Jan 18, 2018
By now, you’ve likely heard about the various ways our homes are getting “smarter.” We now have devices such as the Amazon Echo, Wi-Fi-connected toaster ovens and doorbells with live-streaming video. Nowadays, you can lock your front door from your smartphone, tell Siri to turn on the lights inside your house and control your thermostat from anywhere you have an internet connection.
These networks of physical devices embedded with electronics, sensors and software that allow them to connect and communicate are often referred to as the Internet of Things. This new era of technology isn’t just limited to your home, though — food and beverage plants are taking advantage of smart devices as well.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to connected devices and technologies that can collect, monitor, analyze and exchange large amounts of data and provide valuable business information to improve processes, quality or maintenance activities within a plant.
Are you thinking about using more of this technology in your facility? Let’s look at some advantages, considerations and potential pitfalls.
Consider these challenges before filing for a temporary certificate of occupancy
Jul 13, 2017
Food and beverage is a fast-paced industry where speed-to-market is often a major factor in how decisions are made. Sometimes the priority is increasing output and/or beginning production as soon as possible. In these cases, some plant owners decide to take a phased-occupancy approach to a greenfield or renovation project.
Phased occupancy allows project owners to begin using as much of their new building as possible, as early as possible.
Nov 17, 2016
Most of us enjoy cooking food that we love to eat. It’s the cleanup that we hate. Have you ever made a home-cooked meal that didn’t involve cleaning? Probably not. Also, those of us who like to cook would never start with dirty utensils and pans, right?
Food manufacturing facilities operate in the same way. They aim to produce high-quality products while minimizing the cleanup involved, but they must first begin processing with clean equipment. But that can be easier said than done.
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.
Oct 27, 2016
The global alcoholic beverage market is growing, and liquor is gaining popularity over wine and beer. However, the logistics of producing in this multibillion-dollar industry are unlike any other food and beverage sector, especially if you’re looking to expand your product line.
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.
Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business
Sep 1, 2016
This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.
Top takeaways from Engineering News-Record webinars
Aug 25, 2016
Photo courtesy of DJI
Recently, 7-Eleven made headlines by using a drone to deliver “a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy.” This happened the same week Amazon “partnered with the British government to significantly expand drone testing.” Approximately 3,000 companies in the U.S. are currently authorized to use drones—a number that continues to grow. Stellar recently purchased our first drone, and we are using its aerial imaging capabilities during construction of a new food manufacturing facility.
Jul 21, 2016
Whether your food plant packages frozen orange juice or processes chicken breasts, a blast cell freezer can be used to freeze almost any product. It’s important to understand the common misconceptions, the importance of proper design and how to operate your blast cell.
4 preventative design measures to ensure personnel safety
Jul 14, 2016
Today, firms are “[designing] safety for each worker into every phase of every building project.” We’re addressing worker safety from the start—at the facility design phase—strategically designing plants with safety at the forefront. We call this “sustainable safety”: a strategy that unifies design and construction teams with owners and managers to identify potential hazards and integrate employee safety through design, products, services and educational programs.