Batch Process vs. Continuous Operation in Potato Processing
Potato processing companies will often use batch processing, continuous operation, or a combination thereof to process new food products efficiently. The deciding factor in which process to use depends on the volume, complexity, and regulatory risks.
Read on to learn more about batch process vs. continuous operation and which method will work best for your application.
The continuous operation process starts with the raw potatoes and moves them down the line through the finishing step. The system continually feeds new raw materials into the line, generating a continuous production flow. The system ideally only stops for predetermined maintenance periods.
Advantages of a Continuous Operation
Quality — There are several advantages to using a continuous operation setup. For starters, it can produce consistent quality over time. This means that the chip you made 3 months ago will taste, look, and feel exactly the same as the one you made 5 minutes ago.
Explore More: Potato Chip Manufacturing Equipment
Efficiency — You’ll also be able to perform real-time process monitoring and control. This helps translate into higher volume production with a reduced processing time, storage space, and holding time.
Cost of Labor — Continuous operation also requires far less labor than the batch production process. Once the production line is up and running, workers won’t have to change out or sanitize equipment as often as they do during batch processing.
Disadvantages of a Continuous Operation
However, there are a few potential downsides to running a continuous potato processing operation, such as a higher initial investment cost and less overall flexibility than the batch process method of production.
The batch process starts with a finite set of raw ingredients and moves them down the production line until the final step. The next batch of products will not enter the next step in the production line until the preceding batch has moved through that step.
Batch process equipment tends to cost less than the equipment used for continuous operation and operators can potentially have more granular control over quality and traceability depending on the type of product being produced.
When running a batch process, you’ll often need more storage space for each stage of the production line than compared to continuous operation. Employees will also have increased downtime as they are forced to wait between processes. Production bottlenecks can also occur with poorly planned batch processes.
When to Consider Batch Process vs. Continuous Operation?
Continuous and batch processing both work exceptionally well for processing potatoes. Batch processing can offer better product quality control and tracing for various products. At the same time, continuous operation allows for near-infinite scaling and throughput combined with reduced processing time.
Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the size of your processing operation. Continuous equipment isn’t needed until you reach certain production volumes, making batch processing inefficient. The point at which it makes sense to transition to continuous equipment can depend on a variety of factors such as the type of equipment, your product, as well as your company goals.
If you are unsure if you are ready to scale up to continuous equipment, contact our team for more details if it’s right for you.
Potato Processing Equipment
Vanmark offers a wide range of state-of-the-art potato processing machines set up to run continuously. Our high-quality potato processing equipment will help improve efficiencies, reduce waste, and allow for easy and thorough sanitation. Click below to learn more.
Potato Processing Equipment
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