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As the sun rises on a new year, food manufactures are seeing opportunities on the horizon. These opportunities, driven by fast-changing consumer behaviors and sentiments, foreshadow an exciting 2021, but may also force operational adjustments to accommodate higher demand and new product innovations. Many of these adjustments will entail decisions to add or modify processing equipment. Here are some of the key developments food manufacturers have on their plates, and the equipment ramifications they will be paying attention to:
The plant-based food market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027, and will reach $74.2 billion by 2027. As food manufacturers look to ramp up production of plant-based products, they must determine how to configure their processing equipment to effectively scale operations.
Processing operations involve a series of carefully engineered steps to produce, at scale, a finished product to its precise specifications. Clearly, operators that maximize the efficiency of their process and the consistency of their product gain a distinct financial advantage and more capacity to grow their business. A key contributor to accomplishing this is the operation’s processing equipment and the degree to which it is designed for the specific product and workflow.
As consumers focus on healthy lifestyles and opt for natural products, demand for jam, jelly, and preserve products is growing. This growth, and the arrival of products featuring less sugar and the use of a wider range of spices, herbs and rare or exotic fruits, is leading some manufacturers to consider modifying, upgrading or adding processing equipment to keep pace. Ultimately, their equipment choices can have a significant effect on their overall operational performance. Learn more in our latest blog article:
Knowledgeable wine drinkers know that wine glasses are designed for specific types of wines, with characteristics like shape, size, even wall thickness purposefully engineered to bring out the best in a given varietal. The difference in taste from the right vs. wrong glass style can be remarkable. The same goes for processing vessels used in food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical operations, where effectively matching product traits and operational needs to equipment design can significantly impact performance. Learn more about vessel design options in our latest blog article.
More than ever, Americans love their pets…and that is having a major impact on food processing equipment decisions. Our latest blog article takes a look at recent pet food processing trends and highlights important equipment considerations to optimize production efficiency and performance.
As anyone who has melted cheese on a stovetop knows, it is nearly impossible to keep it from sticking to the pot. And cleaning the inside surface afterward can be difficult. This was the challenge faced recently by one of our contract process and packaging customers. See how we solved this challenge in our latest blog article:
Cowen & Co predicts the American CBD market could reach $16 billion by 2025. And that’s just for CBD. Should marijuana/THC become legal for at least three-fourths the population, Nielson projects an additional $34.8 billion! Sure, manufacturers are still working their way through uncertainty, particularly in food and beverage, where legal issues governing CBD’s use in consumables have yet to be resolved. But those seeking to capitalize would do well to think now about the unique production challenges of CBD and THC product manufacturing.
The sauce category within the food manufacturing industry is growing about 4.1% per year, spurring product innovation from both small and large processors. Processing vessel options can be as varied as the sauces themselves, with many design choices that will impact your product’s quality, consistency and production efficiency. To help you decide what’s best for your sauce processing operation, be sure to consider these factors:
The food industry is near the top of any list of those most directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The entire food supply chain -- from farming and processing to distribution and consumption -- has been disrupted, in many cases dramatically. Food manufacturers are sorting through this confusion to ensure they are well-positioned to operate effectively and take advantage of new opportunities. As they look ahead to 2021, several expected long-term effects will factor into their planning. See what to expect in our latest blog article:
For food, beverage, biopharma, personal care and cosmetic product manufacturers, the need to clean and sanitize processing equipment has always been of vital importance. But in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, cleaning procedures will surely be scrutinized more heavily. Consider these equipment features to help your cleaning and sanitization efforts:
Demand for many packaged food products is skyrocketing. Manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep up as they ramp production, while also enforcing heightened disinfection and social distancing directives. For some manufacturers, ramping production will necessitate stocking replacement valves and parts for processing equipment to ensure continuous operation, or even adding processing kettles or tanks to increase throughput. Here is an overview of options in-demand food manufacturers can consider:
Each year Food Processing magazine conducts research to identify industry trends. At Lee Industries, this is always interesting to us as it highlights the issues on the minds of many of our customers. This year, however, the insight was particularly interesting...
