2023 Agenda

Broadcast Live
Select sessions will be available for streaming during the event and remain available for viewing after.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
4:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Registration Open
Sponsored by
Industrial Drying Solutions
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Welcome Reception
Sponsored by
Thursday, October 12, 2023
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Registration Open
Sponsored by
Industrial Drying Solutions
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Opening Remarks
Derrick Teal, Editor-in-Chief, FOOD ENGINEERING
Mike Leonard, Publisher, FOOD ENGINEERING

8:15 AM - 9:15 AM
Broadcast Live Keynote: The Art of the Possible
Billy Gillispie, Client Delivery Partner, Microsoft
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and the impacts it’s having on food manufacturing can’t be understated. Those that are able to keep pace will be able to create efficiencies that make all the difference in an industry where pennies can be the difference between success and failure. From the Metaverse to ChatGPT and beyond, companies are putting these technological tools to their benefit to improve employee training and productivity and increase value through less downtime. This provocative multifaceted presentation will delve into the technology affecting food manufacturing and how companies have put it to work for them. More importantly, this session will share how to implement it and make it work for you.
Sponsored by
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
Broadcast Live Overcoming the Perfect Storm with Flexibility, Innovation, and State-of-the-Art Technology: Delivering a Greenfield Plant in time for harvest during a pandemic and supply chain meltdown while navigating the evolving regulatory landscape.
Jayme Laser, Director of Engineering, ConAgra
Building a new state of the art Fresh Pack Vegetable Manufacturing Facility that would efficiently meet the evolving external regulatory landscape for frozen vegetables as the FDA evolves the industry to more of a ready to eat (RTE) standard which requires additional food safety-related design and practices. This new facility provides environmental sustainability benefits including water usage reduction and energy usage reduction. The project team took a “refuse-to-lose” approach for project schedule that was set by historical fresh pack of peas and corn availability from regional and local fields in a safe and efficient manner. This already aggressive project schedule, developed before the pandemic and supply chain disruptions, required a Vertical Start-Up and a collaborative, engineering led, Design-Build approach where the critical unmoving end date was kept as top priority. The team achieved schedule compression with sense of urgency, flexibility, innovation, and state of the art technology.
Sponsored by
Analog Devices
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Morning Refreshments and Networking Break
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Panel Discussion: How HPP is Helping Manufacturers Meet Consumer Trends
Joyce Longfield, Vice President of Product Innovation, Good Foods Group
Anthony Zapata, Business Development Manager, Hiperbaric
Chris Kirby,Founder & CEO, Ithaca Hummus
One of the effects of the pandemic has been an increased consumer focus on health. As such, numerous companies have turned to high-pressure processing (HPP) to meet the requirements that heat pasteurization can't offer. This panel brings together food and beverage processors with HPP experts to share their stories and to explain the benefits of HPP.
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Broadcast LiveFOOD ENGINEERING’s 2023 Sustainable Plant of the Year Award Presentation
Carl Kicklighter, Vital Farms Egg Central Station

FOOD ENGINEERING’s Sustainable Plant of the Year AwardVital Farms' expansion of its Egg Central Station doubled the facility's size, and continued to build on both the new technology and conservation features emblematic of its original construction. Members of the project team will outline how the plan they put forth improved energy efficiency by 50% and conserves more that 700,000 gallons of water annually on a project on course for LEED Silver certification.
Sponsored by
Food Industry Technician
12:00 PM
Exhibit Hall Opens
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Expo Refreshment Break
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Solutions Theater Track A: Advancing Sustainable Food Production Through Water and Energy Savings
Courtney Tripp, Sr. Strategy & Sustainability Manager, Grundfos
Food manufacturers have an essential role in creating a sustainable future so people can thrive. To this end, the North American Meat Institute has committed to 100% of its members having approved science-based targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030. As the first water solutions company to receive full validation of our net-zero targets from the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Grundfos is uniquely positioned to help food manufacturers to achieve their sustainability goals. Learn how impactful intelligent pumps, systems, and controls are in supporting the sustainability journey for food production and operations by saving energy, water, downtime, and maintenance.
Sponsored by

Solutions Theater Track B:Modernizing Belt Conveyors: Improve Hygiene, Reduce Water Usage, and Lower Operational Costs
Alex Kanaris, Founder & President, VDG (Van der Graaf)
The conveyor drive is an integral part of a belt conveyor and is ground zero for potential food contamination. A traditional conveyor drive has areas where food byproducts accumulate and harbor bacteria, leading to food contamination and expensive downtime. Routine washdowns are crucial for food manufacturers to avoid product contamination. Traditional conveyor drives are difficult and time-consuming to clean, requiring excessive amounts of water. Implementing VDG Drum Motors provides a higher level of hygiene and reduces the amount of water and time used for washdown. Discover how modernizing belt conveyors increases food safety and efficiency while decreasing operational and maintenance costs.
Sponsored by
Van Der Graaf
4:05 PM - 4:35 PM
Solutions Theater Track A:Avoiding Cross-Batch Contamination in Toll Blenders: Saving Time and Money by Replacing a Stuffing Box
Matthew Potvin, Mechanical Engineer & Head of Research and Development, Meco Seals
How clean is clean? From allergies to flavors and bacterial growth, cross-batch contamination can cause serious problems. Strong seasonings can leach into delicate flavors. Allergens can contaminate entire batches. Wet-washing a stuffing box to FDA cGMP is challenging. See how upgrading from stuffing boxes to mechanical seals can help.
Sponsored by
Meco Seals

