How To Choose The Right Production Line? [Complete Guide]

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If you manage a food manufacturing company that works with fish processing or meat packing, you most probably know the struggle of working with multiple suppliers – you can never be sure that they will get the product to you on time or no major errors will occur.

And sure – you can’t always make everything perfect because a lot of times unexpected slipups may happen but you can most definitely reduce the risk of them happening.

So now is the right time to look for food manufacturing solutions that suit your business needs and goals the best.

What are the solution options?

When you start to look for all the possible fish or other raw food, like meat, fruit or vegetable, production technologies in the industry, you’ll stumble upon three main options – custom production lines, turnkey solutions, and customized turnkey solutions. But what are the differences and how to know which solution will suit your business the most? Let’s have a closer look at each of them!

Custom production lines

If you as a fish processing or food packing company’s representative want something that is created from the ground up and fitted exclusively for your organization, a custom production line might be the solution for you.

To build such production lines, you have to reckon that the equipment may be individually purchased from different suppliers, and then integrated into one factory line. At the end of the extensive customization, all of your system operations will be streamlined and flexible.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of these production lines?

If you decide to go with the custom production line solution, you can be sure that:

  • most, if not all, of your company’s needs will be covered;
  • it can be designed to work with your already existing business procedures;
  • you’ll be able to set it up step by step in different stages;
  • you can install any extra equipment afterward if needed;
  • it will provide you with many advantages, always keeping your business’s long-term goals in mind.

But you also have to keep in mind these disadvantages that come with custom production lines:

  • they need more resources for their development than some other solutions;
  • if you’ll need some enhancements in the future, they’ll have to be custom-tailored as well;
  • because they’re quite a unique setup, they may come with some higher risks;
  • they might take a long time to install and set up.

When should you choose this solution over others?

A custom production line will work the best for fish processing or food packing companies if there’s no way to find already existing turnkey solutions exactly for your business’s needs and goals, or maybe you just want to incorporate some more flexible and modern technologies into your existing, aged production line.

Keep in mind that this solution will suit your company if you have appropriate in-house tech support that will be able to take care of the line and your company has the budget and time to install and maintain the system.

Turnkey solution

As the name itself requests, turnkey solutions are so complete that they only need to be turned on with a key to get their job done. And based on your company’s work field, you may already have a variety of easily available turnkey solutions to pick from. 

To make it even easier for you, many manufacturers that sell different turnkey solutions will frequently have professionals on hand to assist you with everything from implementation to maintenance.

What are the turnkey solution benefits and downsides?

If you decide to go with a turnkey solution for your manufacturing business, you can be sure that:

  • your company will be exposed to fewer risks because, unlike custom production lines, turnkey solutions have been already tested;
  • this is the best choice for small and medium businesses because it costs less money, coming with many features by default;
  • you’ll have to communicate with only one company that also has already available support with solutions on hand;
  • the manufacturer you get your turnkey solution from can provide you with any future enhancements if needed.

However, just like any other technology, turnkey solutions, too, have some disadvantages and downsides you have to keep in mind. For example:

  • they are not so flexible, meaning that, unlike custom production lines, they are quite hard to customize;
  • you’ll probably need to modify any existing procedures to the new system;
  • you might get some maintenance and per-seat costs;
  • in some cases, these solutions can turn out more expensive than expected, if you decide not to go with some pre-packaged options.

When should you choose this solution over others?

Turnkey solutions will be the best for your manufacturing business if you’re looking for a production line that already has many features and is well-integrated from the ground up.

This solution will also work for your company if you don’t already have professional technicians on your team and have no time, money, or resources to separately buy each piece of equipment, building a manufacturing line from the start.

Customized turnkey solutions – best of both worlds?

If you’re looking for a ready-made food production line but want to customize some parts of it, customized turnkey solutions might be the way for you! That means you can have an off-the-shelf solution that you can adapt with more features to meet your business goals to the maximum. 

What benefits and disadvantages can you expect from choosing this solution?

If you decide in favor of this manufacturing option, you can be sure that:

  • you’ll be able to get the necessary changes to already existing solutions pretty fast;
  • this solution may provide some flexibility with your old or existing, as well as future systems;
  • your business will get more competitive advantages, thanks to the unique customizations that will work in favor of exactly your company;
  • the vendor you get your solution from still will be able to give you direct support if needed.

But you also have to keep in mind some disadvantages that come with custom turnkey solutions. Such as:

  • you have to be very mindful about the customization levels you want for your company – if you over-tweak your manufacturing line, you may wind up paying the same amount as if you constructed your system from the ground up;
  • this one depends on the manufacturing line, but you may not always be able to add some functionalities and features through modification;
  • you have to be prepared that by choosing the wrong off-the-shelf option from the start, the advantages of your modification may be minimized.

When to choose a customized turnkey solution over other solutions?

This type of solution for your manufacturing line may be the best if you have already found a great turnkey solution that works amazingly with covering most of your company’s needs but you see that some improvements need to be done in terms of functionality.

Keep in mind that it can be useful to find a base solution that covers at least 80% of your company’s main needs so that you can avoid overpaying on unnecessary customizations while also avoiding potential system performance difficulties.

Final thoughts

When you’re ready to make your next big step in the growth of your food processing business by choosing the best manufacturing solution for your company, we advise you to seek expert advice first.

Industry professionals, like PERUZA engineers, will first try to understand all the nuances of your business, helping you come to the right solution that will cover all your business needs in the best way. Professionals that are well-versed in manufacturing technologies may even advise you on certain equipment or features that you may have missed.

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