help tremendously to protect your food manufacturing plant from unexpected circumstances.
2 – Conserve as much water as possible
One problem that many food manufacturers overlook is water usage. The truth, however, is that food manufacturing plants use more water than any other type of plant. Aside from saving the Earth, implementing policies to conserve water during the manufacturing process can help you cut back on expenses.
To illustrate the importance of water conservation, here’s an example of how much it can actually save: A case study conducted on one of North Carolina’s chicken nugget manufacturers showed that a 30 per cent reduction in water use led to savings in excess of $100,000 per year!
Inspired to make a change? Water use reduction can be executed in a few different ways, such as:
- Tweaking water use settings in different machines that use water (as long as the change doesn’t affect product quality)
- Making changes in your plant’s sanitation practices (especially because cleaning uses a huge amount of water)
- Add flow restrictors and reuse systems into your operations for a reduction in water use and better water recycling.
3 – Reduce your plant’s contamination risk
One of the greatest risks that you could possibly face as a food manufacturing plant is contamination. When your product’s sanitation levels aren’t up to par, your company could suffer huge losses in profit, image, and accreditation due to recalls. Recalls are a problem that can significantly pull a company back (or even close it down) due to the fact that they take a toll on your time and reduce the overall rate of productivity. Although most people assume that the best way to deal with a recall is to act on it, the best way to reduce the risk of contamination is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Make sure that your plant strictly uses equipment that was designed and built for food and beverage manufacturing. Carry out regular inspections to ensure that there are no possible sources of contamination. Another effective way to reduce contamination risk is to implement a strict hairnet and facemask policy for employees. Doing so will minimize the chances of hair and germs contaminating the product.
The food manufacturing industry can be incredibly lucrative, but it can also be very risky. Fortunately, like any other industry, there are steps that you can take to minimise risk and increase efficiency, thereby improving your bottom line. Try risk-proofing, conserving water, and minimising contamination, and you will see a more efficient plant in no time!