[VIDEO] See How Virtual Reality Can Take You Inside Your Food Plant Design

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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.

 

3 Food Processing Trends from Pack Expo 2017 (and Beyond)

From virtual reality to pre-prepared foods

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3 Food Processing Trends from Pack Expo 2017 (and Beyond)

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:

 

4 Lessons for Pioneering a New Process in Food Manufacturing

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4 Lessons for Pioneering a New Process in Food Manufacturing

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.

 

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Spec Building for a Food and Beverage Facility

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Why You Shouldn’t Use a Spec Building for a Food and Beverage Facility

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.

 

Are You Getting the Most Accurate Weight Measurements from Your Load Cells?

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Are You Getting the Most Accurate Weight Measurements from Your Load Cells?

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.

 

[Infographic] Design Only vs. Design-Build: Pick the Best Delivery Method for Your Next Food Project

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Design-Build vs. Design-Only: Pick the Best Delivery Method for Your Next Food Project [Infographic]

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:

 

Hydrovey Systems: 4 Things You Need to Know to Ensure Food Safety

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Hydrovey Systems: 4 Things You Need to Know to Ensure Food Safety

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.

 

3 Unexpected Food Processing Solutions Inspired by Different Industries

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3 Unexpected Food Processing Solutions Inspired by Different Industries

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.

 

How to Prevent a Dust Explosion at Your Food Processing Plant

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How to Prevent a Dust Explosion at Your Food Processing Plant

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.

 

Food Plant Design-Build: Overcome Potential On-Site Construction Challenges with 2 Simple Solutions

Meat manufacturing facility case study

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Food Plant Design-Build: Overcome Potential On-Site Construction Challenges with 2 Simple Solutions

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.