Sep 5, 2019
We still have a few months left in 2019, but if you’re considering building or renovating a facility sometime next year, the time to start planning may be now. Equipment lead times are growing longer — upwards of 18 to 26 weeks in some cases — and it can be even more for equipment shipped from overseas.
So how can you best prepare for your upcoming project so you don’t encounter equipment delays? In my experience, there are two major things to consider before meeting with your builder.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data in food processing plants
Aug 15, 2019
Food and beverage manufacturing has been one of the slower industries to adopt new technology. While machine learning and artificial intelligence may sound daunting, this technology offers a valuable return on investment.
Here are three major ways to benefit from big data tools in your processing plant.
Feb 21, 2019
For more than 120 years, Royal Cup Coffee & Tea has been rooted in its hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Over the past century, Royal Cup has grown from selling coffee out of a horse-drawn wagon to a major international importer, roaster and distributor of premium coffees and teas.
Recently, in an effort to meet the demand of its rapidly growing consumer base, Royal Cup consulted with the Stellar team on how it could revamp its 40-acre campus to increase production as well as set the industry standard for safety and efficiency.
Dec 6, 2018
A growing number of food and beverage processing facilities are investing in robotics and automation, as the technology continues to advance and costs continue to normalize. These tools can be a game-changer for many businesses, offering benefits such as reduced operating costs, upped throughput and increased food and worker safety.
That said, such a significant investment requires careful implementation. Before incorporating robotics into your facility, consider these important best practices to ensure you invest wisely and efficiently.
Oct 18, 2018
It’s an exciting and interesting time for both the food manufacturing and construction industries. Thanks to recent tax reform, a healthy economy and other factors, capital spending is up, and the industrial/commercial construction industry is bigger than it has been in decades. This trend is expected to continue, with U.S. construction projected to grow by 4.5 percent over the next several years.
While many would agree that this is a positive, it can also present challenges for food and beverage companies looking to build new facilities or renovate existing ones. Today’s booming construction market means things move fast and contractors can be more selective.
So how can you ensure you get the best price when seeking out a firm for your next project?
3 takeaways from the Food Marketing Institute’s new market study
Oct 4, 2018
Business owners are increasingly discovering the benefits of working with design-build firms, according to a comprehensive new study on the design-build market released by Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The study found design-build now makes up almost half of all construction projects nationwide, and market share is expected to keep growing over the next three years.
Research showed design-build use has not only expanded across all sectors and regions of the U.S., but owners who used this project delivery method were more satisfied with their experience compared to other methods due to advantages like innovation and quick speed to market.
Here are the key takeaways from FMI’s study on the design-build market now and where it’s headed in the next few years.
Aug 23, 2018
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.
Aug 2, 2018
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.
Jul 19, 2018
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.
Jun 28, 2018
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.