Jan 11, 2018
China’s economy has been on a rapid upward trend for the last 20-plus years. It has become the second-largest economy in the world and is flirting with taking the first-place spot. If your company is in any way, shape or form connected to the global economy, chances are you have some connection to China.
With a growing middle class and upper class, China still finds it extremely challenging to supply itself with the kind of quality and value-added food products that these growing populations want.
This has made it enticing for a lot of U.S. food companies to create an even greater presence in China, usually in the form of establishing their own in-country food processing plant.
If you are one of these U.S. companies planning or contemplating establishing a food processing facility in China, here are some things you may want to consider with regard to designing and building the structure:
Dec 7, 2017
Virtual walkthroughs with VR headsets
Virtual reality (VR) is changing the game when it comes to designing facilities for the food and beverage industry. With a VR headset, you can “walk through” your new building during the design phase, months before the first brick is laid.
Rather than examining a 2D design on a sheet of paper, 3D modeling coupled with virtual reality technology can bring a building to life without having to interpret complicated designs.
Oct 26, 2017
Last week on the blog, we examined the brand new, state-of-the-art hatchery Stellar completed for poultry processor Bell & Evans. The facility — which is the first certified organic, humane, animal-welfare focused chick hatchery in the United States — is an example of trailblazing a new approach to traditional food processing.
Not only does it employ fascinating and cutting-edge technology, but this project contains lessons for any food manufacturer looking to pioneer or experiment in their own particular market.
Oct 5, 2017
If you’re considering sites for a new facility, you may come across listings for speculative (“spec”) buildings. Developers often construct these basic, pre-engineered buildings in anticipation of a future tenant, and they can be attractive for owners looking for a new space.
What’s the catch? Spec buildings may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, but not all tenant needs are the same, especially when it comes to food and beverage manufacturing. In fact, investing in a new spec building may end up costing you more in the long run than if you were to just construct a custom facility from scratch.
Aug 31, 2017
When it comes to constructing a new food or beverage facility, there is no one delivery method that works best for all projects. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Design-build can be fast and efficient because construction begins while the design phase is still underway, but completing the entire design before any ground is broken can give you greater insight to anticipated final costs. How do you choose? Check out our infographic to help narrow down your decision:
Aug 17, 2017
Any time you transport product from one stage of processing to another, you introduce the possibility of food safety risks. There are a variety of ways to move your product from receiving to packaging, but how do you minimize the opportunity for outside contamination during the steps between?
Hydrovey systems are a popular option, particularly in facilities that produce canned goods. This semi-closed-loop system transports product through piping using a stream of water and can be a safer alternative to conveyor belts. I’ve designed hydrovey systems and have seen them used in the production of several food products, including fruit, corn and beans.
Meat manufacturing facility case study
Sep 8, 2016
No matter how well-planned a food plant project is, it can still present challenges. After decades of experience in the food and beverage industry, we’ve found you can best overcome these hurdles with two simple solutions: frequent communication and flexibility. Stellar recently put these practices into play in the design-build of a meat manufacturing plant for an international company. Here, we review how these solutions led to success in the project and how they can help in your own endeavors, too.
Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business
Sep 1, 2016
This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.
Top takeaways from Engineering News-Record webinars
Aug 25, 2016
Photo courtesy of DJI
Recently, 7-Eleven made headlines by using a drone to deliver “a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy.” This happened the same week Amazon “partnered with the British government to significantly expand drone testing.” Approximately 3,000 companies in the U.S. are currently authorized to use drones—a number that continues to grow. Stellar recently purchased our first drone, and we are using its aerial imaging capabilities during construction of a new food manufacturing facility.
4 preventative design measures to ensure personnel safety
Jul 14, 2016
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.