Get Started with Cloud-based Asset Management in Your Food Processing Plant

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Get Started with Cloud-based Asset Management in Your Food Processing Plant

You’ve likely heard a lot about Industry 4.0 and the impact of predictive and prescriptive maintenance on the food and beverage industry. It can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, a few basic investments and the right partner can help streamline the way your facility operates and communicates

Food manufacturing facilities are complex and have various ecosystems operating at different levels, including:

  • Raw materials and receiving
  • Processing and KPIs
  • Monitoring (HMIs, PLCs and networks)
  • Inventory and work orders (ERP and PRM)
  • Packaging and distribution
  • Quality, process safety management (PSM) and safety

But all of these systems don’t always talk to each other. In many facilities, an equipment failure triggers a lengthy domino effect: Maintenance staff has to assess the problem, create a work order, check if a replacement part is available and so on.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

 

4 Trends Food Companies Must Champion to Thrive in an Age of Disruptive Innovation

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4 Trends Food Companies Must Champion to Thrive in an Age of Disruptive Innovation

If you’re a decision maker in the food manufacturing space, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your company value sustainability and transparency in its processing?
  • Is your boardroom as diverse as your customer base?
  • Are your company’s leaders listening to those customers to anticipate what they want?
  • Is your company taking tangible steps to be innovative, or does it just say it is?

If you want to thrive — not just survive — in today’s market, you must be answering “yes” to these questions… or at least taking actionable steps toward a “yes.”

The food and beverage industry is changing more than ever before thanks to disruptive innovation, the internet, evolving customer values and more.

Don’t be the next Blockbuster, Kodak or Myspace. The key is to be proactive, not reactive. Where should you begin? Consider these leading trends shaping the industry.

 

5 Things to Consider Before Investing in Robotics for Your Food Processing Plant

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5 Things to Consider Before Investing in Robotics for Your Food Processing Plant

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.

 

10 Game-Changing Process Innovations Inside the Starbucks Soluble Coffee Plant

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10 Game-Changing Process Innovations Inside the Starbucks Soluble Coffee Plant

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.

 

X-ray and Metal Detection Technology: Get the Most from Your System

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X-ray and Metal Detection Technology: Get the Most from Your System

Major food recalls are a reminder of how critical detection technology is for a food facility — and lately, it seems we’re being reminded far too often. There are a lot of variables when it comes to x-ray and metal detection systems: What should you buy? How much protection is enough? How do you maximize performance? Let’s start by understanding the difference between x-ray and metal detection technology.

 

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:

 

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.

 

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.

 

3 Steps to Develop a Food Processing Manufacturing Plan

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Manufacturing Plan

Developing a manufacturing plan is generally the second phase in the strategic planning process. After creating a business plan and specifying your food processing plant’s sales and growth projections, a manufacturing plan will identify and assess the processes that are used to manufacture the product to meet those sales goals.