Jul 6, 2017
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:
Jun 29, 2017
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.
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!
May 18, 2017
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).
Apr 20, 2017
Compliance audits for ammonia refrigeration are increasingly more detailed with regulatory standards maturing every year. Which begs the question: How prepared or risk-prone do you want your facility to be?
Compliance is just one of several issues on the agenda this week for the regional conference hosted by the Central Florida Chapter of the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA). In addition to refrigeration maintenance and operation, attendees at the Central Florida Ammonia Refrigeration Regional Conference will also focus on the importance of compliance with regulators like OSHA.
Apr 13, 2017
We all know the design-build methodology, by nature, is faster than the traditional design-bid-build approach. But if speed to market is your goal (hint: if you’re in the food and beverage industry, it probably is), then you can’t beat the agility that a fully integrated firm offers.
We’ve previously explored how a fully integrated design-build firm — one that offers process design, building and infrastructure design, and construction services with all in-house resources — can save you money and increase your plant’s food safety. In this post, I’m going to discuss the numerous ways an integrated approach can streamline your next project and get you from concept to commissioning faster than any other method.
Apr 6, 2017
Will your new food or beverage facility be the source of a future recall? The answer could all come down to communication. I’m not talking about how well your staff on the plant floor can work together or how effective your leadership skills are as an owner. The fate of your plant can be decided well before a big ribbon is cut and your processing lines whir to life.
The food safety quality of your next facility depends on whether the people designing and constructing your plant can communicate effectively.
This may feel like something that’s outside of your control — but who you hire can be the difference between a project with streamlined communication and a multi-million-dollar game of “telephone” where mixed messages put food safety (and your budget) at risk.
Mar 30, 2017
Food and beverage companies are faced with a decision when they decide to construct a new facility: contract a design-build firm or go with the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. Nowadays, design-build is an increasingly popular option because it allows a project to be completed under one contract and in one unified workflow from initial concept through completion.
Not all design-builders are created equal, however. In the food and beverage industry, working with a fully integrated firm can save money, improve safety and increase speed to market on a project.
I call it the “three-legged stool” methodology: A fully integrated firm provides design, construction and process engineering services — the three major components to build a food plant — all under one roof.
Mar 9, 2017
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.
Common misconceptions, the importance of objectivity and what to do if you’re on the fence
Mar 2, 2017
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?