Efficiency is at the heart of all challenges food manufacturers face. They’re consistently presented with the challenge of lowering costs while increasing revenue. To attain maximum efficiency, they’ll need to invest in better equipment, research and development technology, and people.
If you’re running a food manufacturing facility, here are four ways to make it more efficient.
Invest in energy-efficient equipment
Refrigeration and chilling can account for between 30 and 80 percent of your plant’s total energy use. To improve efficiency in this area, switch to a more suitable refrigerant system with the highest efficiency rating. Also, move any heat-generating equipment away from refrigerators as heat will make the chillers work harder.
On the other hand, consider replacing traditional fluorescent lights with LED. LED lights can consume up to 50 percent less electricity than fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen options, resulting in substantial energy savings. Likewise, high-quality LED lights have a lifespan of 30,000 to 50,000 hours. A standard incandescent bulb lasts only 1,000 hours, while a typical fluorescent light lasts only 10,000 hours.
Invest in your employees
Employee training and development is vital to employee productivity and satisfaction. It was found that companies that often send their employees on training courses have a 37 percent higher productivity rate. If an employee truly understands their role, it will build their confidence, which will improve overall performance and productivity.
Also, investing in training shows employees that they’re valued. If they feel valued, they’re less likely to change employers. Training also has an impact on retention, with 40 percent of employees tending to leave their companies within their first year if they receive poor training.
Integrate new technology
Many manufacturers are leveraging smart factory technologies to simplify complex processes. In the UK, 91 percent of manufacturers think that smart factory technologies enable their staff to work better.
Here are some of the latest trends in manufacturing that you can explore:
- Cloud services – They enable the sharing of data and information from any location quickly and efficiently.
- 3D printing – It enables the creation of almost any component, using plastic, metal, and other materials, streamlining the production process.
- Industrial robotics – It reduces costs by automating difficult or monotonous tasks.
Horizontal and vertical system integration – It enables multiple departments to become more cohesive, turning them into automated value chains.
Investing in smart factory technologies, like an automatic capping machine or liquid filling equipment, can improve workplace efficiency.
Embrace predictive maintenance
According to Deloitte, unplanned downtimes can cut a plant’s productive capability by 5 to 20 percent, costing manufacturers an estimated $50 billion each year.
As such, manufacturers must implement predictive maintenance strategies to protect their equipment from failures and inevitable downtimes. Predictive maintenance is a method that uses monitoring tools to track the performance of equipment to detect possible defects and alert you before they fail.
Predictive maintenance is highly cost-effective, saving between 8 and 12 percent on preventive maintenance and up to 40 percent on reactive maintenance, the US Department of Energy said.
Though food manufacturing can be complicated, you don’t need sophisticated algorithms to improve efficiency. Follow these steps so that you can have a food manufacturing plant that’s more productive and efficient.