Jun 22, 2017
There is one thing that food processing plants cannot afford: downtime as a result of equipment failure. The loss of a single piece of equipment can halt production and lead to product loss, not to mention a loss of revenue.
Some studies have shown that downtime for a typical food packaging line can result in $15,000 per hour of lost revenue. That’s $250 per minute!
May 18, 2017
Stellar is gearing up for ATMOsphere America 2017, the leading forum for discussion about the business case for natural refrigerants in North America. The three-day conference next month will host more than 400 industry stakeholders in San Diego, California, and will feature discussions about the latest in refrigeration technology and regulation. Among the hot-button issues in the industry: the diminishing role of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCS).
Apr 13, 2017
We all know the design-build methodology, by nature, is faster than the traditional design-bid-build approach. But if speed to market is your goal (hint: if you’re in the food and beverage industry, it probably is), then you can’t beat the agility that a fully integrated firm offers.
We’ve previously explored how a fully integrated design-build firm — one that offers process design, building and infrastructure design, and construction services with all in-house resources — can save you money and increase your plant’s food safety. In this post, I’m going to discuss the numerous ways an integrated approach can streamline your next project and get you from concept to commissioning faster than any other method.
Apr 6, 2017
Will your new food or beverage facility be the source of a future recall? The answer could all come down to communication. I’m not talking about how well your staff on the plant floor can work together or how effective your leadership skills are as an owner. The fate of your plant can be decided well before a big ribbon is cut and your processing lines whir to life.
The food safety quality of your next facility depends on whether the people designing and constructing your plant can communicate effectively.
This may feel like something that’s outside of your control — but who you hire can be the difference between a project with streamlined communication and a multi-million-dollar game of “telephone” where mixed messages put food safety (and your budget) at risk.
Mar 30, 2017
Food and beverage companies are faced with a decision when they decide to construct a new facility: contract a design-build firm or go with the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. Nowadays, design-build is an increasingly popular option because it allows a project to be completed under one contract and in one unified workflow from initial concept through completion.
Not all design-builders are created equal, however. In the food and beverage industry, working with a fully integrated firm can save money, improve safety and increase speed to market on a project.
I call it the “three-legged stool” methodology: A fully integrated firm provides design, construction and process engineering services — the three major components to build a food plant — all under one roof.
Mar 9, 2017
When Royal Cup first sat down with Stellar to discuss its expansion project, it had bold aspirations and high expectations. The Birmingham-based importer and roaster of specialty coffees and fine teas decided to invest in cutting-edge manufacturing updates to keep pace with its growing consumer base and sales.
“To do a project of this magnitude, you really need to have an expert here involved on the day-to-day, with their fingers in the project,” said Bill Smith, Royal Cup’s president.
Common misconceptions, the importance of objectivity and what to do if you’re on the fence
Mar 2, 2017
You’ve likely heard of a facility assessment before. It’s a top-to-bottom check-up for your food or beverage plant that can optimize energy usage, improve food safety, minimize risks and save money. But I’ve also heard from people who have their doubts.
Isn’t it just an embarrassing and awkward critique by an auditor? How is it different than if our own staff analyzes our facility? Do I really need an assessment if the plant is running fine?
Feb 16, 2017
There’s a lot happening in the food and beverage packaging industry, and if there’s one place to get a pulse on it all, it’s PACK EXPO International. I had the privilege of attending the 60th anniversary of this premier industry trade show last November in Chicago. The event is huge and features hundreds of vendors — with 10×10 booths all the way up to exhibitors that take up nearly a quarter of the largest convention center in North America.
Feb 9, 2017
What’s the first thing you think about when walking into your office each morning? The reality is that you’re likely juggling several things at once, right out the gate.
Manufacturing and processing in the food and beverage space has a lot of moving parts (literally and figuratively), and food processors often have a lot on their plates — food safety priorities, personnel issues and distribution logistics are just a few.
But have you considered how your plant’s operations intersect with your company’s branding?
Feb 2, 2017
This week our peers gathered to discuss the latest in the dairy industry at Dairy Forum 2017. The International Dairy Foods Association event brings together farmers, processors, regulators and dairy executives to network and examine industry trends — and there’s a lot to talk about.