Jan 30, 2020
Today’s big data tools and technology can create significant cost savings in modern food and beverage plants — and the return on investment (ROI) can come in the form of reducing losses or improving production.
Every company has a different outlook when it comes to capital spending, though, with some focused on short-term investing and others taking a long-term approach. Let’s look at some short-term and long-term options when it comes to big data and analytics tools.
Oct 17, 2019
Arc flashes are a potential safety risk when it comes to your manufacturing facility’s electrical equipment. But how can you ensure your employees are protected?
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 70E, “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace,” provides safety procedures for using electricity on the job. One of its guidelines includes “arc flash” assessment and protection.
NFPA 70E is voluntary on the part of companies — that is, it is not enforced by any government agency — yet, we’re seeing more companies interested in conducting an “arc flash hazard analysis” of their electrical equipment.
Here are four frequently asked questions I’ve received about arc flashes and assessments to reduce them:
Oct 10, 2019
Facilities that produce canned goods use steam and water during the canning process. But some of them are flushing potential energy savings down the drain — literally. Whether your plant manufactures canned tuna, beans or vegetables, a heat exchanger could help cut energy costs with little upfront investment.
Oct 3, 2019
LED lighting has quickly become the industry standard in warehouses and manufacturing facilities. It’s more powerful, less expensive to operate and more controllable than ever before.
Now, LED lighting is being offered more and more as a network-connected item in today’s Internet of Things environment. This “smart” lighting goes beyond just the average motion detector, allowing greater flexibility and features for plant operators.
Apr 11, 2019
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is revolutionizing how food manufacturing facilities operate, from processing to building maintenance and everything in between. Food and beverage companies have access to more data than ever before, and that’s helping them make more informed decisions.
Internet-connected sensors are the “eyes and ears” in a food plant, collecting all the data that makes those insights possible. These devices can measure a variety of inputs from electrical currents to vibrations to air temperature.
Stellar installs sensors in many of the modern facilities we design and construct today, but many owners have the same question: What exactly can I measure?
Let’s look at a few ways sensors can be used in your food plant:
Jan 18, 2018
By now, you’ve likely heard about the various ways our homes are getting “smarter.” We now have devices such as the Amazon Echo, Wi-Fi-connected toaster ovens and doorbells with live-streaming video. Nowadays, you can lock your front door from your smartphone, tell Siri to turn on the lights inside your house and control your thermostat from anywhere you have an internet connection.
These networks of physical devices embedded with electronics, sensors and software that allow them to connect and communicate are often referred to as the Internet of Things. This new era of technology isn’t just limited to your home, though — food and beverage plants are taking advantage of smart devices as well.
Jun 22, 2017
There is one thing that food processing plants cannot afford: downtime as a result of equipment failure. The loss of a single piece of equipment can halt production and lead to product loss, not to mention a loss of revenue.
Some studies have shown that downtime for a typical food packaging line can result in $15,000 per hour of lost revenue. That’s $250 per minute!
Jul 21, 2016
Whether your food plant packages frozen orange juice or processes chicken breasts, a blast cell freezer can be used to freeze almost any product. It’s important to understand the common misconceptions, the importance of proper design and how to operate your blast cell.
2 ways to prevent contaminated air in your food facility
Jun 9, 2016
Did you know that compressed air systems can be a source of contamination in your food plant? Dangerous bacteria and pathogens can be difficult to spot in your facility—especially if they are airborne. It’s a common misperception that compressed air is considered as clean as the air from the outdoor environment that surrounds your facility—NOT true. Once in the compressor, the air outside of your facility (ambient air) mixes with other elements within your compressor (i.e., corrosion, worn seals). Whatever is not caught in your filtration system is then circulated throughout your plant.
Avoid discrepancies by providing details about utilities, food safety and more
Nov 5, 2015
At this time of year, many food processors are planning next year’s capital expenditures, which often means piecing together budgets for upcoming food plant construction projects. It is important to create the most accurate budget possible: a tricky task. Frequently, food processors prepare budgets without the assistance of an experienced design-builder. By doing so, they make assumptions that can skew their entire budget.