Marc Michael, President & CEO
With the relentless wave of technological advancements and innovations, the significance of customization in food culture has been elevated, giving rise to an empowered consumer. While consumers experiment with various diets and lifestyle approaches to achieve optimal mental and physical health, they also seek simplicity and transparency of the product in addition to better quality food. The overarching trend toward mindfulness in health and wellness has induced the questions of “What’s in it?”, “How was it made”?”, “Is it safe to consume?”, and “Who made it?” To answer these questions, the food brands must provide transparency and sustainable food products while anticipating the changing consumer and market demands. Clean labels with high ethical and product safety values are more important than ever. This is precisely what Charlotte-based SPX FLOW helps food brands achieve in this rapidly evolving landscape.
A Glance into the Organization
SPX FLOW is a global supplier of innovative, sustainable, high-performance processing solutions engineered to meet the rising demands of the dairy, food and beverage industries, and streamline diverse workflow processes for its clients. Guided by a mission to establish to boost efficiency, sustainability, and performance of food processing plants, SPX FLOW understands the market drivers, trends impacting the industry to craft and deploy suitable customer-centric solutions for improved profitability. The company diligently performs actuation and automation food processing technologies to help clients cope with rising transport costs, increased government regulations, food safety concerns, and changing consumer tastes. With operations and sales in more than 150 countries, SPX FLOW innovates with food brands to help feed and enhance the world by designing, delivering and servicing high-value solutions at the heart of growing and sustaining diverse communities. From rugged flow control valves to a plethora of integrated food processing equipment, SPX FLOW empowers brands with the ability to respond quickly to the evolving consumer and market demands. While adept process technology expertise, continued R&D, and custom engineering form SPX FLOW’s strong suit, the company is committed to delivering long-lasting reliability and low maintenance cost solutions. “I am pleased with the progress made on many fronts and confident in our long-term plan to create value by building a premier process solution enterprise with a strong balance sheet and customer-centered growth strategy ,” states Marc Michael, president, and CEO of SPX FLOW.
The company’s solutions, which include some of the industry’s leading product brands, backed by top-notch engineering and stringent quality control, ensure steadfast compliance with the highest international standards for hygiene. The leading product brands contributing to SPX FLOW’s wide range of modern food processing solutions include APV, Anhydro, Airpel, Gerstenberg Schröder, Johnson Pumps, Lightnin, Seital Separation, and Waukesha Cherry-Burrell.
This immersive solution set is designed to accommodate several dairy, food and beverage sector activities such as pasteurization, homogenization, UHT, separation, clarification, extraction, crystallization, and even drying process lines. SPX FLOW’s capability ranges from the supply of single products such as pumps, valves, heat exchangers, mixers, filters, and separators to complete, turnkey process line design and engineering. The company’s solutions are specifically developed to guarantee the highest standards in hygiene alongside providing superior flexibility, efficiency, and performance for gaining a real competitive edge.
Reaping the Benefits[AV2]
The prowess of SPX FLOW’s positive displacement pump was on full display when Morris National, a leading candy manufacturer sought to enhance its overall output and efficiency of producing tasty and visually appealing treats through reduced downtime. A lot goes into making nut-filled truffles—or nutffles for short—covered with Belgian chocolate and crisped rice. Maintaining product consistency and visual appeal with high levels of productivity proved a cumbersome task. Typically, enrobing centers with chocolate does not pose any problems for a positive displacement pump, but not all pumps are well-equipped to handle crisped rice. Morris National experienced a 50 percent decrease in crisped rice pieces while using regular positive displacement pumps. This was unacceptable from a product quality standpoint. They tried every possible method to maintain the integrity and consistency of the nutffles produced but failed. The management decided it was time to look for another pump that would keep the size of crisped rice pieces intact, and help them maintain planned production lines. With the help of SPX FLOW, Morris National decided to test a Waukesha Cherry-Burrell Universal I positive displacement pump.
Upon deploying the Waukesha pumps in the product lines, Morris National could effectively eliminate prolonged downtime that previously hindered overall output and efficiency. The expensive maintenance soon became straightforward and manageable. The Universal PD pump from SPX FLOW boasts several long-life features including non-galling alloy rotors that run at tighter clearances and pump a wide variety of viscosities, which helped immensely in creating a powerful grit of chocolate and crisped rice. Morris National was then convinced that this pump would play a crucial role in its production lines for years to come.
Beyond Food Processing
As the above story showcases the benefits of utilizing SPX FLOW’s offering, the company continues to surge ahead of its competitors in the dairy, food and beverage industry by addressing yet another major aspect: food product safety. SPX FLOW has introduced the EcoPure, a new line of sanitary centrifugal pumps for food processing and hygienic applications, which is designed to enhance production efficiency and safety of final food products. Unlike the traditional industrial magnetic drives, EcoPure has magnets incorporated directly into the impeller, thus erasing the need for mechanical seals and waterlines to flush the seals. This ensures a simple, configurable, cleanable, and a virtually leak-free sanitary solution for smooth product flow and safety in the food and beverage processing plants. EcoPure’s design additionally reduces the environmental impact of processing operations by mitigating overall leakage and eliminating wastewater from seal flushing.
With pumps available in different sizes to match unique requirements, the EcoPure line can be used in numerous applications in place of a traditional centrifugal pump, including clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilize-in-place (SIP) operations. These pumps can also be retrofitted with custom trimmed impellers to address the unique flow and pressure requirements needed for various processing plants. “On the strategic front, we have been taking deliberate steps to reduce our exposure to cyclical power and energy markets and large, project-based dry dairy applications. These verticals contributed to volatility in our historical operating performance and overshadowed the underlying profitability and quality of revenue generated in our high-value product lines, ” Michael adds.
"On the strategic front, we have been taking deliberate steps to reduce our exposure to cyclical power and energy markets and large, project-based dry dairy applications"
The Path Ahead
The processes food industry is in a period of amazing expansion throughout the world and food manufacturers are crumbling under pressure to provide a constant stream of imaginative, top-quality products; SPX FLOW is right there, helping to make it happen. With a full line of processing components bundled with a set of standard systems, SPX FLOW can seamlessly integrate its innovations in mixing, homogenization, and thermal processes to just about any kind of food. The company can provide process solutions with the appropriate level of sophistication to address this problem. SPX FLOW also offers an impressive range of equipment, and access to market experts who can help clients develop winning, profitable new products.
With a long legacy of close partnership with the dairy, food and beverage industries SPX FLOW additionally possesses well-equipped innovation centers that allow food scientists and technology experts to spread their wings, and refine processes and recipes to ensure the production targets are promptly met. The company’s continuous R&D program serves as the propellant that brings forth the latest innovations in energy-saving, reduced waste, increased efficiency, and lower environmental impact to take food processing plants into the future. “With an eye on the future, we have begun tailoring our organizational design to emphasize greater customer intimacy, new product development, and innovative customer and market analytics. We will leverage our ‘pathway to excellence’ lean program to increase the speed and efficiency of customer fulfillment with the goal of delivering a world-class customer experience while improving our cost productivity,” concludes Michael.