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How to Avoid Unexpected Food Processing Equipment Costs

If you’re looking for a new food processing machine for your production line and see the price tag, you may think that’s all there is to it. However, that number is rarely the whole story.

There are hidden, unexpected costs associated with purchasing food processing and packaging equipment—from extra dollars you have to spend to get exactly what you want to long-term costs like downtime, breakdowns, and replacement parts.

To avoid unexpected or hidden costs, both at the point of purchase and in the future, take the time to do your research, take care of your equipment, and provide manufacturers with everything they need to find the best food processing machine for your production line.

The Unexpected Cost of Food Processing Equipment

The cost of food processing equipment varies widely based on the manufacturer, machine type, processing speed, automation level, and more. There are also a variety of hidden costs that you should keep in mind.

While some of these unexpected costs can appear while you are choosing the machine, some may only appear in the long run. Either way, hidden costs can quickly add up.


Manufacturers may offer many different models of a food processing machine, but as far as each model goes, you may not be able to make modifications to suit your needs. If the manufacturer does allow clients to modify the machine, you will likely have to pay a steep premium.


The base, stripped-down model of a food processing machine may not have everything you’re looking for. If you want to upgrade to equipment that has all the bells and whistles you need for your production line, expect the price to increase dramatically.

Poor Craftsmanship

Some manufacturers use low-grade materials and poor craftsmanship to build food processing equipment in an effort to keep manufacturing costs down (and profits up). These cheaply designed machines aren’t as durable as high-quality versions, which means they won’t be able to keep up with the demands of the processing line and will result in downtime due to breakdowns.


Purchasing a warranty on your food processing equipment is common, but the cost associated with warranties is not often included in the budget. To get the protection and insurance you need, you may have to pay a pretty penny.

Integration Adjustments

Your new food processing machine needs to integrate seamlessly into your existing production line. Unfortunately, not all equipment is designed to do so. Integration modifications and add-ons can significantly raise the price of the machine.

Some equipment may not be able to be adjusted to fit at all; if you’ve already purchased it, the only option may be to find a fabrication shop and pay for a custom solution.


Many production and packaging machines—especially in the food processing industry—require permanent labels on different parts of the equipment. Creating and attaching these labels comes at an added cost.

Spare Parts

Food processing equipment that is poorly maintained or designed may contribute to added wear and tear on different parts of the machine. Those parts will have to be replaced, and finding a manufacturer that produces the spare parts you need can be a challenge—not to mention how much those spare parts will cost (especially for equipment that is out of circulation).

Delivery and Installation

When the manufacturer delivers and installs your new food processing equipment, you may encounter unexpected fees, from packaging and delivery to installation and integration with the other machines in your production line.

How to Avoid Hidden Food Processing Equipment Costs

With clear communication, careful planning, and diligent research, you can avoid hidden food processing equipment costs, saving money in the short term while also reducing downtime and loss in the future.

1. Keep Up with Recommended Maintenance

Ask for a detailed description of recommended preventative maintenance and follow a schedule to keep your food processing equipment in top shape. If you are regularly inspecting and lubricating parts, replacing worn parts with spares, and keeping a detailed log of maintenance work, you will prevent breakdowns, downtime, and lost revenue in the long run.

2. Check Manufacturer References

A trustworthy manufacturer will be transparent about any expected fees or extra costs associated with purchasing a food processing machine. Before you decide to purchase food processing equipment, check the manufacturer’s references and make sure you are working with an experienced, reliable company.

3. Ask About the Availability of Spare Parts

No matter how well you maintain your food processing equipment, it can malfunction. In the likely event of a breakdown, you can reduce downtime by having spare parts on hand.

Keep a spare part kit with everything the manufacturer recommends so you can quickly get equipment up and running again.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that some machine parts are only manufactured by specific companies. Make sure you ask your manufacturer where you can find controls, pumps, valves, motors, and any other parts that may need replacing in the near future.

4. Consider Installation and Delivery Costs

The last thing you want to do is stop ongoing production too early and then sit around, waiting for the delivery of your new food processing equipment. That downtime equals lost productivity and revenue. Confirm the date and time of delivery, and ask the manufacturer if they will install your machine or if you need to assign workers to complete this task.

Additionally, clarify what fees, if any, are associated with delivery and installation of your machine. You don’t want to be surprised by any unexpected fees.

Buy New and 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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