Where best practices start

Every company determines the depth of its own traceability needs in accordance with statutory requirements, industry standards and best practices. With the right software, a manufacturer’s entire process chain spanning production, processing, as well as retail, can be made transparent. Source: CSB-System International.

Automation helps

Use SPC as a best practice to monitor cooking temperature as burgers emerge from the oven. Forming temperature (31°F) of the patty upstream plays a major role in the cooking of the burger. Photo: FMC FoodTech.

  • Don’t look behind to see what competitors are following you; keep going forward relentlessly.
  • Adopt all regulatory standards (FDA, USDA, ISO, etc.) and invite the inspectors to hang around.
  • Take on each and every quality aspect of the business and embrace them all.
  • Welcome outsiders to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
  • Have a ten-year plan going forward with a no-exit strategy.
  • Keep all employees up to speed on the company’s progress. A smart workforce is a key best practices strategy.
  • Have the right software tools keyed to your business.

Equipment solutions should work together

An element of best practices is reuse of design. Above: an industrial feeder is represented as a CBA-Profinet component. Below: other units (cutter and metal detector) are combined with the feeder using a plant-wide engineering tool. Source: Siemens

Software solutions

Tip Top, New Zealand’s leading ice cream company, removed the identifying bar code from its 2 liter tubs, and instead uses the art on the packaging to identify batches. Pattern matching in the vision system assures no mix-ups that could lead to costly product recalls and food safety issues. Source: ControlVision, NZ


Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, Inc., based in Massachusetts, is a leader in the production and distribution of hummus and other Mediterranean food items. Eliminating the need to stop production and bring samples to the quality control laboratory, the portable PH100 ExStik® pH meter allows personnel to take measurements at the point of production, resulting in less production disturbance and significant time savings. Photo: Extech Instruments

pemoylan@ ra.rockwell.com






gavin.clements@ fmcti.com

matt.ruth@advanced automation.com

john.kowal@ elau.com






Sidebar 1: What is ISO 22000?

  • plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that, according to their intended use, are safe for the consumer,
  • demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements,
  • evaluate and assess customer requirements and demonstrate conformity with those mutually agreed customer requirements that relate to food safety, in order to enhance customer satisfaction,
  • effectively communicate food safety issues to suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain,
  • ensure that the organization conforms to its stated food safety policy,
  • demonstrate such conformity to relevant interested parties, and
  • seek certification or registration of its food safety management system by an external organization, or make a self-assessment or self-declaration of conformity to ISO 22000:2005.

Sidebar 2: Best practices in packaging deliver profitability and measure sustainability