7 PSM Audit Violations and How to Avoid Them

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Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit

Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit


Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance audits are specific and comprehensive, focusing on 14 elements of OSHA’s PSM Standards. A well-planned and organized audit process — including cross-trained personnel, audit checklists and self-audits — can help ensure a successful outcome.


5 Tips for Phased-Occupancy Construction Projects

Consider these challenges before filing for a temporary certificate of occupancy

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5 Tips for Phased Occupancy Construction Projects

Food and beverage is a fast-paced industry where speed-to-market is often a major factor in how decisions are made. Sometimes the priority is increasing output and/or beginning production as soon as possible. In these cases, some plant owners decide to take a phased-occupancy approach to a greenfield or renovation project.

Phased occupancy allows project owners to begin using as much of their new building as possible, as early as possible.


6 Ways to Optimize Your Refrigeration Efficiency and Lower Energy Costs

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Did you know that up to 60 percent of a manufacturing facility’s total operating expenses comes from industrial refrigeration? It’s no surprise that refrigeration efficiency is a priority.

However, engineers often look to optimize individual components rather than taking a holistic approach, leading to wasted energy and operational inefficiencies. To avoid this fragmented approach, here are six steps to optimize the entire system and achieve the greatest energy efficiency:


4 Major Decisions That Impact the Design of Your Facility

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Before a facility can become operational, there is much to consider including planning and design, government regulations and the overall goals a plant owner has. Let’s look at four major decisions that should be considered when the process begins.


5 Ways to Improve Equipment Reliability and Avoid Downtime in Your Food Processing Plant

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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!


CO2 Refrigeration: Debunking 3 Common Myths

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Stellar is gearing up for ATMOsphere America 2017, the leading forum for discussion about the business case for natural refrigerants in North America. The three-day conference next month will host more than 400 industry stakeholders in San Diego, California, and will feature discussions about the latest in refrigeration technology and regulation. Among the hot-button issues in the industry: the diminishing role of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCS).


[VIDEO] In Their Words: An Inside Look at Expanding a State-of-the-Art Coffee Plant

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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.


Is a Facility Assessment Worth It? [VIDEO]

Common misconceptions, the importance of objectivity and what to do if you’re on the fence

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Is a Facility Assessment Worth It? [VIDEO]

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?


The Future of Food Packaging: 3 Trends to Watch in 2017

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The Future of Food Packaging: 3 Trends to Watch in 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.


Food Packaging: What’s Your Product’s Personality?

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What’s the first thing you think about when walking into your office each morning? The reality is that you’re likely juggling several things at once, right out the gate.

Manufacturing and processing in the food and beverage space has a lot of moving parts (literally and figuratively), and food processors often have a lot on their plates — food safety priorities, personnel issues and distribution logistics are just a few.

But have you considered how your plant’s operations intersect with your company’s branding?