9 Key Factors for Choosing Cannabis or Hemp Extraction Equipment

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Purchasing cannabis or hemp extraction equipment is a big decision. This is the equipment that you rely on to process your products, and you want to make sure that it is high-quality and bring your organization a healthy ROI.

In order to ensure that your investment will be the right fit for your needs, Maratek has created a list of nine key factors that your organization should consider when choosing cannabis or hemp extraction equipment.

#1 - Product formulation 

The first step in choosing your equipment is to determine what products you plan on offering to the market. This will then guide your decision on which equipment you require. In addition, it’s good to know if you’d prefer a solventless extraction system, the volume of biomass to process per day, and how much room is available to put the physical machines in. Determining what formulation your product will require informs each of the next steps.

#2 - Customizability

Your extraction needs are unique - your equipment should be able to meet your specific requirements. Once you know your product formulation needs, you’ll then be able to figure out what specific equipment you require and what equipment size and add ons you may need. A quality extraction equipment manufacturer will work with you to identify your needs and provide personalized or turnkey equipment to support an efficient production process.

#3 - Material

Some extraction equipment may have a low price, but consider why this is before going all-in. You likely want a machine that is going to last and make your investment worth it. Some manufacturers may not use quality materials in their manufacturing process. Non-food grade steel can break down and become corroded over time, meaning that the machine will either work less effectively or stop working at all in a few years. It can also become difficult to clean. The best long-term investment is one that is going to last. Look for equipment that uses 316 or 304 stainless steel to ensure the utmost quality. At Maratek, all of our equipment is made of 316 or 304 North American stainless steel. 

#4 - Quality

You want to make sure that your products are high-quality so that you are able to satisfy the end consumer. To start, you’ll need quality biomass to input in the machine. The equipment itself will need to be the correct fit for the quantity of biomass and the desired end product. The quality of the materials used, specifications of the equipment, and overall efficiency of the process will all contribute to the end product. Lower quality equipment will likely cause operational issues, resulting in increased downtime, maintenance, or replacements required. It could also lead to less reliability of the end product.

The quality control regulations in the region that the equipment is manufactured in will be a good indication as to the quality of the equipment as well. For example, Maratek’s equipment is completely designed and manufactured in Ontario, Canada. Our team regularly completes quality control checks to ensure that our equipment exceeds the already highly regulated Canadian manufacturing requirements.

#5 - Scalability

In addition to making sure that extraction equipment fits your current needs, the option to expand as you grow is important. Consider if the equipment is modular, if add-ons are available, and if upgrading is an option. Set yourself up for future success by ensuring that you’re making decisions now that will support as your production evolves.

#6 - Operating costs

Consider what the operational costs will be for your extraction system. Typically, solventless extraction, such as water or Vapor-Static extraction, have lower operational costs than traditional CO2 or ethanol systems. Energy-efficient systems will save on costs for energy. When comparing costs, it’s important to remember that a higher upfront cost is often offset by lower operating costs in high quality equipment.

#7 - Automation

Think of your ideal production process. Is automation an important factor so that the equipment functions without an operator, freeing up staff to work on other projects? Alternatively, a manual operation would require at least one operator. This can potentially lead to lost efficiency due to employee fatigue.

Extraction equipment may be manual, partially automated, or fully automated. Automated solutions will reduce labour costs, which is also an important factor in calculating operating costs.

#8 - Clean-in-place

It’s important for equipment to remain clean with no extra residue or contaminants in order to ensure that products are high-quality and that the equipment has a long lifespan. However, large, intricate equipment can be very difficult to clean, leading to a variety of potential issues. A high pressure clean-in-place (CIP) integration will save you the hassle of constantly cleaning the equipment. This ensures that your equipment will stay running longer.

#9 - Customer service

Even the best systems need maintenance or repairs. Because extraction equipment is specialized, it’s best not to try and do this without help. An extraction equipment manufacturer should have staff to support you with any equipment needs that may come up. This can include setting up the equipment, equipment training, repairs, maintenance, and providing rebuilds or upgrades. They should also provide you with documentation such as standard operating procedures (SOPs) and support your lab design. This will ensure that your extraction process is running consistently and efficiently.

A quality, experienced extraction equipment manufacturer will provide your process with ample support, helping design a lab process that sets you apart from competition. 

At Maratek, we have over 50 years of extraction experience and are committed to ensuring that you get the best equipment and service possible. Contact us today to let us help you develop a safe and reliable cannabis or hemp extraction process.

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