Solutions Theater Track B: Why This is the Time to Sell or Buy a Business in the FAM Sector – or is it?
Clinton Johnston, Managing Director, Benchmark International
Eventually, you will take a step in your business to buy or sell, whether that leads to a strategic or financial transition; We will be discussing an overview of how the process works from the buyer and seller perspective within the Food Automation and Manufacturing Industry and the importance of market timing.

benchmark international
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Expo Cocktail Reception
Sponsored by
5:30 PM
Exhibit Hall Closes
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Dinner & Scotch Tasting
Sponsored by
Friday, October 13, 2023
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Registration Open
Sponsored by
Industrial Drying Solutions
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
Sponsored by
7:00 AM
Exhibit Hall Opens
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Solutions Theater Track A: Automated Ingredient Batching and Material Handling: Analysis of the Current Methods Available and the Benefits for Ingredient Costs, Food safety and Ingredient Batch Weight Accuracy
Sharon Nowak, Global Business Development Manager, Food and Pharma, Coperion
Rod Harris, Executive Sales Manager, Shick Esteve
With the increase in ingredient supply chain costs as well as increased concerns on food safety, today’s food manufacturers are continually looking to improve their current processes. In addition, Increased regulations regarding accurate ingredient percentages and subsequent labelling are resulting in increased utilization of automated ingredient batching methods versus manual operations. Automated material handling and batching systems are being implemented to minimize manual labor and intervention, provide real-time data on actual ingredient weights, and also to improve profit margins by optimizing accuracies for ingredient addition.
This presentation will focus on a number of automated batching and ingredient handling techniques and evaluate how automated material handling techniques can also address issues in safety and process efficiency. Compare current material transfer and dosing techniques via traditional manual methods, and learn how processes can be improved which result in cost savings by using an automated solution.
Sponsored by

Solutions Theater Track B: Adding Intelligence to Your Magnetic Separation Equipment
Kris Tennyson, Director of Sales, Magnetic Products, Inc. (MPI)
What exactly is an Intelligent Magnetic Separator? It is an Industry 4.0 level tool that informs plant personnel when it needs to be cleaned – or just as importantly, when it does not need to be cleaned! Join us for a discussion on the benefits of intelligent automation including reduced downtime of product lines (which saves time and money), labor productivity, vendor accountability, improved quality documentation, and much more!
Sponsored by
8:35 AM - 9:05 AM
Solutions Theater Track A:

Solutions Theater Track B: Improving Quality and ROI with Rapid Deployment Industrial IoT
Ahmar Bajwa, Senior Director of Product Management, Omega
The Food and Beverage Processing Industry continues to grow and mature, driving demand for unique products with higher quality and higher returns. Instrumentation is key to maintaining consistency throughout any process. RIIoT brings together a fast, flexible, digital system to ensure you quickly achieve and maintain the highest possible quality and productivity levels, resulting in higher returns. Join us to learn how RIIoT can be deployed in your facility, improving overall product quality and your bottom line.
Sponsored by
9:10 AM - 10:00 AM
Keynote How To Use Foresights To Navigate Technology Drivers That Produce Products Consumers Want
Suzy Badaracco, President and CEO, Culinary Tides, Inc.

New products and messaging should evolve ahead of consumer behavioral changes, so they hit when consumers are their most receptive. Upcoming technology trends will be showcased, along with why they are occurring, where they are coming from, and how long they will last so the audience can strategically navigate them in the coming year. Foresight allows you to strategically navigate trends to get you to your own best answers more quickly and confidently.

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Morning Refreshments and Networking Break
10:30 AM
Exhibit Hall Closes
10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Early Stage Startup Guidance
Nolan Lewin, Executive Director, Rutgers

The dawn of AI and fully automated food and beverage facilities still pose the age old challenges of startups looking for proof of concept places to work. Almost all manufacturing facilities gear up for large to very large productivity. The early stage entities need the expertise and go slow support.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Broadcast Live FOOD ENGINEERING’s 2023 Plant of the Year Award Presentation
Doug Clemens, Former CEO, Clemens Food Group
FOOD ENGINEERING’s Plant of the Year AwardClemens Food Group's Hatfield North pork processing facility is this year's FOOD ENGINEERING Plant of the Year. This session will detail the project team's goals and challenges to create a sanitary, employee-focused processing facility of both raw and RTE products that simultaneously improved throughput and value to the company and its clients.
Sponsored By
Foodsafe Drains
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Plant of the Year Luncheon
Sponsored by
FoodSafe Drains
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Implementation
Mark Sailer, Engineering Director , KLN Family Brands
Lance Schultz, Directory of Information Technology, KLN Family Brands
2:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Meeting New Recordkeeping Requirements for FDA’s Food Traceability Rule
Renee Perry, Vice President of CSR & ESG, Culinary Collaborations LLC
Liz Sertl, Senior Director - Community Engagement, GS1
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (U.S. FDA’s) new Food Traceability Rule requires companies handling certain “high-risk” foods to keep additional records for greater traceability and food safety. The rule applies to nearly twenty categories of common foods on the FDA’s Food Traceability List. During this session, Liz Sertl and a GS1 US member company will break down best practices for recordkeeping to meet new traceability requirements, including Key Data Elements (KDEs) and Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) in the supply chain (growing, receiving, manufacturing or processing, transforming and shipping).


Gold Sponsors
Analog Devices Austin Benchmark Burkert Burns & McDonnell Clayco CRB coperion Food Industry Technician FoodSafe Drains Grundfos Hixson Kingsgate Logistics Magnetic Products, Inc. Meco Seal Omega Engineering, Inc. UPG Van der Graaf Wirebelt

Silver Sponsors
Burns & McDonnell DORAL Industrial Drying Solutions Rovisys Sani Matic Whiting Turner