As new food and beverage processing equipment with complex and sensitive electrical systems, controls and automation continues to replace older generation equipment, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) expenses are rising with increasing maintenance time, technical support and power costs.
Processing plants require a high sustainability level from their electrical systems, because shutdowns can cost from minutes’ to days’ worth of production if a batch must be scrapped.
- To increase productivity and food safety, processing equipment must be designed with geometries that quickly shed contaminants and allow easy cleaning, often in harsh processing environments.
- Facility cleaning and sanitation crews often use high-pressure hosedown cleaning equipment with high-temperature caustic chemical solutions that shorten the life of the facility and equipment. This requires the use of corrosion resistant and coated materials.
- Plants often have extreme temperature ranges due to processing requirements. Thermal cycling issues from ovens directly in line with flash freezers can cause reliability issues in processing areas.
- Shortened product-development cycles, smaller batch sizes, fast expiration dates and more frequent product type changeovers require adding new automation technologies for better processing flexibility, keeping production costs down and getting products to customers quickly.