Some of our best work happens in the engineering room. A manufacturer of jams and jellies approached us with a unique challenge, requiring precise calculations to optimize their evaporation rates. See how we helped this client expand their heat transfer area and accelerate production.
Every year, we spend a lot of our September and October time at industry tradeshows. We like the opportunity to see our customers, meet new people, and hear what’s on the minds of those around the industry. This year’s Fall shows for us included Process Expo in Chicago and two Las Vegas events -- the International Baking Industry Exhibition (IBIE) and PackExpo. Find out what we learned at this year's Fall shows in our latest blog article.
Sometimes, where you make a product will dictate how you make it. That was the case for a customer in Jamaica, a processor whose frozen food product contained ground meat. See how we helped this client meet the process time requirements in a very hot climate area.
We’re really picky about the quality of the kettles and tanks we build. Of course, if you rely on processing vessels in your operation, then you also need to be picky about quality, which is why we think it is helpful to understand the process we’ve developed over the years to assure the quality of every vessel before it gets delivered to the customer.
Maneuvering around the physical constraints of a plant is a common challenge for processors. But for one of our pharmaceutical manufacturing customers, a particularly difficult space problem required a particularly innovative solution. Challenge accepted.
We’ve been a part of the food manufacturing world for over nine decades, so we know that change is a constant for the industry. But the pace of change today – and its impact on the food manufacturing process – is more significant than ever. Here are some of the key implications we see that will affect how food manufacturers make decisions on their processing equipment:
Have you ever wondered why Lee's tanks are designed with coil jackets? See how one of the most important innovations of Lee's 90-year history makes a key difference in throughput and consistency in every batch.
Much goes into building a high-performance processing vessel for a food, chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturing operation. Dozens of choices must be made about size, materials, mixing speeds, type of agitation, temperature, port locations, surface finishes and more. And each choice has an impact on how effectively the vessel performs in your environment. This blog article will guide your vessel design decision making and make sure you ask your process engineer the right questions.
5 Vessel Design Requirements for Optimizing Food Grade, Specialty and High-Performance Lubricant Manufacturing
Food-grade, specialty and high-performance lubricants, can pose mixing, temperature and safety challenges that require specialized vessel features and performance. To meet these processing challenges, manufacturers may be wise to emphasize five key characteristics in their processing vessels for optimal results. See the five key characteristics in our latest blog article.
Limitations of Conventional Mixing Systems in Pharmaceutical Topical and Transdermal Drug Product Applications
The inherent nature of high-viscosity pharmaceutical drug products poses real operational challenges to manufacturers. To succeed, processors must seamlessly combine safe and precise ingredient loading, powerful and durable blending, and sterile and efficient cleaning within their operation. Some manufacturers have found it difficult to solve these challenges due to limitations of conventional mixing systems. Here are some of the most common issues with conventional mixing systems in pharmaceutical and other high-viscosity product settings.
Food safety is the top concern for food manufacturers this year, in no small part because of the FSMA. In Food Processing magazine’s annual industry survey, 27% of respondents identified food safety improvements as their top priority for this year. What components will these manufacturers scrutinize? Here are three areas where changes to manufacturing equipment can improve FSMA compliance.
Faster batch processing is a common goal for food processors. It’s often the impetus for adding more processing equipment. But improving throughput can involve much more than simply adding capacity. Depending on your objectives, optimizing your vessel design can dramatically reduce your batch processing time while also improving safety, product quality and product consistency. Here are three areas where optimizing your processing vessel can produce significant results.
Every year brings new opportunities and challenges to every industry. But for food manufacturing, 2019 will be particularly noteworthy, with important issues facing both food processors and equipment manufacturers alike. This year, new regulations, new technology and new competitors will all play significant roles in shaping the food manufacturing industry.
