With automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it’s now easier than ever to collect data and monitor production—all this in the name of managing food quality and food safety. But, with multiple sites and lines supplying data around the clock, any staff would be all but overwhelmed—without a direction in where to focus their process management efforts.
Crown Beverage Packaging North America’s new 14,000-sq.-ft. graphics design studio serves the entire U.S. and Canada, offering can design and consulting services and providing rapid proofs made on a digital system to preview art and produce printing plates for all U.S. and Canadian customers.
The food industry is undergoing rapid change, much of which is driven by high consumer and retailer expectations when it comes to food freshness, quality, safety and expedience. That’s a tall order for brands to fill while also focusing on innovation and adapting packaging to align with changing retail trends such as e-commerce.
For any beverage producer, water quality is a critical ingredient of the finished product. No one wants a product that’s off color, has a strange taste or contains sediment. Without crystal-clear water, a processor wouldn’t have a viable product.
With meat production on the rise—in fact tripling over the last four decades, according to the Worldwatch Institute—HPP (high-pressure processing) has proven itself not only to kill dangerous microbes, but also to extend shelf life by a factor of two to four times. Trouble is, with these merits, HPP meats tend to lose their color, which is a turnoff to some consumers.
When we think of IIoT, we often consider the roles it plays in fine tuning processes to peak efficiency, minimizing downtime through predictive or prescribed maintenance, or acquiring data and processing it to improve food quality and safety. But, we don’t always think of another role IIoT can play, and that is using its capabilities to produce unique products in a very small quantity and package and ship them to individual customers.
Production engineers have two competing priorities throughout the year. One is to support the maintenance engineering department, and the other is to integrate new products into the plant and packaging line. This kind of segmented planning can be very confusing and often puts production engineers in a bind. How can they organize these competing tasks to achieve a more effective workflow?