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?
Unless your facility is a USDA shop, then it most likely falls under FSMA regulations, which for the vast majority of processors is the law of the land. If you haven’t yet been visited by FDA for an audit, it is past time to get ready for that inevitable moment. I asked Ib Elandaloussi (CAL), Food and Consumer Products Group with Burns and McDonnell to talk briefly about designing facility solutions to meet FSMA rules.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information on a possible update to the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)) standard. The Agency is interested in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as the evolving technology for robotics.
In-home testing (iHUT) traces its origins to the consumer packaged goods industries and the formation of the first marketing research departments during the 1920s and 1930s. With the end of World War II in 1945, the practice of in-home usage testing spread rapidly.