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May 01, 2022

What to Look for When Buying an Industrial Slicer Machine

Industrial slicers help reduce waste, increase productivity, and can assist in alleviating labor shortages. However, not all industrial slicing machines are created equal. There are several key

Industrial slicers help reduce waste, increase productivity, and can assist in alleviating labor shortages. However, not all industrial slicing machines are created equal. There are several key considerations that you should factor into your buying decision.

Ease of sanitation, production rates, and the type of products you’re slicing are just a few of the many features you’ll find in a slicer. Read on to learn more about what to consider when you’re looking to buy an industrial slicer machine. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is key to ensuring that the machine meets your needs. For example, if you just slice bacon all day long, you probably don’t require a machine that can quickly change over to another product.

Alternatively, you might need some flexibility—such as sandwich slicers that can do both ham and turkey or pizza slicers that can do 12” and 16” crusts. Co-packers who sell sliced tomatoes and onions to restaurants will benefit from an even more flexible machine that offers fast and easy changeouts.

Production Rates

Production rates are application-dependent. There are several considerations, such as:

  • Number of lanes
  • Number of product holders and heads
  • How fast the rest of the line moves
  • Downtime for maintenance and sanitation
  • Downtime for changeouts for different SKUs

Sanitation

All industrial slicer manufacturers must build their machines to meet specific regulatory standards. At Grote, we go above and beyond and try to make it as easy and fast as possible with:

  • Open channel frames
  • Easy access to everything
  • Washdown compliant - easily hose the machine off
  • Minimal tools and moving parts

We also strictly adhere to the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) equipment sanitary design principles for our food slicers and assembly equipment. This helps to reduce the chances of contamination and associated recalls. 

We build our machines to strict specifications:

  • Cleanable to a microbiological level
  • Equipment parts are free of niches such as pits, cracks, corrosion, etc.
  • Built from materials that are entirely compatible with the product, environment, cleaning chemicals, and cleaning and sanitation methods.
  • Sanitary operational performance
  • Fully accessible for sanitation, cleaning, and maintenance—without the use of tools
  • Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures
  • No liquid or product collection
  • Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems
  • Hermetically sealed hollow areas
  • Validated sanitizing and cleaning protocols

Download the above checklist.

Define Goals/Objectives/Project/Needs

Consider your operation process and goals for today and into the future.

Type of Slicing

Consider the type of slicing you need:

  • Bulk slicing
  • Stacking
  • Shingling
  • Slice and apply
  • Specialty

Food Product Specifications

What are your food product specifications regarding:

  • Which food product
  • More than one?
  • Product specs (size, diameter, consistency, temp)

Line Specifications

The line specifications are also important.  

  • Does it need to fit into an existing line? 
  • What space is available?
  • Does it need to cantilever over a conveyor or have one built-in?
  • Left or right hand

For example, a bulk ingredient supplier may be looking to bulk slice onions, tomatoes, and cheese for their foodservice customers in one machine. Or a large sandwich manufacturer needs to slice and apply deli meat onto passing bread three lanes wide. Or a meat snack processor is looking to use their existing machine for a new plant-based product.

Total Cost of Ownership Considerations

A few other buying factors include price, maintenance, aftermarket service, and parts costs.

Disposable or Reusable Blades?

Disposable blades are more sanitary in that you simply replace them vs. cleaning and sharpening a reusable one. However, they obviously have a shorter lifespan - usually a shift. Blade life also depends on what product it's slicing, how fast, and how long as well as if the machine is set up and maintained correctly. 

Several “off-brand” band blade suppliers exist.e But we say that our blades are the best since we know the slicers best, with 50 years of experience designing and manufacturing them. 

Reusable blades have a higher upfront cost and are preferable for applications where they run at high speed consistently for hours, and at processors with onsite maintenance. 

The Grote 613 Multi-Slicer

The Grote 613 Multi-Slicer is our entry model and a step up from tabletop slicers. It’s modular and offline, and you can roll it around wherever you need it. It can also bulk slice or shingle lots of food applications and is relatively simple to operate.

Grote is known for its slice and apply technology. Our slicers can slice a food product onto something passing underneath (crust, bread, tray, other food) with accurate targeting and placement. They’re used in food-to-go or prepared food (pizza, sandwiches, frozen meals, cordon bleu) applications.

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Which Industrial Slicer Machine Is Right for You?

Choosing the right slicer is a matter of knowing your needs and then finding a manufacturer who will not only meet them—but be there to support you and the machine throughout its lifespan. Grote is trusted by more iconic pizza and food brands worldwide than any other manufacturer.

Grote Industrial Slicers are durable, offer ease of sanitation, and are backed up by our top-notch customer service and support.

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