Processors are pledged to a fat-free, low-capex diet

Feb 24, 2009 | 05:58 AM |

Food processing industry analysts know one thing for sure despite an economic downturn, people still have to eat. That indisputable fact might translate into slow and steady progress in capital spending on the stainless steel machinery used to process food.

"Clearly this economy affects everybody, including food manufacturers," said Dennis Krause, GE Capital Corp.'s senior vice president and industry leader for the food, beverage and agribusiness. "But people have to eat. There is a heavier emphasis on value, whether it be private-label foods or more value-driven foods purchased at retailers rather than in restaurants."

Automation has been emphasized lately as a way of becoming more efficient, he said. "A lot of that includes installing new metal machinery throughout the plant, whether it's automatic palletizers using robotic technology or something else. We're noticing more and more innovation and automation along those lines."....

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