Busting the myth that “another compressor” is always the answer
Jan 9, 2020
Compressed air is a commonly used power source in manufacturing facilities, but it isn’t necessarily a cheap one. Aided by the Compressed Air Challenge movement, which started 20 years ago, users have started treating compressed air as a utility with supply and demand.
This has led to a greater understanding of how to use compressed air efficiently, but many facilities are still running on systems that are not optimized.
Read the top takeaways from CBRE’s new research report
Dec 12, 2019
Source: CBRE’s latest research report
Growth in online grocery sales is stoking demand for cold storage facilities across the United States, according to a new research report from CBRE. The real estate services and investment firm found that up to 100 million square feet of additional capacity is needed to meet online sales through 2022.
However, the cost and complexity of cold storage construction could make meeting that demand difficult. The resulting shortage will likely cause cold storage to become an even more coveted real estate asset – and those willing to invest in the market stand to reap major rewards.
Read below for the top insights from CBRE’s latest cold storage report.
Dec 5, 2019
Stellar – Compressor Rebuild & Repair Facility (How It’s Done) from Stellar on Vimeo.
We recently updated our refrigeration parts and compressor shops in Jacksonville, Florida, and Fort Worth, Texas. (Stellar also has shops in Modesto, California and York, Pennsylvania.) Each facility offers climate-controlled storage spaces and a compressor shop with a separate teardown room, clean room and paint booth.
From the time a compressor arrives at one of Stellar’s service facilities to the time it leaves, it undergoes an unrivaled 75-point quality inspection — a rigorous examination unlike any in the industry.
5 questions to ask when growing your meat-free manufacturing business
Nov 21, 2019
In case you missed the memo: Plant-based diets and meat alternatives are on the rise. U.S. sales of plant-based “meats” jumped 42% between March 2016 and March 2019 to a total of $888 million, according to Nielsen. Traditional meat sales only rose 1% to $85 billion in that same time frame.
Plant-based food manufacturers aren’t just targeting vegan and vegetarian consumers, either. Sales of meat alternatives are also being driven by an increasing number of “flexitarians” who are incorporating more plant-based foods into their meat-eating diets.
In fact, nearly 90% of the people eating non-meat burgers are not vegetarian or vegan.
Thanks to all of this buzz, what was once just a niche market has now become more crowded. That means manufacturers of plant-based proteins and other animal-free foods are being forced to rethink how they can scale and remain competitive.
Let’s look at five questions plant-based food manufacturers should ask if they want to grow while staying cost-conscious.
How simulations streamline construction and save money
Nov 14, 2019
Digital transformation is taking over the food industry. From automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to real-time mobile reporting, companies are looking to invest in digital tools that improve efficiencies and reduce overhead.
But with the wide variety of options available today, it can be difficult to decide which technological investment will keep your manufacturing facility ahead of the pack.
Simulation software is one of the newest technological breakthroughs – one that can save up to millions of dollars for food companies when they are building or expanding their facilities.
Questions to consider before investing in RFID over barcodes
Nov 7, 2019
While barcode tracking is the standard for supply chain traceability in the food industry, it’s not the only option. As RFID technology has advanced, many have asked if it’s worth the investment for food manufacturing and distribution.
RFID technology has its pros and cons. For example, it offers more functionality, but is typically more expensive, which is why it’s often reserved for products with a greater profit margin such as automobiles. So does it ever make sense for a food or beverage company?
Oct 31, 2019
Barcodes have long been the standard for tracking products throughout the food and beverage supply chain. But technological advancements have introduced RFID as another option across a variety of industries. What’s the difference?
What is RFID?
RFID, short for Radio Frequency Identification, is the use of radio frequency waves to wirelessly transfer data without contact. Tagging items with RFID tags allows users to automatically and uniquely identify and track inventory and assets.
Oct 24, 2019
When it comes to ammonia refrigeration machine rooms, ventilation updates can often be overlooked.
Current and new mechanical codes — International Mechanical Code (IMC) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) — defer to IIAR 2 (and sometimes ASHRAE 15) as the referenced code for ammonia refrigeration systems, including the machine room ventilation.
Just because your ammonia system was designed to code years ago it may not necessarily be code compliant today.
If you have updated your refrigeration system recently, did you update your machine room’s ventilation as well?
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.