It’s always good to know you’re on the right track at your job or when you’re working on personal projects. For the last several years, we here at Food Engineering have been focusing on topics such as food safety, sanitary equipment/plant design, overall plant and process efficiency, worker education and sustainability. It appears we’ve been on the right track.

More than any other time I can recall, in autumn 2015, multiple trade shows highlighted many of these same issues and hit the nail directly on the head when it comes to what the food industry wants and needs to succeed. At the shows, I saw many more booths focused on:

  • Improved hygienic equipment design
  • Upgraded washdown capabilities
  • Smaller equipment footprints for cramped spaces
  • Increased emphasis on food safety
  • Enhanced process efficiencies
  • Reduced downtime
  • Reduced equipment maintenance
  • Increased use of predictive maintenance
  • Expanded emphasis on energy efficiency
  • More intuitive operator interfaces
  • Increased overall flexibility

None of these are revolutionary technologies for the food and beverage processing industry. But, I think the supplier community hit it out of the park this year in terms of enhancing existing technologies.

In addition, the industry associations that sponsored these trade shows have done an outstanding job of not only bringing together industry leaders, but also giving back to those in need.

There are still challenging times ahead for many food and beverage manufacturers, but with all the enhanced technologies and services now available, I think the stage is set for a very successful 2016. The industry is on the right track.