The next on our list of New Year Resolutions for Food Processing Plants is a big one: Upgrading your plant.
No matter how great your processing plant, there is always some area that could use an upgrade – replacing older, less efficient equipment; investing in ergonomic and safety solutions to reduce the risk of employee injuries; expanding your processing line to increase output; installing an overhead platform to increase processing space; or overhauling your asset management system.
If you’ve been running your plant for a while, there’s bound to be something that could use an upgrade. This new year is a great time to invest in that upgrade.
Why Upgrade Now?
But why make an upgrade? Here are a few good reasons:
- Outdated equipment is costing you in time, efficiency, and output
- An investment in new, quality equipment now will increase your output and decrease your operating costs
- Increasing the safety of your employees will drastically reduce the high cost of injury
- Starting your expansion now will put you on better footing for the future
- It’s likely your competition is investing in more efficient ways of processing their product – falling behind will cost you in the marketplace
- The more efficient your plant, the less operating costs you will pay
The longer you wait to upgrade the various outdated areas in your plant, the more it’s costing you in productivity, efficiency, and eventually, market share. Technology and equipment design is advancing at a fast rate. New, innovative ways of processing and handling your product are coming out every year, making your operation smoother, faster, and much more efficient.
Where to Start
So where do you start? How do you know what you should invest in upgrading? Here are a few indicators that you need an upgrade :
- Equipment that is over 10 years old or seems to be running slower than usual
- Equipment that is constantly breaking down or needs an increasing amount of maintenance to keep running
- Areas in your plant that do not meet current OSHA regulations
- Product lines that aren’t keeping up with demand
- An asset management system that relies on pen and paper or a single person or computer
- A plant acquisition that doesn’t meet your quality or process standards
- Process lines that aren’t reaching efficiency and output standards
A quick evaluation of your plant and processing operations will likely reveal a number of areas in need of an upgrade, but, more often than not, you already know a good number of the upgrades that need to be made – you may even already be lobbying for those upgrades to be made. If not, take a walk through the plant, review your output records, talk to the employees who work on the line, and see where an upgrade needs to be made.
The Cost of Waiting
Once you know where you need an upgrade, don’t wait! The longer you run inefficient equipment, the longer your employees work in sub par safety conditions, the longer you utilize an outdated asset management system, the more it costs you in time, money, and product output. Don’t let your competition get ahead of you. Make an investment in the future of your plant and your product.