Wayne Labs has more than 20 years of editorial experience in industrial automation. He served as senior technical editor for I&CS/Control Solutions magazine for 18 years where he covered software, control system hardware and sensors/transmitters. Labs ran his own consulting business and contributed feature articles to Electronic Design, Control, Control Design, Industrial Networking and Food Engineering magazines. Before joining Food Engineering, he served as a senior technical editor for Omega Engineering Inc. Labs also worked in wireless systems and served as a field engineer for GE’s Mobile Communications Division and as a systems engineer for Bucks County Emergency Services. In addition to writing technical feature articles, Wayne covers FE’s Engineering R&D section.
You add up the mass of raw materials your facility consumes each day, look at the products it’s made, and the numbers just don’t balance—until you look at skids of rework and a dumpster topped off with the day’s malformed products and/or damaged packages.
With the Sun Belt states experiencing serious droughts and the cost of processing wastewater escalating in many municipalities, conserving and reusing water at food and beverage processing facilities just makes plain business sense.
If run to failure is no longer an option, food and beverage processors have alternative ways to keep their equipment running at peak performance levels; they can plan maintenance schedules based on OEM suggestions.
You’ve seen the commercials for washday products that eliminate static cling. Ironically, the principle behind it gives an innovative robotic gripper a light, gentle touch that doesn’t bruise food items.
If you’ve ever experienced static cling when you take off a sweater in a dry, winter environment, you’re already familiar the technology behind Grabit’s robotic gripper technology, which the company calls electroadhesion.
No question about it, the numbers of reportable food and beverage projects in 2014 hit a nine-year high—a total of 635 compared to 555 in 2013, according to Food Engineering’s 38th Annual Plant Construction Survey.
From 2006 to 2010, 8,600 structure fires were reported at US industrial or manufacturing facilities, resulting in 11 fatalities, 230 injuries and $753 million in direct property damage, according to NFPA research.