The outsourcing checklist

by Darryl Wernimont, director of marketing, POWER Engineers
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POWER Engineers

Outsourcing engineering services is a growing trend in the food and beverage industries. At one time, large engineering departments capable of all facets of design, construction and operation of a plant were commonplace. Today, in-house engineering groups have been downsized. In many cases, retirements compounded the issue, leaving some companies without the in-house engineering capabilities they once depended upon.

As a result, food and beverage companies have recognized the opportunity to outsource and partner with multidiscipline engineering firms that can help them fill their gaps in engineering and operational experience. If this scenario sounds familiar, the following checklist may be of value when you evaluate engineering houses for outsourcing of engineering and facility services.

Capabilities and discipline skill sets

  • Food facility building and infrastructure design
  • Process design
  • Conventional processing (baking, frying, freezing, pasteurizing)
  • Hot fill
  • Retort
  • Aseptic and extended shelf life (ESL) processing and packaging
  • Drying/dehydration
  • Irradiation
  • Blending and mixing
  • Food process controls and design
  • Primary and secondary packaging systems
  • Consumer packaging
  • Bulk and institutional packaging
  • Architectural
  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Refrigeration
  • Civil
  • Master planning
  • Project management
  • Program management
  • Construction management
  • Sustainable solutions, power generation and alternative energy

Industry experience

  • Baked goods
  • Salty snacks
  • Cereal and cereal bars
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, by-products, ice cream and novelties, whey)
  • Processed foods
  • Aseptic and ESL foods
  • Refrigerated and frozen foods
  • Beverage (still)
  • Beverage (carbonated)
  • Meat and poultry (slaughter)
  • Meat and poultry (further processed)
  • Nutritional
  • Kosher

Scope of experience

  • Food manufacturing backgrounds
  • Consulting engineer backgrounds
  • Capital process equipment and systems manufacturing backgrounds
  • Primary and secondary packaging backgrounds
  • Food plant controls and automation backgrounds
  • Food plant utility backgrounds

Depth of experience

  • Number of individuals dedicated to food and beverage industries
  • Years of experience
  • Depth of succession
  • Number of offices

Geographic coverage capabilities

  • North America
  • Mexico
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Africa
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Asia Pacific
  • Australia and New Zealand

Plant safety, security and hygienic design

  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP)
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement
  • AIB GMP audits
  • Aseptic, acidified and low acid foods (CFR 108, 110, 113, 114)
  • US Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration
  • 3-A sanitary design standards
  • American Meat Institute (AMI)’s 11 Sanitary Design Principles for Facilities
  • AMI Sanitary Equipment Design
  • Bakery Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC)
  • Conventional, aseptic and ESL backgrounds
  • Regulatory Experience (USDA, FDA)

This story is sponsored by POWER Engineers, which has one of the most comprehensive teams of engineers and specialists serving the baking and snack industry. As an extension of its clients' engineering teams, the company provides program management, integrated solutions and full facility design for the baking and snack industry. Learn more at www.powereng.com/food.

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