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.
Adapting your processing and distribution to gluten-free nuances
Sep 29, 2016
Stellar is gearing up for the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in October, and gluten-free baking continues to be one of the hot industry topics this year. The gluten-free food segment is projected to reach $4.8 billion by 2021. So, where does your plant fit into the gluten-free market?
Minimize the top food safety risks in your food and beverage facility
Sep 22, 2016
Ask any food manufacturer or processor if they are committed to high safety and quality standards and their answer will, of course, be yes. But even with the strictest standards, thousands of recalls are still issued each year in the U.S. In 2015, the FDA recalled 9,178 products, a 12-percent increase over the previous two years. If you weighed the amount of goods the USDA recalled last year alone, it would be as heavy as 52 Boeing 747 airliners. That’s a lot of product gone to waste.
Meat manufacturing facility case study
Sep 8, 2016
No matter how well-planned a food plant project is, it can still present challenges. After decades of experience in the food and beverage industry, we’ve found you can best overcome these hurdles with two simple solutions: frequent communication and flexibility. Stellar recently put these practices into play in the design-build of a meat manufacturing plant for an international company. Here, we review how these solutions led to success in the project and how they can help in your own endeavors, too.
Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business
Sep 1, 2016
This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.
Top takeaways from Engineering News-Record webinars
Aug 25, 2016
Photo courtesy of DJI
Recently, 7-Eleven made headlines by using a drone to deliver “a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy.” This happened the same week Amazon “partnered with the British government to significantly expand drone testing.” Approximately 3,000 companies in the U.S. are currently authorized to use drones—a number that continues to grow. Stellar recently purchased our first drone, and we are using its aerial imaging capabilities during construction of a new food manufacturing facility.
Aug 18, 2016
Photo courtesy of Shecco Media
One of Florida’s oldest third-party logistics companies is introducing one of refrigeration’s newest innovations into its new cold storage facility: low-charge packaged refrigeration systems. With a focus on moving to eco-friendly refrigerants, McDonald’s franchisee Caspers Cold Storage and Distribution will be cooling its new warehouse with an ammonia/ CO2 and low-charge ammonia DX system. Because Stellar will be designing and building the new systems, Accelerate America editor Andrew Williams interviewed Stellar’s Brandon France to learn more about the project. Check out the feature article, “I’ll have CO2 and ammonia with that” in this week’s blog post to learn more about how the company is using low-charge refrigeration systems to lower costs, reduce installation time and utilize green refrigerants.
Aug 11, 2016
Photo credit: Robert Pepple
Flooring systems are one of the most critical elements in food and beverage facility design. However, owners often don’t consider selecting a flooring system until after the preliminary design phase. This is the wrong approach. You should discuss flooring systems before they are specified and before designers are in the bidding phases to facilitate the most successful system for your facility.