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.
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 26, 2018
Steam is used in food processing for a variety of reasons from preparing product to cleaning equipment. Common uses of steam in food and beverage facilities include:
- Blanching product
- Rehydrating product
- Sterilizing equipment
- Steam-in-Place (SIP) to clean pipes
But not all steam is created equal — and there are new developments in steam technology happening all the time. In this post we’ll look at the types of steam used in food processing as well as one innovation known as dry steam.
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.
Mar 15, 2018
A major trend in the cold storage industry today is a push toward expanding value-added services — additional, non-core services cold storage companies can offer clients. As client needs change, many operators of traditional warehouse spaces are looking to diversify and create new revenue streams.
But what options are out there? Let’s look at the current trends in value-added services being offered by cold storage operators.
Feb 8, 2018
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.