Process Engineering

for food, pharma, nutra, pet food, chemical, and aggregates

ABM’s engineering team combines processing equipment into efficient systems that handle and effect your materials as required. Their knowledge of the equipment on the market allows them achieve an effective and reliable combination of throughputs, margins of error, tolerances, and features. Their experience with many hundreds of materials allows them to solve complex problems quickly and effectively.

Process Engineering Example Layout

Process Design

Though technically a different discipline, process design is considered part of engineering as a whole. At this step our Sales and Mechanical Engineers identify how to best achieve the end-goal in the most efficient and practical way possible. This can be anything from conveyor system design to packaging line design and includes:

Technology selection: Before they start looking at equipment, our engineers will use their existing understanding of the product, or what is understood from testing unique products, to determine what available technologies are best fitting. For example, whether a chain conveyor, tubular drag, belt conveyor, or screw conveyor should be used.

Process flow diagram: The next step is to create a process flow diagram that outlines the steps involved in the production process. This diagram helps identify potential bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the process and serves as a guide for designing the equipment layout. At this stage we determine how product will move from one piece of equipment to the others, and we fabricate the transitions, support structures, and work areas.

Testing: Any outstanding questions at this step will be resolved with small-scale test-runs, or mock setups if available or quickly emulatable.

Equipment selection: Next, the make, model, and size of equipment must be determined, as well as the materials and resources needed to operate the equipment.

Process parameters: Rough temperature, pressure, and flow rates must be defined to ensure that the process operates efficiently and within the power threshold.

Safety and environmental considerations: This includes identifying potential hazards and designing systems to prevent accidents and minimize environmental impact.

Structural design: After all the pieces have been selected and configurations decided on, we have to figure out how they are all going to fit together. The whole system is drawn in CAD or SolidWorks to ensure the system works efficiently, equipment is arranged to minimize travel of personnel and ingredients, codes are met, and there is enough access for operation and maintenance when that one part needs to be changed in 5 years.

Process Control

The next step is to simplify controls. Many individual pieces or sub groups of equipment will come with their own controls or ways to interface with complimentary equipment, and we look for opportunities to simplify them. We do this by removing those that will not be beneficial to the process and by combining others. For example, the heat increase in a fluid bed dryer may need to accompany an increase in blower power, so one could be made to trigger the other.

Our process control software, DSO Sentinel, is a good middle-ground solution for processors who want to control their whole system from a tablet, but don’t need something as large or expensive as Factory Talk. DSO provides system reporting, alerts, and other convenient capabilities that simplify traceability and buyer audits.


To learn about what we can do for your project specifically, simply fill out the form below or give us a call!