"Dean Foods came to us needing to increase their case packing production using their current staff," said Toby Henderson, president of Forte Automation Systems. "We reviewed their facility and determined that the KUKA KR 15 SL with its stainless steel exterior would more than meet their wash down requirements and free up at least four employees."
"Food manufacturing workers are highly susceptible to work related injuries due to the highly repetitive nature of their work," said Bill Schaefer, general manager of Dean Foods. "Anytime you can move workers from tedious assignments to more mentally challenging ones, the more productive you will be, which is exactly what we wished to accomplish by adopting this new robot and process."
The KUKA KR 15 SL robot is a six-axis articulated robot and its high IP rating makes it suitable for applications with stringent requirements for hygiene, sterility and absence of particles.
For more information visit, www.forteautomation.com.
National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jerry Kozak says the decision will be costly for milk producers, who will not only get less for the milk they supply to the product's maker, but will also be forced to make refunds to the company.
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is in the midst of conducting five critical food defense exercises this year. The first exercise took place in Alameda, CA, last month. Through these exercises USDA will practice reporting a non-routine incident while coordinating with all levels of government, non-governmental agencies and the private sector. The exercises will challenge all participants to collaborate more closely and become better prepared to keep the food supply safe.
The first day of the exercise focuses on non-routine incident reporting and how program offices would manage an emergency. The second day focuses on product recall and public health and communication issues.
Additionally, FSIS will test its ability to coordinate with organizations outside of USDA, such as the local and state departments of health and agriculture, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the FDA, as well as the affected industries. The remaining exercises will be conducted in Raleigh, NC on March 22-23; Chicago, IL on May 17-18;Minneapolis, MN on July 19-20; and Albany, NY on September 20-21. FSIS will eventually conduct similar exercises in all 15 FSIS regional district offices. Last July, USDA announced the Strategic Partnership Program Agroterrorism (SPPA) Initiative. In December, the first pilot visit was conducted by USDA's Farm Service Agency and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration in cooperation with FDA and the grain export elevator industry in New Orleans, LA. The purpose of these visits was to assess and identify vulnerabilities in the agriculture and food sectors.
In March, USDA and FDA will jointly assess frozen foods in Wisconsin and Florida.
Also in March, USDA will conduct an assessment on swine with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the National and Iowa Pork Producers. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/homelandsecurity.
Hansen Technologies, a manufacturer of components for refrigeration systems, promoted Jeffrey Nank to president. Previously, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for the company.
McCain began commercial production in its new $43 million potato processing plant in Harbin, China. Construction on the plant began in late 2004. The company also recently announced plans to build an $18 million processing plant in India.
Linguagen Corp., a developer of compounds to improve the taste and quality of food and beverage products, appointed Susan Welsh, MD, MBA, as president. Prior to joining the company, Welsh was group vice president, global project management at Schering-Plough.