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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Brainstorm: Food Safety

December 16, 2011 6:34 am | by Bill Bremer, Principal, Kestrel Management Services

The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace. In this issue, we ask: As the Food Safety Modernization Act begins to take effect, what should food manufacturers do to ensure that they are in compliance? Companies should assess their food safety programs and develop plans to ensure their compliance.

The Dilemma Of Recurring Problems

December 16, 2011 4:02 am | by Michael Curran-Hayes, Senior Partner, Life Science, Kepner-Tregoe, Inc.

Nightmare scenario:  The phone rings and you learn with dread that the problem you thought you had gotten rid of a month ago is back and bigger than ever.  Your stomach sinks and your pulse quickens, as you scramble to find out exactly what is happening.   AND you know it is only a matter of time before plant management will be showing up at your door to have a “serious” discussion.

Breathe Right

December 15, 2011 6:27 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Proper building operations and routine maintenance are critical to ensuring healthy indoor air quality (IAQ), says OSHA. While this may be the case, many manufacturers require a strong business case when it comes to investing in the best available technology to truly apply IAQ best practices.

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Brainstorm: Energy Management

December 15, 2011 4:01 am | by Bob Zak, GM and President, Powerit Solutions North America

The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace. In this issue, we ask: What are some of the most overlooked energy management methods food manufacturers can employ to reduce their utility expenses? Most food plants aren’t controlling peak demand at all.

Brainstorm: Instrumentation and Weighing

December 14, 2011 7:53 am | by Fred Cox, Vice-President of Sales/Marketing, Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company

What are important issues food manufacturers must consider when making decisions about the implementation of instrumentation and weighing devices in their facilities? Water combined with high-pressure cleaning takes its toll on electronic equipment. Food production facilities are best suited for weight displays that carry an IP69K rating and are resistant to high-pressure water jets of up to 1,450 PSI and temperatures of up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q&A: Dealing With 2012's Uncertainty

December 14, 2011 3:49 am | by Jeff Owens, President, Advanced Technology Services

Jeff Owens is the President of Advanced Technology Services, a Peoria, Ill.-based company that provides outsourced production equipment maintenance, information technology assistance, and spare parts repair. The company utilizes extensive training programs to give engineers the knowledge necessary to troubleshoot and fix the high-tech manufacturing machinery of the 21st Century manufacturer, allowing these companies to focus on their production.

Has Continuous Improvement Met Its ROI Match?

December 12, 2011 5:19 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

A recent report from AlixPartners posited a surprising finding in the field of continuous improvement (CI) programs for manufacturers: Most companies engaged in Lean, Sigma Six, or another toolkit are achieving a poor return on their investment, and appear to be only partially engaged in the process itself.

Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant? (Part II)

December 12, 2011 5:07 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

The first installment of "Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant?" describes the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and its implications for manufacturers. The Pay-Off Just how quickly can a new lighting system pay itself off? Well, it depends on a number of variables unique to a given manufacturing facility, such as the need for a backend retrofit as opposed to a simple re-lamp.

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50 And Fired?

December 12, 2011 4:38 am | by Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane, Principals, OptiMarket LLC

There have been a plethora of advice for job seekers on how to conduct a successful interview. However, there has not been much focus on the toughest interview of all, the one you face when you are over fifty. The over fifty-age group has the highest rate of unemployment today, and the highest level since the Great Depression.

Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant?

December 12, 2011 4:08 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

The much-debated “phase-out” of incandescent light bulbs has struck a nerve with consumers and manufacturers alike recently, but the process began long ago, when the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 was passed into law. The bill, co-sponsored by 198 representatives, passed the House in January 2007, the Senate in June, and was signed into law on December 19 by President George W.

Throwing CAPAs At The Wall

December 8, 2011 7:41 am | by Dr. Jamie Weiss, Senior Consultant, Kepner-Tregoe Inc.

At Kepner-Tregoe, we do a fair amount of problem-solving facilitation. A client will call us up and say, “We’ve got this problem, and we’ve been working on it for months, and we still don’t have a consensus on the cause. It’s gotten so bad that you can’t even ask a question without getting into a political fight.

Living La Vida Cocoa

December 8, 2011 7:22 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor

San Francisco’s TCHO chocolate company has made strategic decisions in sourcing, production and technology that have vaulted this young chocolatier into the stratosphere of high-quality U.S. chocolate-makers. TCHO was founded in 2007 by Timothy Childs, founder of Cabaret Chocolates and a former engineer of vision systems used in NASA space shuttles.

Probiotics: Good Gut Bugs Take Center Stage

December 6, 2011 11:08 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor

A report last month in Nature revealed new research suggesting that gut bacteria might play a much more prominent role in health and obesity than previously suspected. This study coincides with a proliferation of research on the benefits of probiotic bacteria. With bacteria-related illnesses like Clostridium difficile on the rise , consumers are becoming more aware of the role that gut bacteria play in their health.

Q&A: Safety On The (Clothes) Line

December 6, 2011 10:54 am | by Gary Zumstein, VP of Research Development, Protective, Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, LLC, William Roger McKee, National Account Executive, FR Specialist, G&K Services

Manufacturing is one of the most dangerous industries around, but safety can be greatly improved by taking basic measures — one of the simplest being providing workers with protective clothing. Food Manufacturing spoke with Gary Zumstein of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics and Roger McKee of G&K Services about how clothing and other safety apparel can help protect food manufacturers on the job.

Q&A: Creating A Food Safety Culture

December 6, 2011 8:09 am | by Hank Lambert, General Manager of UL Global Food and Water Businesses

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recently launched its Food Safety program, which is designed to help food processors address industry issues, such as increasing regulation and consumer awareness of food safety issues. Food Manufacturing spoke with Hank Lambert of UL about the new program and how food manufacturers can improve product safety.

Struggling to Align Goals with Capabilities

December 6, 2011 7:58 am | by Vivien Chan, Regional Marketing Lead, Tectura ASEAN

Information technology (IT) departments are challenged to provide solutions that enable productivity and agility to face the market and consumer demands. Manual processes, inefficiencies and a lack of accountability add to the mix. Improved IT infrastructure becomes a key component in facilitating better decision-making, profitability, customer satisfaction and efficiency of operations.

Saying 'So Long' To Bad Ads

December 5, 2011 6:13 am | by Steve Staedler, LePoidevin Marketing

Three keys to effective print advertising . The financial lifeblood of most magazines, consumer or trade, is advertising. Magazines need them to help pay the bills, and advertisers need them to communicate to their target audiences. But not all ads are made the same. The goal of an effective ad is to relay a single message.

Does Starbucks 'Create Jobs For USA'?

December 5, 2011 6:07 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Next time you stop for a cup of coffee, you can help support American jobs. For the price of a gingerbread latte, you can do your part “to help get this country back up on its feet,” complete with symbolic wristband, available with a $5 donation and emblazoned with the word “indivisible.

Are You Prepared?

December 2, 2011 7:25 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Every fall, I try to get in a horrible zombie movie. During the movie, the characters are never prepared, and are always without a shotgun, a chainsaw, and an Oldsmobile Delta-88 with which to escape. How could they possibly survive a zombie apocalypse? My first stop in just such an event would be Westlake Ace Hardware, complete with their Zombie Preparedness Center .

Allergen Labeling Is Nothing To Sneeze At

December 2, 2011 7:24 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor

Allergies can be one of the most dangerous food-related illnesses, especially in children, with as many as one in 13 U.S. kids affected. While many allergic reactions like dizziness or rashes may be mild, it is estimated that nearly 40 percent of allergic reactions can be severe — or even fatal.

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