Selecting New Equipment: Hixson’s Knowledge and Experience Saves Time

On a recent project for one of Hixson’s valued food and beverage clients, Hixson’s Manufacturing Engineering team was tasked with designing separator equipment into a plant layout. The equipment needed to remove water from cooked product to the satisfaction of the client’s R&D group, while meeting the client’s requirements for budget and layout.

After spending time with the R&D staff members to fully understand their needs, Hixson first narrowed down the list of potential equipment options using knowledge of all the various possibilities that were available (e.g., horizontal separators, drum separators)…knowledge that has been gained at industry conferences, research, relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and even lunch-and-learn sessions. The Hixson team determined that that vibratory screening was the most likely solution to investigate for this particular use.

Next, Hixson recommended that a test run be conducted to select the correct equipment size and options and arranged to conduct the test run at an equipment manufacturer’s site, selecting an OEM which had experience working with Hixson and our clients. (Relationships like these allow Hixson clients to derive value from our firm’s past experiences with suppliers, but also provide assurances that discussions will be conducted with the client’s best interests in mind.) Once the test date was finalized, Hixson worked with the client’s R&D team to have the test material cooked and shipped to the equipment manufacturer’s testing facility, where it was separated into cooked product and the water/broth. During the course of the test day, five different tests were run to determine which unit would be best suited to separate the water from good product, theoretical throughput rates were calculated for the screeners, and the determination was made as to which optional accessories would be required to maximize the separation characteristics of the units. The correct screen was selected which would adequately separate the product and water while providing maximum flexibility in the layout. The OEM delivered a proposal for two units which would fall well within the client’s previously prepared equipment budget. All of the above – identification of equipment technology, equipment testing, specifying requirements, preparing a layout, and obtaining a proposal from the OEM – was completed in just one month.

Using both knowledge and experience, Hixson was able to quickly provide the client with a proven, workable solution that would meet their multi-faceted needs. Hixson strives to provide unique value such as this to our clients on all of our projects. To learn more about Hixson’s Manufacturing Engineering capabilities, or any of our 16 in-house disciplines, contact us at or 513-241-1230.


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