Achieving Lean Initiatives with APEC’s Automation

Automated processing equipment that helps companies achieve their lean processing goals.

The processing industry can be cutthroat. While inflation and customer expectations are on the rise, profit margins are thin as ice. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges (and possible solutions) in the processing world. If you answer “yes” to the following questions, keep reading. This blog post is for you.  

Challenges in The Processing World

Do you face higher-than-normal competition?

There is competition and then there is competition in the food and pet food processing industries. With so many options available, consumers have choices, so you are forced to compete on price, quality and availability. Oftentimes, whether they realize it or not … brand recognition plays a key role in a customer’s decision-making process. Keep reading to find out how you can level up to compete with even the most well-known brands.  

Are your profit margins slim?

It can be difficult when customers expect budget-friendly products—especially with the pressure of rising ingredient prices and labor costs. This demand for affordable product options can place a strain on businesses whose differentiating factors are quality and affordability. In such a competitive landscape, achieving your lean processing benchmarks is more important than ever to ensure long-term success.  

Are you facing a tough labor market?

To add to these challenges, the ongoing labor shortage makes it even more difficult to find good, dependable workers and keep them. Not only does it require effort to find them, but the situation also gives the workers the bargaining power to demand higher wages that further cut into your profit margin. So how does the processing industry balance the need for dependable talent with the need to balance the budget?  

This is where lean processing, also called lean manufacturing, comes in.  

Automation: A Lean Processing Solution

APEC provides automated processing equipment for the food processing, pet food and animal feed industries and beyond. Let’s explore how APEC can help companies achieve their lean manufacturing initiatives and solve their challenges regarding cost, competition and labor.  

Increased Productivity

When you choose automated processing equipment from APEC, we don’t just focus on helping you automate your processes. We help you increase your productivity by supporting automation along the entire line.  

Fewer Workers  

Automated processing equipment requires fewer workers. Automation doesn’t eliminate jobs, but rather helps companies allocate their workers more efficiently – or get by with fewer workers if needed.  

More Purposeful Work 

When employees aren’t doing the work that an automated machine can do, many times there’s more purpose to it. This leads to higher motivation, which increases the connection to the company and its vision.  

Safer Work Environment 

Automated processing equipment makes the work environment safer, as it reduces the contact (and associated hazards) with the processing machinery. This minimizes the risk of injuries and accidents.  

Reduced Waste

Waste reduction is a pillar in lean processing. When materials, time and energy are not wasted, the processing becomes more efficient and costs decrease, allowing you to better compete in the market by offering your products at lower prices.  

Less Human Error  

When you automate your processing equipment, you mitigate the chance of human error. When you take error-prone humans out of the equation, you decrease the chance of errors and the waste that they cause.  

Standardized Quality

Process standardization is a key element of lean processing. For APEC, that means standardizing the precision and consistency of the manufacturing process.  

Increased Precision  

APEC’s automated processing equipment ensures that the precise amounts of ingredients are added. Whether liquid or dry ingredients, micro ingredient or traditional, when precision counts, you can trust APEC to measure up.  

Consistent Quality  

The result of increased automation and precision is quality. This is why so many well-known brands choose APEC when it comes to processing a product’s consistent taste or smell that customers come to love.  

Continued Improvement

Arguably the most important aspect of lean processing is the focus on continued improvement. As they say, “You can’t improve what you don’t track.” APEC helps customers improve their processes through a batch control system, as it weighs ingredients, tracks inventory and manages the process.  

Increased Responsiveness 

When mistakes happen, APEC’s control system responds quickly. APEC’s equipment shuts down, and since the control system tracks the ingredient history and syncs with an ERP system, it makes it much easier to find and correct the mistake.  

Contact APEC for Automated Processing Equipment

APEC can help you achieve your lean processing goals with our automated processing equipment. Whether you’re looking for an out-of-the-box solution or a custom design, our team of engineers is here to answer your questions and help your company become more competitive in the marketplace. Contact us today.