Maintenance Q&As

What are different types of food and beverage processing equipment?

Answered June 08 2020

Ever wonder how chips get packaged, or how your bread goes from grain to loaf?

We’ve compiled every type of food and beverage processing equipment out there in a list with everything you need to know. From every level of food packaging and production — preparation, material handling, mixing, and more — all types of equipment are listed on this comprehensive spreadsheet.

Different categories of food and beverage processing equipment

Food and beverage falls under different categories; there are so many types it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where everything fits into the complex puzzle. We’ve simplified this for you in our list of every type of category of food and beverage processing equipment.

Food preparation

This category involves anything that prepares goods for the wider public. Equipment under this category are responsible for washing, drying, grading, peeling, skinning, and sorting food items. Common types of equipment include sorting conveyors, pressure vessels, and image processors.

Mechanical processing equipment

Up next is mechanical processing equipment. This involves anything that modifies the size of goods, so they can be served in desired quantities and amounts for consumers. Equipment under this category are responsible for size reduction, enlargement, homogenization, and mixing food items. Common types of equipment include confectionary molders, emulsifiers, and band saws.

Heat processing equipment

Heat processing equipment helps convert mixed goods into ready-to-eat flavors. Equipment in this category takes charge in baking, blanching, dehydrating, evaporating, frying, pasteurizing, exchanging, roasting, and sterilizing food items. Common types of equipment include roasting ovens, steam blanchers, and direct heating ovens.

Preservation equipment

Preservation equipment is the key to making goods last longer. Equipment in this category is at the core of all things chemical preservation, refrigeration, and water reduction. Common types of equipment include convective dryers, freezers, or chillers.

Food packaging equipment

Packaging equipment converts ready-made goods into ready-for-consumer food and beverage. Equipment in this category is involved in filling, sealing, quality control, measurement and control, material handling, storage, product distribution, and equipment cleaning. Common types of equipment include volumetric fillers, seamers, and palletizers.

Routine maintenance on food and beverage manufacturing equipment

To achieve the full useful life of food and beverage processing equipment, maintenance technicians should perform preventive maintenance activities to keep equipment in top shape. On our list of machinery, we have also included common preventive maintenance tasks, as well as the anticipated lifespan of each piece of equipment.

For example, pie and biscuit formers need to have regular lubrication of moving parts and metal-to-metal contacts (drives, motors, bearings, and chains), as well as regular welding and repair of equipment subject to load.

The importance of preventive maintenance on food and beverage manufacturing equipment

It’s important to perform regular preventive maintenance checks on food and beverage equipment, in order to save costs and optimize use of your assets. Often, repairs, when machines break down, can be quite costly, ranging anywhere from $200 for a large mixer, or $800 for an industrial walk-in refrigerator.

Alternatively, you can purchase brand new equipment, but that would be even more expensive than repair. This could range in the thousands of dollar. Constantly repairing or replacing equipment is not a financially scalable strategy for most food and beverage manufacturing companies.  Implementing routine preventive maintenance tasks can generate huge savings, especially when paired with a digital work order management solution.

Many food and beverage companies start off with simple preventive maintenance checks using checklists on a clipboard, but these often can go missing when important audits come up. Switching over from pen and paper to a CMMS might seem scary or overwhelming at first, but the shift can only increase team accountability and make peoples’ lives easier.

Top 4 regulatory standards in food and beverage manufacturing in the United States

Maintenance documentation and records are not only important for equipment lifespan – but also to help manufacturers demonstrate that they are in line with global regulatory standards. Here are the most common ones that come up within the food and beverage manufacturing industry:

1. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – United States

The FSMA gives the FDA oversight into about 80 percent of domestic and imported foods. All aspects of the food supply chain are checked by the USDA, from meats, poultry, and processed egg products. Food manufacturers whose products are regulated by the FDA must register bi-annually and create both a Food Safety Plan and Food Defense Plan.

2. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) – United States

Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) are what make sure that the food you eat is safe. GMPs are also in other sectors, as well, to ensure high-quality standards of production and manufacturing. CGMPs address sanitization and safety, as well as everything from processing to shipment, to ensure consumers are receiving high-quality and safe products.

3. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) – United States

A plant manager should conduct a hazard analysis as part of a GMP to ensure that no allergens are contaminating food and beverages. A plant walk-through with checks and action-items to respond to any critical issues that arise are necessary to complete a HAACP.

4. 3-A Sanitary Standards

Finally, 3-A Sanitary Standards are an independent check to ensure food and beverage safety for consumers. The symbol of assurance, or 3-A, signifies that food adheres to these standards.

Top 5 global regulatory standards in food and beverage manufacturing

1. Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) – European Union

The goal of REACH is to improve health and environment through registering and evaluating chemicals in food and beverage products. In response to products placed in the European market that previously had health hazards, these standards require companies to adhere to guiding principles.

2. Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program – Global

This special certification is granted to anyone involved in food manufacturing, production, packaging, storage, and distribution. It highlights best practices for processing dairy, seafood, meats and poultry, bakery and snack foods, beverages, and more. To receive certification, sign up on the SQF database.

After receiving certification, an auditor completes the certification process on-site and certification status is updated within 45 days of the audit.

3. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000 – Global

ISO 22000 is an internationally recognised regulation that intertwines the ISO9001 on food safety management and HACCP for the assurance of food safety at all levels. The standard defines how food and beverage manufacturers can control safety hazards to ensure that food is safe.

4. Framework Regulation – European Union

 Framework Regulation—or Food Contact Materials Regulation—underscores the processes and procedures to ensure safety of all materials that might come into contact with food.

5. Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

These food standards ensure that food is safe for consumers, provide information to consumers about their food, and provide a framework for the industry to ensure clear communication between manufacturers and consumers in regards to health and safety.

Our full list of food and beverage manufacturing equipment

View the full checklist of food and beverage manufacturing equipment here

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