Apr 20, 2017
Compliance audits for ammonia refrigeration are increasingly more detailed with regulatory standards maturing every year. Which begs the question: How prepared or risk-prone do you want your facility to be?
Compliance is just one of several issues on the agenda this week for the regional conference hosted by the Central Florida Chapter of the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA). In addition to refrigeration maintenance and operation, attendees at the Central Florida Ammonia Refrigeration Regional Conference will also focus on the importance of compliance with regulators like OSHA.
Apr 13, 2017
We all know the design-build methodology, by nature, is faster than the traditional design-bid-build approach. But if speed to market is your goal (hint: if you’re in the food and beverage industry, it probably is), then you can’t beat the agility that a fully integrated firm offers.
We’ve previously explored how a fully integrated design-build firm — one that offers process design, building and infrastructure design, and construction services with all in-house resources — can save you money and increase your plant’s food safety. In this post, I’m going to discuss the numerous ways an integrated approach can streamline your next project and get you from concept to commissioning faster than any other method.
Apr 6, 2017
Will your new food or beverage facility be the source of a future recall? The answer could all come down to communication. I’m not talking about how well your staff on the plant floor can work together or how effective your leadership skills are as an owner. The fate of your plant can be decided well before a big ribbon is cut and your processing lines whir to life.
The food safety quality of your next facility depends on whether the people designing and constructing your plant can communicate effectively.
This may feel like something that’s outside of your control — but who you hire can be the difference between a project with streamlined communication and a multi-million-dollar game of “telephone” where mixed messages put food safety (and your budget) at risk.
Mar 30, 2017
Food and beverage companies are faced with a decision when they decide to construct a new facility: contract a design-build firm or go with the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. Nowadays, design-build is an increasingly popular option because it allows a project to be completed under one contract and in one unified workflow from initial concept through completion.
Not all design-builders are created equal, however. In the food and beverage industry, working with a fully integrated firm can save money, improve safety and increase speed to market on a project.
I call it the “three-legged stool” methodology: A fully integrated firm provides design, construction and process engineering services — the three major components to build a food plant — all under one roof.
Mar 23, 2017
Coffee continues to be one of the most rapidly evolving markets in the food and beverage industry. Variety in flavor options and the growing popularity of cold brew coffee are just a few of the latest market trends.
Consumer preferences and tastes are constantly changing, and to meet market demand while remaining profitable, producers need greater control over their processing and packaging systems.
Mar 16, 2017
Bottling is one of the biggest challenges in spirit manufacturing. In fact, it’s the most common issue our team encounters when working with clients in this space.
For spirit manufacturers, it’s not usually a question of “Can we make this product?” but rather “Can we get it into a bottle fast enough to fulfill all our orders?”
How you get your product into its bottle can easily bottleneck your entire operation. Are you experiencing inefficiencies at your plant? Wondering why your output isn’t what you estimated? Your problems may stem from issues with equipment, bottle types and/or overall processing lines.
Mar 9, 2017
When Royal Cup first sat down with Stellar to discuss its expansion project, it had bold aspirations and high expectations. The Birmingham-based importer and roaster of specialty coffees and fine teas decided to invest in cutting-edge manufacturing updates to keep pace with its growing consumer base and sales.
“To do a project of this magnitude, you really need to have an expert here involved on the day-to-day, with their fingers in the project,” said Bill Smith, Royal Cup’s president.
Common misconceptions, the importance of objectivity and what to do if you’re on the fence
Mar 2, 2017
You’ve likely heard of a facility assessment before. It’s a top-to-bottom check-up for your food or beverage plant that can optimize energy usage, improve food safety, minimize risks and save money. But I’ve also heard from people who have their doubts.
Isn’t it just an embarrassing and awkward critique by an auditor? How is it different than if our own staff analyzes our facility? Do I really need an assessment if the plant is running fine?
Feb 23, 2017
More changes are coming to the food and beverage industry as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to crack down on ammonia safety.
The EPA has launched a three-year, nationwide enforcement and compliance initiative focused on reducing the risks of chemical releases from facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use ammonia as a refrigerant.
Feb 16, 2017
There’s a lot happening in the food and beverage packaging industry, and if there’s one place to get a pulse on it all, it’s PACK EXPO International. I had the privilege of attending the 60th anniversary of this premier industry trade show last November in Chicago. The event is huge and features hundreds of vendors — with 10×10 booths all the way up to exhibitors that take up nearly a quarter of the largest convention center in North America.