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Tips to Select & Purchase Used Food Processing Equipment

All food manufacturers must meet rigorous hygiene and sanitation standards in order to ensure products are safe for consumption. At the same time, they have to design efficient processes to meet production quotas and create food products that appeal to customers.

When it comes to buying food processing machinery, you have to keep these factors in mind. 

Machines used in food processing need to be thoroughly tested and vetted before touching any food items. Unfortunately, high-quality machines can be a significant expense. How can you find food processing machinery that passes all quality checks and helps you stay relevant in the industry while also not breaking the bank?

Purchasing used food processing equipment can help you keep up with demand, ensure production goals are met, and save money—all without sacrificing quality. 

What Are the Equipment and Machines Used in Food Processing?

Food processing machinery is a broad term describing equipment used in the harvesting, manufacturing, and packaging of food products.

Manufacturers in this industry must meet stringent rules put in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make sure their products are fit for consumption. By following FDA regulations, food manufacturers are more likely to avoid food contamination.

There are several categories of food processing and packaging machinery, including equipment used in the preparation, processing, preservation, and packaging of food products. Each machine, whether new or used, needs to follow the regulations established by the FDA.

New vs. Used Food Processing Equipment

For many food manufacturers, used processing or packaging machinery can be a profitable option.

New equipment is typically custom-built, which makes it optimized for your production needs, but that customization takes time and capital. A used machine, on the other hand, is a fraction of the cost of new machines and is likely available immediately. 

By working with a reputable food processing machinery seller, you will have access to a variety of machines, so you can get multiple pieces of equipment from a single source. More importantly, the best sellers have experience fixing and improving pre-owned food processing machines—so you know your used food processing equipment is high-quality and ready to improve the efficiency of your production line.

How to Choose Used Food Processing and Packaging Machinery

As you select and purchase used food processing equipment for your production line, keep these tips in mind.

Verify the Current Condition of the Machine

Used processing and packaging equipment often needs to be refurbished, repaired, or reconditioned to ensure it meets the standards of the original model. When this renovation process is carried out by experienced technicians and engineers, it’s a great way to cut costs without sacrificing quality.

To ensure the used machine you are considering is working properly, be sure to ask the vendor about their refurbishment process, learn how the machine was maintained, and verify the current condition of the equipment. Additionally, when you conduct your inspection, check the machine for cracks and crevices, keep an eye out for signs of age, and listen for any strange sounds.

Consider Your Budget

One of the biggest benefits of used food processing equipment is in its cost savings, so your budget is a critically important part of your product search. The first step is to determine how much you want to spend on the machine and consider what return on investment (ROI) you can expect from the purchase. Then, as you shop for a used food packaging machine that fits your budget, you can more easily narrow down your options.

Identify Your Food Production Needs

The exact type of food items you produce will influence the type of processing machine you can buy. Not only does your product impact the size and type of equipment you need, but it also affects what material the machine can be made of. 

Don’t forget about the intricacies of food production and how they relate to the machines on your factory floor. For example, think of how different materials can react to the pH of your food items. What is the machine made from, and are the materials appropriate for the type of food products you manufacture?

Obtain Documentation of the Machine’s Use History

Used machines have a prior use history. A thorough cleaning and sanitization is required before using the machine for the first time, but unless you can establish a clear chain of use, you can’t be sure you have avoided potential safety and liability issues.

By obtaining a documented record of ownership, inspections, use history, and repairs, you can ensure your used food processing machinery will be a safe and hygienic addition to your production line.

Check Maintenance, Cleaning, Installation, and Operation Requirements

Before purchase, you need to ensure the used food processing equipment will be a good fit for your business. Consider these questions:

  • Is it easy to maintain and operate the equipment?
  • Can the machine withstand a variety of conditions?
  • How often does it require maintenance?
  • Do your employees know—or can they easily learn—how to operate the machine?
  • What is the installation process?
  • Can you disassemble the equipment for cleaning and maintenance?

Having food processing and packaging equipment that is easy to clean and maintain is a crucial part of meeting FDA sanitation and hygiene standards. 

Think About the Future

When buying used food processing machinery, there’s always the possibility that the software is outdated or the original manufacturer will no longer support obsolete models. Additionally, if the machine breaks down or needs repair, you need to be able to find spare parts. 

Before making a purchase, make sure that you can easily integrate the machine into your existing production line, that the operating system is up-to-date, and that you have a reliable source for parts and technical support.

Find a Trusted Food Processing Machinery Manufacturer

Where you buy used food processing equipment is just as important as what machine you decide to purchase. Take time to research reputable companies, ask for references, and visit their facilities before deciding on a vendor.

Another thing to consider is whether a seller has experience in your industry and with your food products. In other words, find a company that is aware of the unique requirements and challenges of food processing and packaging.

Buy and Sell Used Food Processing Equipment at HP Packaging

At HP Packaging, we buy and sell used processing and packaging equipment for many different industries. Our high-quality used food processing machines have been repaired, refurbished, or reconditioned by the experts on our team, giving old equipment new life and making it ready to contribute to your production line.

As a leader in the processing and packaging machinery industry, we are proud to offer used food packaging equipment from a wide variety of manufacturers, types, and styles that meets your sanitation and quality standards. Whether you want to replace a machine on your production floor or expand your current food packaging capabilities, HP Packaging can help you find the best used food processing equipment for your business.

View our used packaging products or contact us today to learn more about your options for buying used packaging equipment.

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