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Food Processing: New Equipment Investment Outlook

Food Pkg And Proc 1

According to the new PMMI Business Intelligence report “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing,” 54% of food processing operations predict capital spending on processing equipment in the next 12-24 months. Areas of planned spending for processing equipment include:



          Oven fryers

          Check weighers

          Metal detection

          ESL (extending shelf life)

          Bowl lines




          Glaze fillers

          Auger fillers

          Volumetric fillers




          Whey processing

          Waste processing

          Thermal processing

Food Pkg And Proc 1 1

“We are adding more aseptic equipment to extend shelf life,” said one Production Process and Safety Engineer at a Fruit Processing manufacturer.

All of the food companies interviewed are compliant with FSMA regulations but want suppliers to help them stay compliant. The equipment needs suppliers were asked to consider include: Reliability for consistent quality; visual inspection to identify mis-labeling or foreign objects; traceability, which should be automatic and well documented; worker safety, which is paramount; and, data collection capabilities to validate manufacturing practices.

Improvements to sanitation equipment, in particular, should focus on clean lines with easily removable assemblies. “We need better practices in place for the people that clean equipment; we are looking to the machine supplier for more specific cleaning instructions and procedures,” said one Engineering Manager for shelf stable products.

Improvements food companies are looking for on processing equipment to prevent food contamination include:

          No harbor points, no hollow tubing

          Open frame designs

          Easy to disassemble and reassemble to reduce cleaning times

          Stainless, easy to clean surfaces

          Complies to IP69, IP66, and IP65 standards

          Washdown enclosed components

          Clean in place (CIP)

Other areas of need include tool-less reassembly, integrated CIP and dry cleaning improvements. Some comments from respondents:

“Equipment construction needs to be designed for easy cleaning to prevent contamination due to allergens and should include tool-less disassembly and reassembly of the machine,” said one Director of Engineering at a bakery.

“More CIP systems need to be fully integrated to enable easier food safety management,” said one Engineer Sr. Manager for a breakfast food company.

“The processes of cleaning for dry materials - wiping, blowing, and vacuuming - really need improvement,” said one Packaging Engineering Manager of ingredients and flavors.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing”

Download the FREE Executive Summary below, or PMMI Members can download the entire report here.

Make plans to visit PACK EXPO East in Philadelphia, March 3-5, to see on-trend food processing and packaging machinery and materials.


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