10 Game-Changing Process Innovations Inside the Starbucks Soluble Coffee Plant

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10 Game-Changing Process Innovations Inside the Starbucks Soluble Coffee Plant

Photography: Robert Pepple

When Starbucks engaged Stellar to design and build a soluble coffee manufacturing facility, they set the goal of creating the most functionally and technologically advanced plant in the United States. To say they achieved that objective might be an understatement, as the award-winning facility has set a new standard in the industry.

From food safety practices that adhere to the rigorous British Retail Consortium Food Safety Standard to features designed to meet LEED Gold certification requirements, the Starbucks soluble coffee plant in Augusta, Georgia, is a modern marvel. Nowhere are the facility’s many innovations more on display than on its processing and packaging line.

 

How an Innovative Starbucks Processing Plant Takes Food Safety to New Levels

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How an Innovative Starbucks Processing Plant Takes Food Safety to New Levels

Photography: Robert Pepple

In response to the growing demand for home-brewed instant coffee that delivers true “coffee shop” flavor, Starbucks came to Stellar wanting to build a unique soluble coffee plant. The award-winning facility in Augusta, Georgia, was designed to produce the company’s VIA® instant coffee products, and it’s cutting-edge in every sense of the word.

Among the plant’s many innovations, food safety was a top priority. There are several lessons food and beverage manufacturers can learn from how Starbucks addressed this critical issue.

 

6 Hot Trends in Cold Storage Warehouse Construction

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6 Hot Trends in Cold Storage Warehouse Construction

At Stellar, we construct a lot of cold storage facilities and distribution centers. In fact, over the years we’ve designed and built more than 10 million square feet of public refrigerated warehouse space.

My point? We notice patterns in consumer demand, common challenges and external factors that influence the market as a whole.

Here are six of the top things affecting the cold storage construction industry right now.

 

How to Keep Your Food Plant Construction Project on Track

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How to Keep Your Food Plant Construction Project on Track

Technology and ever-increasing consumer demand are driving food and beverage companies to compete at a different level than ever before. Speed to market is increasingly important to doing business — the faster a new plant can be built or renovated, the sooner it can begin producing a return on investment.

So how can you ensure your next construction project stays on track? Let’s look at five ways to set yourself up for success, whether you’re tackling a greenfield project or a retrofit.

 

Back to the Basics: How to Optimize Your Clean-in-Place System

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Back to the Basics: How to Optimize Your Clean-in-Place System

A number of food manufacturing facilities have been utilizing clean-in-place (CIP) for years. It’s the method of cleaning processing equipment and piping without disassembling it. While most of us already know what CIP is, when was the last time you performed a thorough audit of your system?

Over the years, changes to the systems being cleaned may have caused the CIP system set-point ratios to change without notice to the operators — making it more out of whack than you may realize.

 

6 Points, One Stone: How Low-Impact Development (LID) Can Help Achieve LEED Certification

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6 Points, One Stone: How Low-Impact Development (LID) Can Help Achieve LEED Certification

If you’re not familiar with low-impact development (LID), you may want to keep reading before building your next facility or warehouse. Thanks to recent changes in LEED requirements, we’re going to see an increase in projects utilizing LID in the near future.

What exactly is low-impact development? How can you make the most of LID and maximize it when applying for LEED certification? Let’s unpack what it means for your next project.

 

Food Plant Sanitation: Choosing Flooring, Walls, Ceilings and Doors to Improve Food Safety

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Food Plant Sanitation: Choosing Flooring, Walls, Ceilings and Doors to Improve Food Safety

Whether you’re designing a new food and beverage facility or renovating an existing one, it’s important to consider the materials you choose for to surround your processing — literally.

When it comes to food safety, these features sometimes get less attention than other factors — such as equipment, ingredient storage/segregation and product handling — but they can be a plant’s Achilles heel if ignored.

Today, we’re going to look at the best practices when selecting materials for your facility’s flooring, walls, ceilings and doors.

 

A Cost Segregation Study Can Save Thousands on Your Next Facility Renovation or Construction Project

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A Cost Segregation Study Can Save Thousands on Your Next Facility Renovation or Construction Project

Renovating an older food manufacturing facility, or building a new one altogether, is a complex process with a lot of moving parts. You need to vet firms and contractors, navigate design decisions, select materials, choose equipment, consider the possibility of future expansion…the list goes on and on.

Like with any investment, there are always ways to cut costs based on what options you select for your facility — but what if you could reap savings off the top, regardless of what materials and equipment you choose? With a cost segregation study, you can.

 

3 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Food or Beverage Facility for the Future

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3 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Food or Beverage Facility for the Future

There’s never been a better time to invest in capital expenditures for your business. Recent tax reform has freed up cash and created more incentives for corporate entities to spend on new equipment and infrastructure.

Plus, the combination of mergers and acquisitions, advances in technology, and evolving consumer demand is spurring innovation. The speed-to-market food and beverage industry is only moving faster.

So it’s a great time to invest in your company’s growth, but what exactly is the best move? Considering the current industry climate, there are some forward-thinking options worth prioritizing.

 

5 Ways to Reduce Water Use in Your Food Processing Plant

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5 Ways to Reduce Water Use in Your Food Processing Plant

Food and beverage manufacturing facilities are notorious for how much water they consume. While water is central to your plant’s operations, there may be ways you can operate more efficiently and be smarter about how your plant uses water.

Optimizing your water consumption is not only better for the planet, but it may save you in utility costs as well. Let’s look at five basic ways to reduce water consumption in a facility.