Choosing a heat source is a key consideration for all food processing operations. For processors who use a jacketed kettle design, the choice comes down to steam versus hot water. But is one of them superior? And when would you choose to use one heat source over the other? Let’s consider some of the advantages of both steam and hot water while taking a look at some potential applications.
The surface finish grade is a crucial but perhaps overlooked component of your production vessel. The surface finish affects more than the look of your vessel; it’s also critically important to how your vessel accomplishes its intended task — or whether it’s able to at all. A vessel’s surface finish will determine what products can be produced within that vessel. From pharmaceuticals to chemicals to food products, each industry has surface finish standards that must be met. And even beyond industry requirements, a vessel’s surface grade can have a big effect on how your product is produced.
Producing ointments, gels and other high-viscosity products is a challenging process. These stringently regulated products offer a high degree of difficulty for every manufacturer. Selecting the most efficient and cost-effective mixing solution can help you meet those challenges head on, but choosing the right mixing solution may be more difficult than it first appears.
In food manufacturing, 32.4 percent of all food waste is tied to production issues, much of which could be prevented. However, food production kettles can be a big asset in the fight against food waste, both in their actual function and in the larger application of food safety guidelines in the production process. We've identified two key areas where kettles can make a difference.
Keeping key parts for your Lee vessel on hand in your facility means you’ll always be prepared for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Think of it as a low-cost insurance policy for your equipment. What parts should you keep on-site?
PACK EXPO International, to be held in Chicago beginning October 14, is the biggest packaging and processing event in the world. We’re always excited to be a part of Pack Expo. Lee Industries is committed to offering the best in custom processing vessel solutions and this is a perfect opportunity to show all we can do to help our customers improve worker and product safety, increase efficiency and reach new levels of productivity.
Winter shutdowns are right around the corner. For manufacturers that depend on processing kettles and tanks, preparing for these crucial weeks becomes critically important, and not just because it’s an ideal time to take care of annual maintenance. Your winter shutdown can put your facility in a position to succeed next year—or leave you chasing maintenance issues that could have been addressed much earlier.
Obtaining a proposal for equipment you intend to use in your processing operation is a critical part of your purchase process. Here are three key benefits of a clear, easy-to-understand manufacturing equipment quote.
Preparing to buy a new piece of processing equipment can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing the right questions to ask before you buy can put you on the path to success.
No matter the size of your current food processing operation, you may someday need to expand. If and when that day comes, you’ll have to address important questions regarding the expansion’s impact on your production.
Engineering Advancements That Make Cleaning and Maintaining Your Processing Equipment More Efficient
Cleaning and maintaining processing equipment is vital for production teams in the food, beverage, bio/pharma and chemical industries, but these processes can be costly and often take up enormous amounts of time. Learn how to optimize the efficiency of your operation in this latest blog article.
Choosing the right kettle design is a key part of your food processing operation. When it comes to optimizing your production, there are two clear alternatives in the mixing and agitation area: horizontal ribbon blenders and hemispherical kettles with inclined agitation.
Lee Industries recently received the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Certification, a marker of the company’s ongoing commitment to the highest international standards of quality.
Buying a used processing kettle can be a great option for expanding your operation or replacing older equipment. Used kettles and other vessels can often be available more quickly for lower prices than you’d see if you were buying new. But after weighing availability, price and basic design factors like shape, capacity and agitator type, there are other things you should weigh when deciding whether or not to buy a used kettle.
Your food product is taking off and you need to increase your production capacity to keep up. If that is your situation, you may be asking a fundamental question to determine your processing equipment needs: how much capacity can I get from each processing kettle without affecting my product’s quality or consistency?
The latest production guide from Lee Industries explores the differences in the two predominant mixer styles in food production – inclined agitation kettles and horizontal ribbon blenders.
Assuring that your product will always be sanitary and free of contaminants is a critical food processing goal. So, when you are planning the design and configuration of your next kettle purchase, it is important to keep food safety in mind.
During food processing, the safety of your production team is key. This article features key safety issues to consider in your food processing operation.