Cost is an important factor to consider in the world of ingredient automation, and at the heart of any plant manager with a specified budget. Still, cost itself can represent much more than the aspect of how much a company has to spend monetarily. Through our experience distributing the modern version of the first-ever cyclone screener on the market, at AZO, we have had since 1949 to understand what goes into making a quality cyclone screener cost as much as it does.
In this blog series, we hope to shed some light on the benefits gained by using a screener manufactured by AZO, but also help you determine if those benefits are worth the investment for you and your team. We recognize there are a variety of options out there. While we’re absolutely happy to explain the long-term stability an AZO screener possesses, what cost really means to each manager could vary overall. If you’ve never stopped to contemplate the definition of “cost” yourself, we absolutely welcome you to keep reading and contact our sales members for any further questions related to the subject of screener “cost.”
How a screener’s ‘cost’ can relate to more than just money
We know that our equipment is top-of-the-line, robust equipment that has served multiple industries for generations. “Cost” in the most literal sense certainly does relate to the price tag of specific screener models with specific surface finishes. It’s true that a time-tested DA Screener from the very company that pioneered the design originally and continues to build on that reputation (OK, we get it, our contaminant doesn’t stink) might end up being more expensive than some other options.
Still, there are “costs” that often go overlooked when selecting a piece of equipment that isn’t necessarily “built to last.” These kinds of costs include:
- Maintenance costs
- Repair costs
- Product recall costs
Any of these “costs” associated can (and do) result in some major headaches down the line. With something as important as quality control in sifting out foreign material, it is more than peace of mind that is achieved when opting for a high-end screener.
On the other hand, it’s true that select companies might not even need such a device. Some may even think the idea of implementing such a screener is “overkill.” The industry these companies operate in can absolutely have an impact on this decision, but we’ll expand on that momentarily after discussing the general market price range for screeners.
When budgeting and planning for screener purchase and installation, a screener’s price range essentially depends on three factors:
- What a customer needs
- The material construction of the screener
- The surface finish of the screener
Specifically, the materials of construction AZO offers include our carbon steel, powder-coated and stainless steel (304, 316 or 316L). Our E240 model (a half-horsepower machine) is currently the smallest screening machine that AZO manufactures. The rest of our screeners range all the way up to a 5 horsepower machine.
How cost affects various ingredient handling industry sectors
Companies in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and plastic industries take product quality extremely seriously (or they should). Before, during and after processing individual ingredients are meticulously checked in these industries in accordance to HACCP specifications (or they should be). A top-of-the-line screener effectively prevents any foreign material from entering the production process, and again, peace of mind is ever important in these industries.
There are even more critical considerations for costs relating to screeners that we think may be overlooked if they are simply tacked on at the end of this initial post. Stay tuned to the AZO blog for considerations regarding how a sifting machine might need to match specific needs and a company’s corporate philosophy, the costs of deck and cyclone screeners (though we’ve tackled their basic differences here) and how deagglomeration adds an extra feature to select screeners for products that could require it (another post on screener deagglomeration can be found here).
If you have any questions about cyclone screening equipment or ingredient automation as a whole, please contact our sales team. If you’ve seen enough and are ready to select from a myriad of screeners we provide, we have an in-depth screening buying guide to help you specify, justify or maintain the right AZO screener for your operation. Even if you aren’t sure, the guide is free and contains literature on other screener-related topics we hope any plant manufacturer can learn something from.