How To Improve Productivity In Food Manufacturing

The food and drink industry contributes £29bn to the economy every year and employs over 440,000 members of staff – making it the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.

Although the industry’s turnover represents almost 20% of total UK manufacturing sectors, they can’t afford to skimp on product quality or output – especially as consumer demands continue to grow and strict regulation policies pose a sizeable obstacle for maximum optimisation.

The good news is, there are a few things product manufacturers can do to improve their efficiency and, ultimately, boost their profits even more.

Let’s take a closer look at them.

5 ways to boost productivity

1. Tighten quality control policies

To ensure your products are of the highest quality before they leave the plant, you need to make sure that you employ the appropriate systems, tools and policies.

Take food metal detectors, for instance. These can help to identify foreign objects in food, ensuring that every product is 100% safe for consumers to eat.

Employees must wear appropriate clothing when working in the food manufacturing plant. The best way around this would be to provide all staff with matching uniforms (including a hairnet and face mask), ensuring that hair and dangly items don’t get caught in the machines or food.

There should be an inspection process in place too, to ensure that every product you distribute is up to standard.

2. Schedule preventative maintenance

To produce food goods and package them up – ready to go on the shelves in shops – manufacturers use machinery and equipment every single day.

These systems receive their fair share of wear and tear, and when they eventually break down or become faulty, you’ll have to deal with unscheduled downtime. Aside from affecting the productivity of your workforce, it can impact the quality of your goods too.

This is why it’s vitally important to have your equipment looked at regularly by a professional. They can use their finely honed skills to inspect your machinery and tools to ensure they operate like clockwork. If there’s a fault, they can identify it quickly and troubleshoot the issue as soon as possible.

3. Ensure staff receive the relevant training

Human contact and negligence are the biggest contributing factors to food contamination. This is why anyone who works or plans to work in food manufacturing will need to have undergone food safety training and know the proper handling protocols.

Sending staff to training courses can help to improve product quality and reduce the risk of contamination. On top of that, it’ll enable workers to prepare goods safely and efficiently, which boosts productivity.

4. Provide staff with a clean work environment

It goes without saying that manufacturing plants are hygienic environments that need to be clean and organised.

In such environments, clutter will make it difficult for employees to move around the facility and may reduce their ability to work productively. Therefore, it’s essential to remove any obstacles and devise a cleaning schedule to keep the standards high in the workplace.

It’s also worth investing in stainless steel equipment, where possible, as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t rust!

5. Reduce contamination risk

Product recalls are expensive, waste time and harm productivity. This is why your business needs to take the necessary measures to prevent contamination in the first place. 

You need to watch out for hidden contamination sources too. For example, a malfunctioning production unit could eject microscopic amounts of oil into the air and contaminate the food. Or dirt could be walked into the sterile environment on the soles of workers’ footwear.

Things like boot washing stations and clean-up processes can all help to keep your facility working at its peak.

Get in touch

These are just some steps you can take to make your plant and operations more efficient.

For more tips and advice, contact the team at Stainless Steel Manufacturing & Equipment Ltd. And if you’d like to invest in stainless steel equipment, be sure to check out the extensive range of products we supply online.

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