Should you renovate your existing facility or build a new facility? This question isn’t an easy one to answer and is, of course, dependent on capital expenditure. However, your answer should also be driven by your company’s strategic plan to ensure that your decision aligns with your long-term needs and goals.
5 key considerations to drive your decision
Ensure construction doesn’t put your food manufacturing plant at risk
Many food plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in some capacity. Without proper planning, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation procedures, an around-the-clock operation is a high-risk candidate for food safety dangers. In this type of environment, how are essential retrofits and renovations accomplished without compromising daily operations, food safety and personnel safety?
4 preventative design measures to ensure personnel safety
Today, firms are “[designing] safety for each worker into every phase of every building project.” We’re addressing worker safety from the start—at the facility design phase—strategically designing plants with safety at the forefront. We call this “sustainable safety”: a strategy that unifies design and construction teams with owners and managers to identify potential hazards and integrate employee safety through design, products, services and educational programs.
Design best practices to elevating your food manufacturing facility tours
Food plant tours can serve as a valuable sales tool for your company. An observation deck, or viewing gallery, is a sanitary design solution that allows you to roll out the welcome mat to visitors. This moderate, added cost solution can be ground level or elevated, offering a behind-the-scenes look at your plant’s critical processes or packaging. Let’s review design best practices in addition to three benefits these structures can offer your food plant.
How quick chilling works, improves pork product output
There are more than 68,000 pork producers in the United States alone—competition is fierce. So how can your hog facility remain competitive? By producing the highest quality product possible for consumers, efficiently. And an effective chilling system is key to facilitating the most premium product for your consumers: a flavorful cut of meat with appealing color, firmness and moisture levels. The faster a carcass is cooled after slaughter, the better quality the meat will be. Quick chill systems, specifically, reduce chill time and produce a better cut of meat. While they may be a significant upfront investment for your food plant, this method offers significant advantages and long-term ROI.
Lessons from state-of-the-art chicken packaging, futher processing and storage facility
Family-owned premium poultry processor Bell & Evans has remained at the front of its industry’s flock by prioritizing high quality from all angles—from its antibiotic-free chicken to the materials and processes within its facilities. The most recent example of this commitment? A 160,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art chicken packaging, further processing, par-fry and storage plant in its hometown of Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. Stellar was the design-builder for the poultry plant project and found it to be unlike any other project we’ve been a part of. This new facility is infused with cutting edge innovation and durability inside and out, from its materials and finishes to its packaging process.
USRC’s new rating system gives owners a consistent way to determine facility earthquake safety
In November 2015, the United States Resiliency Council (USRC) launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System, a first-of-its-kind performance rating system for seismic hazards. This system is the first reliable, consistent method to determine how susceptible buildings may be to earthquakes, providing facility owners, insurance providers, and engineers with a better understanding of how to prevent losses. The rating system assesses buildings on three important criteria, each of which is detailed later in this article.
Final part in our worker safety series
In last week’s post, I introduced you to the behavior-based approach to worker safety. While ergonomic design and regulatory compliance remain critical to worker safety, behavior-based safety strategies incentivize employees to take ownership of their own safety. Employees proactively identify potential hazards, helping prevent them from ever happening in the first place.
Below, I outline in more detail three reasons you should integrate a behavior-based approach into your food plant’s worker safety practices.
Make your 'recorded incidents per man hour' work for you
Worker safety is a critical element in every food plant, regardless of the type of products manufactured. And while creating a safe, ergonomic work environment is a must, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure the safety of your most important asset—your employees.
In a recent Food Engineering article on ergonomic practices, I discussed how a behavior-based approach can enhance your plant’s worker safety. With behavior-based safety training, workers are incentivized to proactively look for potential hazards, creating a safety-oriented workforce.
At the close of 2014, data released by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses showed that the total capacity of refrigerated warehouses has increased 20 percent since 2012. And over the past few months, trade magazines have been honing in on the topic, tapping into our team members at Stellar for insights into cold storage construction, including rising technologies, efficiencies and best practices.