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If you have been following industry news in the past few years, you will have noticed a few themes that seem to come up with some regularity: energy-efficiency and sustainability; product line diversification; and, as always, manufacturers’ desire for increased throughput.

These factors come into play as a food producer is contemplating any equipment upgrades. A Food Manufacturing survey showed that energy efficiency ranked as a top reason to purchase a piece of equipment among 46.5 percent of respondents. That number is actually a decrease from previous years, which indicates that other factors are carrying more weight for many producers. In addition, most manufacturers planned to seek out energy-efficient environmental equipment, such as lighting and HVAC, rather than process equipment.

In terms of process equipment, many manufacturers are expanding their product lines to include new varieties and packaging, as highlighted in this article on snack food producers. These new products call for more flexible, modular equipment designed to decrease changeover delays and downtime. Speed is key for food producers who are trying to meet changing consumer tastes and demands, and that applies across most categories in the food and beverage industry.

In a report from fall 2014, Wayne Labs wrote, “increasing productivity through automation seems to be edging out many other priorities.” He goes on to note that equipment budgets have increased for nearly half of manufacturers in the survey he cites, writing, “Almost half (46 percent) of the respondents—who say their budgets for production, processing and packaging equipment have increased—have seen increases in excess of 25 percent.”

If you have been blessed with a higher equipment budget, it makes sense to choose your new or replacement equipment wisely. Your process is specific to your products, and WPS’ expert team specializes in helping you design a system – and choose equipment – that best fits your product and production needs. We work with more than 50 parts producers to design the custom system that works for you, and those same relationships can help you maintain your efficient system as you need replacement parts and repairs.