While being a food manufacturer is an exciting and rewarding career, custom food manufacturing can be challenging. Since you are developing and packing products meant for consumption, it’s crucial that your plants adhere to government rules and requirements. They should also meet the regulations of agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Services.
However, as the food industry continues to become more saturated and competitive, companies must discover ways to improve efficiency from production to food manufacturing and packaging without compromising quality. Cutting corners in your food production line will only increase the chances of contamination, ultimately leading to accidents and serious legal issues.
Speeding up the manufacturing and industrial food packaging processes is often related to reducing product quality, but that does not always have to be the case. Here are some smart ways to boost your productivity and continue making quality products for your consumers.
Assess And Improve Your Current Workflow
Your existing processes and workflows are among the first things to examine when elevating your efficiency. In many instances, production delays come from outdated procedures than old machinery or unskilled workers.
It’s a good idea to take a closer look at your current system and how every step fits into your entire production line. One factor you’ll want to evaluate is your throughput, or the average time it takes for your facility to develop, pack and ship your products. This will help you identify bottlenecks, pinpoint processes not operating at maximum efficiency and eventually eliminate inefficiencies.
This is what a U.S.-based olive oil manufacturer did. Even when they were only producing 40 skids of material a day, manually packing their materials increased labor and created bottlenecks in their production. They knew they had to work on their food manufacturing and packaging to boost their production rate.
With Hughes Enterprises, they installed a new package line composed of a case erector, automatic case packing, automatic case sealing and palletizing. This equipment reduced manual labor and helped them produce up to 60 skids daily.
Invest in Employee Training
Switching out your worn-out machinery for more modern ones can certainly help improve your facility’s productivity. However, it pays to remember that the workers operating them must be upskilled, too. You need trained members to ensure these pieces of equipment will run smoothly to speed up production successfully.
Teaching them how to operate the tools and what to do when they develop mechanical issues gives them the confidence to complete their tasks without a problem. Ultimately, this will help them understand how their jobs fit in the entire manufacturing process and empower them to contribute to maximizing your machinery and resources.
Of course, investing in comprehensive training programs is also a great way to instill accurate and responsible handling methods in your personnel. Educating or reminding them about the health and safety regulations your facility must uphold helps improve your product quality, even with your increased efficiency
Reinforce Quality Control Systems
One straightforward way to increase your efficiency without sacrificing quality is to invest in it as well. Tightening your quality control systems will not only ensure your products are safe to consume but also make it easier for you to produce high-quality foods or beverages consistently. In the long run, this will help protect your company from contamination scandals and negative publicity.
There are many ways to tighten up your quality control. For instance, you can establish food inspection systems and policies to vet products thoroughly before shipping them out. Installing climate control systems can help you maintain the most optimal temperature for your ingredients or stored food products. Finally, giving your workers secure uniforms can prevent hair, bodily fluids and other human elements from spoiling your products.
Clean And Organize Your Work Environment
In the manufacturing and food packaging industries, dirty, unsanitary and disorganized facilities can easily lead to contamination. But aside from this, such work environments can also slow down your workers, hamper your operations and reduce your productivity. This gives you more reasons to ensure your plant or warehouse is free from dirt, clutter, germs and other harmful microorganisms.
As you improve your facility’s cleanliness and hygiene, make sure you also pay attention to its organization. It’s always a good idea to assess whether your current layout is optimal for carrying out your manufacturing or packaging tasks. Checking that your supplies or inventory are close to where they are needed also helps reduce travel time, therefore improving your workers’ productivity.
Enlist Preventive Maintenance
Equipment breakdown or failure not only negatively impacts the quality of your goods but also significantly slows down your production rate. So before any of your machinery malfunctions and puts a dent in your efficiency, it’s be prepared for the worst.
Implementing a preventive maintenance strategy is one straightforward way to minimize the impact of an equipment failure on your productivity. This may include stocking up on replacement parts, training workers on troubleshooting methods and having a contingency plan to keep operations running in case of a breakdown.
Start Automating Your Processes
If you have been having your workers complete custom food manufacturing or industrial food packaging processes for a long time, the idea of automating these tasks may seem overwhelming at first. However, this can be a worthwhile endeavor for you as it makes it easier for you to produce high-quality products at a consistent rate.
Integrating machine automation into the production line takes simple yet time-consuming tasks like sorting, preparing and packaging off your workers’ shoulders, allowing them to focus on non-automated tasks. There are also machines that can take care of complex tasks like butchery or assist you with scheduling and inventory monitoring.
Getting the right automated technology for your needs reduces your manual labor, allows employees to be more effective elsewhere and, most importantly, produces more products in a shorter time.
This was what Bakeline, a national producer of baked goods, was able to achieve with a Combi Ergopack Hand Station. The Hughes Enterprises team installed this combination case erector, hand-packing station and automatic sealer to improve Bakeline’s labor-intensive packaging and shipping process. With the equipment in place, the manufacturer was able to increase the number of boxes they shipped each day while reducing their labor costs.
Improve Your Efficiency With the Right Packaging and Shipping Solutions
As a food manufacturing and packaging business, you are under constant pressure to produce safe, healthy and great-tasting products as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are many ways to speed up your production line without sacrificing quality. Improving your current workflow, training your employees, tightening quality control and organizing your work environment can all positively impact your company’s throughput in different ways.
If you’re keen on boosting your efficiency through automation, the expert consultants at Hughes Enterprises are here to help. Since 1950, we have been offering a range of equipment and products tailored to various food packaging industries. But more importantly, we take pride in understanding our client’s pain points and addressing them with the most modern and personalized solutions.
Contact us today to learn how to develop your custom-engineered packaging equipment. We’ll be more than glad to leverage our skills and expertise to support your production rate.