You try to be sustainable and not generate food waste. But at times, you can’t avoid the problem of having packaged food go bad before it gets out of your plant or the warehouse—or maybe it’s recalled for a labeling error, and it’s now expired. What to do? I asked Ray Hatch, CEO of Quest Resource Holding, who’s had extensive experience in food service industries and waste management to talk about the options, which, unfortunately, are not many.
Supermarkets of the near future will have their business models radically re-shaped by innovations instore, online, and in the food industry supply chain. These technologies will be deployed in the battle for customers but, more than this, can also benefit the planet.
Precise control over food and beverage production is in the spotlight as health-conscious consumers are increasingly paying close attention to the ingredients and labeling of their products. So, to protect consumers, governments are closely regulating the traceability, manufacturing, and labeling of food and beverage products. Meanwhile, increased competition and narrow margins in food manufacturing are making efficient production essential in driving ROI and business viability.
Because of increasing consumer interest in a more diverse product selection, healthy foods, and more convenient meal preparation, food manufacturers in dairy, meat, baked goods and produce are supplying a widening array of new SKUs in both chilled and frozen formats. This places an ever increasing demand on cold storage, and with older facilities, it’s not very easy to automate them.
The digitalization journey for food and beverage processors relies on careful consideration of numerous factors to be a success. Among them are sensors to collect data, applications to manage that data, and cloud-based systems to help oversee the entire process.
Reliable weighing equipment is critical in the food industry. Accurate weighing helps achieve consistency and batch uniformity. Moreover, a reliable food weight machine helps in adhering to predefined process requirements.
It’s ironic that the Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive, who heads up one of the most cyber-secure cloud architectures in the world, had his own very private data hacked and used against him. But his sloppiness about personal security provides a warning message for us all. That is, we can build the most secure, impossible-to-hack network systems, but they can’t protect us from our own stupidity—sharing very personal data over systems that aren’t so private.
In food manufacturing, one of the most important challenges is ensuring complete hygiene at all steps in the process. For Minebea Intec, the subject of hygienic design has been the top priority for many years, a fact that continues to be apparent in the new systems introduced by the company.
In the last five years, augmented and virtual reality technologies have been making steady inroads to the manufacturing world, especially in finding useful applications in maintenance. Today, IIoT and Industry 4.0 technologies play an ever expanding role in maintenance.