Streamlining Meal Preparation: The Benefits of Production Lines in the Prepared Meal Industry

Food production line staff

Ever since Ford invented the assembly line, businesses have transformed the way they create their products, and the prepared meal industry is no exception. Manual meal preparation continues to be phased out and replaced with automated production lines. Automation is faster and more efficient and it ensures higher quality and consistency while reducing downtime and errors. Automated meal preparation streamlines the whole process, making it easier for companies to focus on other challenges. 

Producing pre-made dinners with assembly lines brings companies numerous benefits – quality, consistency, reduced downtime, and fewer errors. These are important benefits of automated production lines, and there are so many more that continually transform frozen meal companies. Here, we’ll go in-depth on the unique benefits of meal preparation with production lines. Later on, we’ll discuss types of automated equipment such as granular applicators and food conveyor belts that bring benefits to production lines.

Producing Premade Dinners with Assembly Lines

Increased quality and consistency and reduced downtime and errors are critical aspects of automated meal preparation. But, the benefits of producing premade dinners with assembly lines don’t stop there. Additional benefits include higher output, reduced overhead costs, increased food safety, faster time to stores, and flexibility. Automation brings so many benefits to a production line and serves as a single solution to many challenges of the prepared meal industry.

Higher Output

Producing pre-made dinners with automated equipment generates more meals much faster than with manual assembly. Manual assembly is slow, only resulting in tens of meals per hour, whereas a fully automated production line can create thousands. Higher productivity is important for getting your prepared meals to your customers. As demand for prepared meals increases, automated meal preparation makes it possible to meet this demand.

Faster Time to Stores

Because automated equipment generates higher output, companies can get their products to stores much faster. Although there have been supply chain issues, generating more products allows more to reach stores. This way, companies can still connect customers to prepared meals. 

Reduced Overhead Costs

Automated meal preparation reduces overhead costs in multiple ways. It requires minimal staffing, lowering labor costs. Automation conserves ingredient use so companies spend less buying ingredients. It also conserves resource use such as water and electricity, which lowers utility costs. And because automated equipment significantly reduces errors, companies save money by not having to throw away products that don’t pass quality control.

Improved Food Safety

Producing premade dinners with automated equipment also improves food safety. Automated equipment is much easier to clean, which prevents harmful bacteria from building up and contaminating food. This equipment also requires fewer people to handle ingredients and products, which limits the chances of staff passing on food-borne illnesses. Lastly, since automated equipment has high throughput, this keeps ingredients from sitting in machinery and going bad. Overall, automated meal preparation results in increased food safety

Flexibility and Customization

Another benefit of automated equipment is the flexibility and customization capacity that the machinery brings to a production line. At Quantum, our automated machinery can be easily rearranged to meet brand specifications. Our ingredient applicators and conveyor belts also have customizable settings, from speed settings to meat slice arrangement, and adjustable heights on our cantilevered designs. Flexibility and customization allow brands to create unique products to stand out from the competition.

Higher output, faster time to store, reduced overhead costs, increased food safety, flexibility, and customization are critical benefits of automated production lines. Without them, it’s nearly impossible to succeed in the prepared meal industry. At Quantum, we offer automated prepared meals equipment that brings all of these benefits and more to any production line. Some of these equipment types include granular applicators and food conveyor belts. We’ll explore specific types of automated equipment next.

Granular Applicators, Food Conveyor Belts, and More

A prepared meals company can only realize these benefits if they implement automated equipment into their production line. To maximize these benefits, it’s best to automate every aspect of the production line where possible. But where to start? What parts of the production line can companies automate? At Quantum, we make it possible to automate sauce application, meat slicing, cheese application, dry and granular ingredient applicators, and conveyor systems.

Let’s focus on granular applicators and food conveyors here.

Granular Applicators

Our granular applicators can apply both dry and granular ingredients, such as spices, herbs, salt, granulated cheeses, and dried or jerk meats. As long as the ingredients can fit in the applicator, the machinery can dispense the ingredients onto products. Our QTGA1000, QTGA5, and QTGA3000 Series all have a cantilevered design that can be easily added to an existing production line and evenly dispenses toppings onto prepared meals. These applicators are user-friendly and are simple to clean by washdown. Dry/granular ingredient applicators are key pieces of equipment in a product assembly line because of their ability to add a number of ingredients and toppings to a prepared meal.

Food Conveyor Belts

Food conveyor belts are also critical components of production lines in the prepared meals industry. Besides increasing the productivity and efficiency of the assembly line, they can have other functions as well. At Quantum, we offer a number of different food conveyor belts that can meet a range of production line requirements. These include:

  • Bulk Feed and Infeed Conveyors
  • Compression Conveyors
  • Reclaim Conveyors
  • Wirebelt Conveyors
  • Flat Belt and Cantilevered Conveyors
  • Water Spray Conveyors

Based on your company’s business needs, we can recommend which conveyor systems can benefit your production line. When you choose Quantum, you’re choosing the most trusted name in the industry to help your prepared meal company exceed customer expectations.

Automate Your Production Lines with Quantum

At Quantum Technical Services, we make it easy to optimize production lines with automation. Our best-in-business automated equipment and stellar customer service help our clients streamline operations and exceed customer expectations. Our automated equipment provides efficiency without sacrificing quality and consistency. Contact us today to see how your company can streamline production line operations with our team at Quantum.