In the fast-paced snacks food sector, it is important for brands to differentiate themselves in the market as well as to optimise their factory and processes to stay ahead of the competition.

One of the biggest challenges for snack food manufacturers is selecting the right equipment and machinery that can produce the desired product to a consistent standard, while decreasing running costs and increasing productivity.

The recently formed Heat and Control and Ishida (HCI) alliance is delivering on the demand for a ‘one-stop supplier’ for integrated snack solutions for processing and packaging – including inspection – and focuses on several key areas for increasing efficiency along with product consistency.

Adding value by improving productivity

Without knowledge you cannot improve processes and reduce running costs and efficiencies to stay ahead of competitors. With the latest Factory 4.0 technology – to monitor line performance, minimise downtime and increase efficiencies – a manufacturer will have access to the data to help control processes.

This is one of the key solutions supplied by the HCI alliance, as a single source supplier. It all comes down to improving your bottom line and looking for ways to automate time-consuming processes where possible.

Specifically, looking at the importance of frying during the processing stage and at ways to automate and simplify frying, control has become a priority. Heat and Control fryers have automation control, which use feedback from a moisture meter to control frying temperature and dwell time to meet moisture targets.

This improves the quality and consistency of the final product, increases the shelf life and ensures the product is the correct size, shape and texture.

Product handling solutions are also important to maintain complete automation from start to finish. By allowing for multiple processes to occur at one station, such as on- machine seasoning, weighing and bagging, conveyors ensure products move efficiently and proportionally on demand from machine to machine, with minimal giveaway and product damage.

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