Manufacturing News

Tech Flash Vol. 5 No. 3

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New FDA Recall tool now online

PCA Salmonella update

As of February 10, 2009, FDA has recalled more than 1,914 products containing peanut paste or butter from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA’s products were found to contain Salmonella Typhimurium (direct cause of the outbreak) and other Salmonella serotypes. Since January 23, the outbreak sickened 600 people in 44 states and contributed to eight deaths.

On January 30, FDA confirmed that a criminal investigation is underway. In addition, FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory Jones has announced FBI will assist lead federal investigative agencies FDA and Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI) in the ongoing PCA investigation.

Meanwhile, Plainview Peanut Company LLC (PPC), a subsidiary of PCA located in Plainview, TX, voluntarily suspended operation of its processing facility while the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) and FDA complete their investigation of the plant’s food safety procedures and records.

To date, the Canadian Food Safety Inspection Agency has recalled 225 products, and the China Daily reports a Chinese ban on all US imports containing peanut products from PCA.

Innovate or fail

The need for innovation is gaining more prominence on the executive agenda. Transferring ideas into products that sell can be less of a challenge given the right tools to innovate, according to a study entitled The Innovator’s Toolbox: Empowering the Next Wave of Difference Makers from Aberdeen Group.

Meeting product launch dates and revenue targets are two key performance indicators separating the best-in-class companies from the average and laggards. Companies who excel share common innovation characteristics:

  • Ideas and concepts are documented digitally, and specific environments are created to foster idea generation;

  • Selection of ideas or concept for development is standardized, and ideas and concepts are quantitatively compared against goal-oriented criteria;

  • As a standard procedure, employees investigate and leverage existing knowledge (relevant technologies, ideas and/or patents) in their product development efforts.

To achieve best-in-class performance, companies need to employ idea/innovation management solutions to capture, track and evaluate ideas and concepts. To fuel ongoing innovation they must tap into employees, customers and external sources for ideas. Finally, companies must empower innovators with intelligent search and retrieval tools to access existing knowledge and augment virtual sources of knowledge/expertise.

For more information or to download the study, visit or call 617-854-5200.

Fine-tuning product lifecycle management

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) selected Accenture and Information Resources Inc. (IRI) to conduct an in-depth study of successful product lifecycle management (PLM) processes as a means of fueling brand innovation and growth. The study, sponsored by the GMA Information Systems Committee, will examine the entire lifecycle of a product, from conception through discontinuation, and the importance of working across departmental lines in winning PLM strategies.

Accenture and IRI will conduct both online surveys and in-depth interviews with experts in consumer and market research, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, IT and category management. The study also will examine successful new product introductions from recent years. Based on analysis of this data and the collective insights of Accenture and IRI, the final report will recommend successful PLM practices and cross-functional collaboration models specific to the CPG industry. The study also will identify solution-based roles that IT professionals can play in the successful conception, launch, development and completion of the overall PLM process.

The report, tentatively titled CPG Innovation and Growth: The Impact of Product Lifecycle Management Processes and Information Technology Strategies, is slated for release in March of this year. Major findings are scheduled for presentation at the GMA Information Systems/Logistics Distribution Conference, April 5-8, 2009, in Miami, FL.

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People, Plant and Industry News

WILD Flavors Inc. and Sunwin International Neutraceuticals Inc. (a worldwide supplier of all-natural, zero-calorie stevia) have finalized a partnership agreement to sell, market, and distribute Sunwin International stevia extracts as well as formulate proprietary, natural sweetening blends for food and beverage products.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced that Mike Weinstein, chairman of INOV8 Beverage Co. LLC and a leader in the beverage industry for more than 35 years, has been elected to its board of directors.

Kraft Foods Inc. reported 2008 net revenues increased 16.8% to $42.2 billion with fourth quarter net revenues increasing 6.2% to $10.8 billion.


Multisorb Technologies appointed Jeff Brown to the position of business development leader, food & beverage market.


Waters Corp. has acquired all of the remaining outstanding capital stock of privately held Pittsburgh-based Thar Instruments Inc., a supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) manufacturer.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Mullin of Miscor Group, Ltd. has resigned his position, and Vice President of Finance Mary Hunt will assume his duties until a replacement is found.

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