Moving from an all-analog means of keeping track of process and storage temperatures can provide numerous benefits—for example, getting more robust measurements with higher stability, reliability and accuracy. In addition, you get better diagnostic information from the sensors themselves, and this information—coupled with temperature and other process variables—can help you get a better grip on your process and on maintenance, too.
Downey Ridge Environmental Co., developer of Greasezilla, has come up with a FOG separation system that can be implemented at food plants. I asked Ron Crosier, president of Downey Ridge, to fill us in on who might use Greasezilla and how it works.
Temperature is that one measurement that’s dictated by governmental regulations to prove that you have a kill step in your process. Beyond that, there are rules for keeping fresh food under a certain temperature to keep it safe both in transit and storage, and—just as important—maintain its quality so you don’t have to throw it out prematurely.
No question about it, sugar plants consume vast amounts of electricity, and with a lot of aging equipment, there’s no doubt that several motors and the mechanical systems they drive are probably consuming more power than they should—due to worn bearings and a general lack of maintenance. In many instances, motors are probably not using variable speed drives, and large inrush currents place a big demand on electrical utilities.
Today, consumers expect to choose from a wide choice of brands and products—not just from the “center” of the store, but fresh and organic products from the periphery of the store. Sometimes new products are short lived and are designed to be that way—because consumers’ choices turn on a dime. Automation can help processors turn products around faster by increasing production.
In the engineering world, it has often been said that you can’t inspect quality into a product. Rather, you design and build quality into a product and then inspect to make sure you are delivering what you promise.
While it’s often been said that the shoemaker has no shoes for his own children, sometimes a similar thing can happen with a software company. Only in this case, InfinityQS, a supplier of data-driven enterprise quality management software, had an aging on-premises IT system, all crammed in together in the traditional “server room.”
When I was an electrical engineer building emergency wireless communications networks, I learned about the importance of having backups—sometimes the hard way, with a 3 a.m. phone call reporting a system is down and the backup system didn’t kick in.
Some things actually get better with age as creative engineering improves performance, decreases energy usage and makes a device more efficient and better able to handle a new range of food or beverage products.