Packaging Technologies-Dairy Processors / Dairy Processing and Equipment / Processing / Operations
Equipment trends

Dairy processors focused on 'single-serve' packaging, equipment needs

When it comes to equipment, dairy processors said they seek easy-to-clean machinery to prevent cross-contamination.

While the popularity of Greek yogurt has been the biggest story in the dairy industry in the last few years, it is not the only dairy category showing growth, according to a survey of dairy processors. Other growing categories are cheese, new flavors of ice cream and milk, by-products (whey and protein concentrates), powdered milk, almond milk and coconut water.

Those are some insights gleaned by PMMI, Reston, Va., a trade association representing manufacturers of packaging equipment. PMMI released its "Dairy Industry — A Market Assessment" report today at its PackExpo trade show in Las Vegas.

The trade group found that "single-serve is the word of nearly every dairy processor when asked about packaging trends. As in many other food categories, single-serve dairy portions are answering the call from on-the-go consumers that lace a premium on convenience. As a result, single-serve milk is becoming available in convenience stores and quick-service restaurants."

Dairy processors said they seek durable packaging materials to increase stability as their products move through the supply chain. Processors also are using sustainable materials to extend shelf-life; seeking easy-to-open and close fitments; and developing attention-grabbing shapes and stand-up pouches.

When it comes to equipment, dairy processors said they seek easy-to-clean machinery to prevent cross-contamination. They also want machinery that can collect the data for processing, production and packaging lines to accurately document operations.

Rather than try to go it alone, processors are turning to equipment manufacturers for assistance. PMMI reported that processors turn to OEMs for:
• Operator training
• Preventive maintenance
• Knowledgeable service technicians
• Factory acceptance testing
• More timely service
• A committed partnership

Processors rely on equipment that runs efficiently and productively. They told PMMI that equipment makers need to design these features into their machines: preventive maintenance schedules; maintenance alerts; alerts showing why a machine failed; and easy access so repairs can be completed faster.

According to the study, processors want programmable logic controllers that can capture pertinent machine operating data and download it to their back office system. That would help identify operating missteps that lead to unscheduled downtime.

On the packaging side, according to the report, dairy processors are looking to boost line speeds through design improvements such as larger filler heads to reduce the time it takes to fill a container.

Three out of four dairy processors plan to purchase equipment in the next 12 to 24 months. One-third of those interviewed said they expect to buy more equipment than they had during the previous 12 months. The leading reasons for equipment purchases are:
• New products
• Increasing output
• New packaging
• Aging equipment
• New materials

Overall, dairy processors told PMMI researchers that they want more automation in the entire food processing operations, including case erectors, case packers, palletizers, vision inspection, filling and processing. "There needs to be seamless integration from one piece of equipment to another," an engineer told PMMI.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Dairy Foods Magazine. 
You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines, Iowa

 From this one plant, AE Dairy manufactures a full range of Grade A dairy beverages and foods, including white and flavored milk, ice cream mix (packaged for retail sale and for commercial use), 50 flavors of Greek and conventional low-fat and nonfat yogurt, buttermilk, whipping cream, cottage cheese, juices, sour cream and dips.  


This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

1/26/15 8:15 am EST

President's Address --2020 Vision

They say hindsight is 20/20, but IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton is turning that old adage on its head. She plans to look forward to the next five years with a focused vision on important changes ahead for the dairy industry. In her address Tipton will challenge industry leaders to be willing to shake things up. She will unveil plans to ramp up IDFA activities during the run up to 2020.

Dairy Foods Magazine

dairy foods january 2015

2015 January

Our annual supplier spotlights issue; A look inside Anderson Erickson Dairy; plus our detection systems Q&A

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Dairy Foods in 2015

Which dairy food do you plan to eat more of in 2015?
View Results Poll Archive


Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube logo 40px 2-12-13  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13google plus

Dairy Foods Buyers Guide

cover df july 2013Resource for buyers in the dairy processing industry to find information on the leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Find Ingredients, Equipment, Distribution, R&D and More.

Start Your Search Today.