Food manufacturing is no easy job; operating food manufacturing plants is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and needs to be done correctly for many reasons.
Manufacturing plants are held to strict government rules, regulations, and requirements, which makes handling everything in your plant with care extremely crucial. Trying to cut corners or skip steps can increase the likelihood of accidents and contamination, and lead to serious legal issues. These issues are no laughing matter; you can effectively ruin your reputation and lose public trust with one wrong move.
That doesn't mean there aren't ways to increase efficiency within your plant and speed up the manufacturing process.
1. Practice Quality Control
One thing to never underestimate as a facility manager is the importance of quality control. Food processing facilities are constantly trying to turn out as much product as possible, as quickly as possible. The rush can lead to dangerous mistakes if workers aren't careful. If an issue isn't caught in time, it can result in a product recall, and you will have to remedy the situation, which leads to increased operating costs. By performing thorough quality control, you can avoid the likelihood of product recalls and the resulting higher operating costs.
2. Have the Right Facility Design
The wrong facility design can create countless issues for facility managers, including the risk of cross-contamination and increased maintenance and operating costs. The facility's layout should be an efficient flow from raw ingredients to the finished product, and your equipment and machinery should be high-quality to minimize the risk of breakdowns. Other critical features for an efficient facility design include installing sanitary floor drains and flooring that make maintaining a clean facility easier.
3. Conduct In-House Audits
Holding yourself accountable by performing in-house audits is another way to reduce your maintenance and operating costs. To perform an audit yourself, you should print out a checklist with the food safety standards that auditors check, and regularly go through the facility observing workers and tasks. As you observe, mark any inefficiencies you find and that you need to address to improve the workflow within the facility. Once you identify the issues, you can make the necessary improvements for better efficiency.
4. Put Time into Employee Training
Employees need to feel confident and knowledgeable in what they do in order to succeed and work without errors. The more time you spend training your employees, the more quickly and efficiently they can perform their tasks. This will save you a great deal on operational costs, since they can do their task and turn off the equipment when they are done. Training them in minor maintenance requirements will also ensure they know how to solve and fix small issues so that production does not slow down.
5. Keep Equipment in Working Order
For a facility to save money on maintenance and operation costs, you need high-quality equipment. The better quality your equipment, the more efficiently it will work and less likely it is to break down. It isn't just about the quality of the equipment, but the care it is given.
Take the time to perform regular maintenance on all of your equipment, ensuring everything is working well. Replace parts as needed, clean and sanitize everything at the end of every day, and make sure your employees know how to inspect the equipment themselves in case there is an issue during the workday.
6. Invest in Automation
Food and beverage processing facilities have many responsibilities, and the manufacturing process can involve many different steps. Having employees complete certain steps by hand can have benefits, while other tasks would do better with automation.
Processes like sorting, preparing, and packaging products are time-consuming steps that automated equipment can complete much faster than the average person. Investing in equipment for these tasks can save you a great deal on operational costs and eliminate error, to ensure less product waste.
7. Install Slot Drain from FoodSafe Drains
A hygienic floor drain system is an essential part of any facility design and helps reduce maintenance costs. Systems like the 10,000 Series model Slot Drain from FoodSafe Drainsare designed with food and beverage facilities in mind. The bacteria-resistant, food-grade stainless steel drain features a sleek design that eliminates the need for a cover and helps significantly reduce the risk of contamination. The addition of Clean in Place capabilities makes maintenance easy, allowing workers to have more time for other tasks.
Staying Efficient and Reducing Your Costs
The expenses associated with a food and beverage facility are high, and you can expect to spend a great deal within your facility, from ingredients to maintenance and operating costs. Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on costs in different areas–it just takes time, dedication, and patience.
The seven methods above are great ways to reduce maintenance and operating costs and even help increase efficiency. Keeping your facility clean and sanitary is a critical part of reducing costs, so suggestions like the Slot Drain should not get overlooked.
Contact us today to learn more about FoodSafe Drains' Slot Drain system.