How to Design Efficient Product Flow into a New Food Plant

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How to Design Efficient Product Flow into a New Food Plant

Product flow inefficiencies can create a detrimental domino effect within your food and beverage business. When your processing “chain” has breaks and delays, it can cost money, waste time, jeopardize food quality and introduce safety hazards on the production floor.

In last week’s post, we discussed how to detect product flow problems in an existing facility and how to improve them. Now, we’ll focus on how to ensure a new facility is set up for success from receiving to shipping and everything in between.

The ultimate key to success is designing a plant that is linear so that product moves seamlessly downstream through each of the below steps without interruption.

Let’s take a look at those individual steps and how to optimize each for efficient product flow.

 

Improving Product Flow in Your Food Manufacturing Facility

4 inefficiencies that may be threatening your business

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Improving Product Flow in Your Food Manufacturing Facility

Improper product flow can be detrimental to your food plant’s operations in more ways than one. These inefficiencies can cost money, waste time, jeopardize food quality and introduce safety hazards on the production floor.

In this post, we’ll explore the ways your facility may be at risk and what you can do to improve product flow.

 

Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

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Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

It seems like only yesterday that we were discussing the launch of LEED v4 and its emphasis on energy and water conservation (OK, that second post was just two months ago). That new iteration of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certification for sustainable construction was a significant leap forward from previous versions. The USGBC will now only accept LEED registrations under LEED v4.

Back in November, however, the USGBC announced it was fast-tracking the development of yet another update called LEED v4.1. At the Greenbuild Boston conference, it promised that the new standard will be “improved and agile” ensuring that the USGBC will “deliver on the vision of green buildings for all.”

Since LEED v4.1 is now in the pilot stage and available for jobs, I thought I’d take a look at the new certification standard and what it means for those in the food manufacturing sector. In particular, I want to focus on LEED v4.1’s emphasis on using the USGBC Arc platform and data analysis to drive improvements in sustainability.

 

The Pros and Cons of Your Facility Location with Stricter LEED v4 Criteria

3 site selection credits that are now harder to earn in LEED v4

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The Pros and Cons of Facility Location with Stricter LEED v4 Criteria

When it comes to earning LEED certification, the location of your building plays a major role. After all, site selection accounts for 26 out of a possible 110 credits under LEED v4 New Construction — that’s more than halfway to the 50 credits required to achieve LEED Silver status.

A variety of factors determine whether your site is eligible for certain credits. Many times, simply looking 10 feet beyond the city limit and into county land can make a dramatic difference in cost or eligibility to earn certain credits.

Urban sites offer many “given” points that don’t require site modifications, such as access to public transit, but property near a city center is often more expensive. On the other hand, “paid” points that involve investing in site modifications — such as Sustainable Sites credits — realistically require a larger piece of land, which is often hard to find near a downtown area.

 

If You’re Renovating or Expanding a Facility, You Need 3D Laser Scanning

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If You’re Renovating or Expanding a Facility, You Need 3D Laser Scanning

Are you looking to expand your facility? Retrofit an existing structure? Renovate an older plant? Today’s technology makes these projects more efficient and more accurate than ever before.

3D laser scanning — and an AEC firm that knows how to leverage it effectively — are must-haves for modern-day food plant projects.

 

What Is Automated Clash Detection? (And How Does It Benefit Your Facility’s Design?)

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What Is Automated Clash Detection? (And How Does It Benefit Your Facility’s Design?)

If you’re building a new facility, upwards of 50 people could be working on its design model at the same time. From electrical and mechanical engineers to architects and refrigeration specialists, it takes a team of experts from multiple disciplines to design a building and bring it to life.

So how do you know if your AEC firm is building your facility’s design model efficiently? If they’re not using smart technology, your project timeline could be longer than it has to be.

 

The Food Facility Safety Double Standard: Keeping Your Maintenance Crew as Safe as Your Product

What updated OSHA standards mean for your facility’s roof and how to protect maintenance workers on your property

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The Facility Safety Double Standard: Is the Outside of Your Building as Safe as the Inside?

There’s a prevalent double standard when it comes to food facility safety management. Think about the measures taken when a visitor enters a food plant production area: You have to dress out, walk through a foot bath, take off jewelry, wear a smock. All of these precautions are designed to keep your product safe — but what about your maintenance crew?

It’s not uncommon to see safety standards and attention to cleanliness become more relaxed in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. Food safety precautions get a lot of attention because owners (rightfully) fear product contamination and highly publicized recalls, but what about the risks outside your building? One maintenance or construction accident can do just as much damage in negative publicity and lawsuits as a product recall.

 

3 Reasons You’ll Save Money by Working with an Integrated Design-Build Firm in 2018

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3 Reasons You'll Save Money by Working with an Integrated Design-Build Firm in 2018

A new year means a new start for some food and beverage companies: Some will be building new plants, others will be renovating existing ones. But no one wants to kick off the new year with a bloated budget. An integrated approach to designing and constructing your next big project can help your bottom line in 2018. Let’s look at how.

 

6 Things to Consider When Designing and Building a Food Processing Plant in China

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6 Things to Consider When Designing and Building a Food Processing Plant in China

China’s economy has been on a rapid upward trend for the last 20-plus years. It has become the second-largest economy in the world and is flirting with taking the first-place spot. If your company is in any way, shape or form connected to the global economy, chances are you have some connection to China.

With a growing middle class and upper class, China still finds it extremely challenging to supply itself with the kind of quality and value-added food products that these growing populations want.

This has made it enticing for a lot of U.S. food companies to create an even greater presence in China, usually in the form of establishing their own in-country food processing plant.

If you are one of these U.S. companies planning or contemplating establishing a food processing facility in China, here are some things you may want to consider with regard to designing and building the structure:

 

[VIDEO] See How Virtual Reality Can Take You Inside Your Food Plant Design

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Virtual walkthroughs with VR headsets

Virtual reality (VR) is changing the game when it comes to designing facilities for the food and beverage industry. With a VR headset, you can “walk through” your new building during the design phase, months before the first brick is laid.

Rather than examining a 2D design on a sheet of paper, 3D modeling coupled with virtual reality technology can bring a building to life without having to interpret complicated designs.