Beverage Processing: Relying On Your Equipment
The beverage processing industry is a highly competitive one. It requires skilled technicians, a professional staff and specialized equipment. To be successful, a company has to be able to rely on all parties to deliver. Yet, while it may be difficult to always be certain of employees and their capabilities, on any given day, it is possible to rely on the equipment – if you make the right choice and provide solid maintenance.
Choosing the Equipment
The processing equipment depends upon understanding the needs of your customers and the requirements of your product. In essence, you must look at both those as well as the expectations of your stockholders before you consider purchasing new equipment or making any changes. No matter what the situation and the parties involved, the following factors require serious consideration:
- Quality Product
- Energy Efficiency
Yet, while these basic characteristics need to factor into your decision and will provide a satisfactory result, they are worthless unless you have put into place the necessary steps for proper maintenance.
Maintenance and Beverage Processing Equipment
In this industry, the equipment faces various punishments on a daily basis. This includes:
- Long production runs
- Precise requirements
- Sanitary operating conditions including constant cleanings
Such requirements can wear down components. They can produce signs of fatigue and stress such as cracks, corrosion and other types of deterioration. In order to reduce the instances of equipment failure resulting in production lost and increasing costs, it is imperative a company put into place a maintenance regime. This will make it easier to identify in time and effectively address such issues as repairs and replacements of the equipment.
Several approaches are in use in the industry to ensure equipment is at its optimum. Visual inspections are the rule at many plants. This allows the inspection of equipment at regular intervals to ensure they are functioning properly. Since this may not be enough, many plants rely on time-based replacement of components and even equipment. Companies calculate the longevity and durability of specific machinery and their parts. They then employ a system of replacement or repair based on the vulnerability, susceptibility and age factors of specific equipment.
A more recent option is external monitoring using condition-monitoring devices or hiring an external source to monitor the equipment at a distance. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) also come into play at many processing plants helping to estimate the performance life of the equipment’s’ components.
Whatever the chosen method, companies need to ensure the integrity of their equipment. It is essential they maintain them in order to prevent interruption in the processing of their products. Only be ensuring the beverage processing systems are performing at their optimum can companies continue to satisfy everyone on their team, including their customers.