Equipment Selection for the Meat Factory

Equipment selection for the Meat Factory
Eben van Tonder
15 June 2023


Equipment selection is trickier than one may think. The processors are inundated by new innovations which supposedly offer greater efficacy and reduced processing time. The equipment suppliers offer their expertise, like the spice trade in designing the meat plant, thus “hooking” the client into a particular set of equipment or functional ingredients/ spices. Objective inputs are often expensive and difficult to come by. Then, to complicate things further, there is the consideration between new and reconditioned equipment.

As someone who has burned my fingers many times when purchasing equipment, I decided to make notes for myself so that I don’t forget the many and very expensive lessons I’ve learned. here I also want to address the issue of how I would do it when I have a chance to do it again.

Lessons Learned

  • The Total Cost of Ownership is probably the most important calculation that can be done when considering equipment. The initial quote for equipment must include a list of critical spare parts and installation and commissioning. If second-hand equipment is bought, it must be reconditioned equipment with a guarantee.
  • Buy equipment in line with current output and future growth, but it should never be so far overspecified that it will take many years to grow into the size of equipment bought.
  • Avoid using equipment suppliers or spice companies to design your meat plant.
  • If second-hand equipment is bought, inspect the equipment personally and see them working with raw materials.
  • The more remote the plant, the more important to choose elemental equipment that can be repaired as far as possible with parts that are locally available.
  • If the power supply is an issue, plan equipment with this in mind and includes UPSs as part of the equipment to avoid shut-down due to power interruptions which will be devastating to most modern equipment.

This page is part of a series on The Meat Factory. Visit this page for the full list of related discussion documents.

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