Food and beverage process plant construction is on the rise,
but with a close eye on ROI

After several years of diminished activity, signs point to increased plant construction projects, increased capital spending, and a wide range of process plant revisions to meet food safety regulations and energy efficiency objectives.

According to Food Engineering magazine’s 36th Annual Plant Construction Survey, 2012 plant construction projects hit a five-year high at 600 reportable projects. That’s a substantial 32.5% jump from 2011’s 453, and just slightly lower than the 613 reported projects in 2007, the last year before the recession.
Of last year’s projects, almost 64% were expansions or renovations, often associated with food safety enhancements, automation, and energy efficiency. These numbers show that most of today’s plant construction involves updating existing facilities, rather than building new plants from the ground up.

The takeaway message for food and beverage processors, and the engineering/construction firms that serve them: The industry is modernizing, and smart businesses are allocating resources now to stay ahead of the curve. Additionally, these modernization efforts are very closely tied to ROI. Companies are not spending money haphazardly. Instead, they are favoring initiatives with clearly definable returns, or that will keep them in compliance with upcoming government regulations.
Forward-thinking design-build contractors can help food and beverage processing companies not only modernize their facilities but also do so in a way that maximizes the ROI. For example, Wright Process Systems offers comprehensive audits and studies to identify process inefficiencies and pinpoint the places within a system that are most in need of an update. WPS also focuses on continuous process improvement as a design priority, implementing process automation solutions alongside troubleshooting services to identify weak links in a process system. To learn more, visit