Does your company have the ability to design and engineer a food processing equipment solution around our application(s)?
Food processors should look for an equipment manufacturer with decades of experience in the food processing industry who is committed to enabling customer success through trusted and robust solutions by offering application know-how, process expertise and engineering customization. Many food products are unique in nature and therefore processors need unique equipment solutions to deliver the products that consumers demand. It’s also important to find a partner who fully understands sanitary equipment design principles and other certifications desired for the production of food products in various food industry segments.
Do you have food application experts available to work in conjunction with our engineering and R&D staff to help us determine the right solution for our business?
Established food processing equipment manufacturers will have a team of application experts that possess the knowledge required to solve food processing challenges in all areas of processing such as size reduction, vacuum stuffing and pumping, portioning, thermal processing, food handling and more. This team usually consists of meat and food scientists, a chef, application engineers and product managers that processors can lean on to develop and test food processing equipment solutions. If this isn’t available, processors may have access to academia and test kitchens at local universities who focus on agriculture such as Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Do you have solution centers (or test kitchens) where you offer the ability to test new food processing methods or develop new products?
Test kitchens are nothing new to the food processing industry. In fact, all equipment manufacturers should offer processors an off-site environment for product development and testing such as that available from Marlen, a Kansas City-based food processing equipment manufacturer, who recognizes the need to not interfere with plant production. This environment can also facilitate multiple manufacturers consulting under one roof for remarkably improved processes. Find a partner that offers these collaborative hubs for product testing to ensure you are surrounding your team with access to third-party chefs, food scientists and product line specialists who can contribute to the development of new products or processing methods.
Where is the equipment manufactured and where is parts and service support located?
World-class food equipment suppliers and manufacturers are strategically located across the globe to serve the needs of their customers. Those centrally located in North America can often dispatch parts and service in a more efficient and timely manner. Sales and service outlets in Europe and Asia are also a plus as global processors position themselves for growth and can rely on more local and regional teams to support their broad range of food processing equipment.
How do you take care of customers after the sale and what programs are offered to help food processors maintain their equipment throughout its lifecycle?
Most food processing equipment manufacturers offer 24/7 support via technical support and emergency parts fulfillment. But some hire outside parties to service their equipment. It is of benefit to do business with a manufacturer who has their own factory-based technical experts – essentially a team of professional and highly-trained field technicians who are backed by teams of application engineers to perform installation, start-ups-preventive maintenance, emergency service and other on-site equipment services you need.