Tomato Product Can Conversion

Food Client

  • Phased approach
  • Canning line overhaul
  • Filling line can seamer updates
  • Corrected identified quality and food safety issues


12 lines

We had a really great experience. Our engineer was very knowledgeable in the canning industry, which was tremendously helpful… It felt very refreshing to be dealing with an engineer who also understood food safety. That is incredible. Having our engineer with that knowledge, and understanding food in general, and more specifically canned food manufacturing, was tremendously helpful, especially because we had such a new leadership team with no food knowledge. That was great.

~Plant Quality Manager

When faced with an unexpected three-month project delay, this long-time tomato processing client understood the possibility that the SSOE Project Manager (PM) might not be available when the project was set to resume. As a result, the client elected to adjust their project plans to maintain access to our PM’s expertise by transferring him to assess a similar project at one of their Canadian plants until the original project was ready to re-start.

The client’s Director of Continuous Improvement responsible for can seaming had worked with SSOE’s PM on multiple U.S. can conversion projects two years earlier. He asked our PM to take over managing a can conversion project he was overseeing. This plant had recently contracted with a new can vendor and needed to adjust their equipment to work for the new cans. Our scope included the seaming portion of the project plus an overhaul of the canning lines, completing both in time for the tomato harvest.

The project included 12 existing filling line seamers and was completed in a two-phase approach. Phase 1 included completing nine lines in preparation for tomato harvest. Phase 2 completed the remaining three lines that were being used for re-manufactured product while Phase 1 was being completed. This approach allowed us to address any quality issues with both re-man and tomato harvest processing. The SSOE PM remained in the plant during the beginning of tomato harvest to ensure the new processes worked as designed. This alternate assignment retained SSOE’s PM and allowed the client to benefit from his expertise until it was time for him to transfer back to the original project in the U.S.

During the time spent on-site, the SSOE PM leveraged his food industry expertise and experience to identify additional opportunities for improvement with regard to food safety. The client was extremely pleased to have the extra set of eyes on their process and found our PM’s observations to be invaluable. Though this was not part of the scope of work for the can conversion project, communicating these observations and offering suggestions for ways to correct the findings solidified our relationship with the client and plant leadership.

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