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.
From virtual reality to pre-prepared foods
Nov 9, 2017
Source: Flexible Packaging magazine
I had the opportunity to attend Pack Expo 2017 in Las Vegas this fall with a team from Stellar. We met leaders from various segments of the F&B industry and enjoyed showing off our virtual design construction (VDC) technology.
These shows are always a great opportunity to network with food industry leaders and to see the very latest technologies and trends. This year was no exception. These were my big takeaways:
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.
Sep 21, 2017
Photo: Food Engineering’s “How to determine the best sensor for filling applications”
Filling and weighing systems are a fundamental part of the food and beverage industry. On the line, they establish fill weights, volumes and levels for products whether it’s flavorings, beverages, slurry products or bulk containers of dry and/or liquid ingredients.
When it comes to recipes, the slightest change in ingredients can spoil an entire batch of product — that’s why precise weighing is paramount.
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.
Aug 3, 2017
I see a lot of neat things working in the food and beverage industry, especially because I have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients across different sectors.
Of course, food manufacturers know their product best, because ultimately, it’s their product. However, when it comes to their processing and the technology they use to make their product, I often encourage owners to keep an open mind.
Here’s the thing: Many times, companies can get boxed in and only focus on their particular product and the way things are “typically” done in their industry. Their factories and boardrooms can act as echo chambers for their ideas.
Nov 10, 2016
Dust explosions have been linked to numerous fatal accidents in the United States. Between 1980 and 2012, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigated more than 280 combustible dust incidents that killed 141 people and injured 767 others.
Food manufacturing plants are among the most susceptible to these incidents, especially those in the baking segment that use a lot of flour and sugar. Of course, protecting your facility and employees is paramount, but the risk factors aren’t always obvious. Before we look at how to proactively protect your facility, let’s examine how these disasters can happen.
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.