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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

How Lean Do You Really Want to Be?

January 29, 2014 12:00 pm | by Tom McNamara and Erika Masillac

Many “lean” concepts have been at the heart of operations management for years now. But more and more companies are starting to ask themselves a simple question: Just how lean do we really want to be? In answering that question, many are starting to rethink the way they manage their processes and supply chains.


Horse: The Other… Meat?

January 28, 2014 2:09 pm | by Holly Henschen, Editor

The idea of munching on horse meat triggers the gag reflex of most Americans and Europeans, a reaction rooted in tradition. The taboo surrounding horses as food in the West is deeply rooted in history and the close humans-equine relationship, though lack of an alternative forced tastes to change at times.


Achieving Net-Zero Use of Grid Energy in Manufacturing

January 28, 2014 12:00 pm | by Jim McMahon, Sustainability and Renewable Energy Writer

The rising cost of energy has forced many manufacturers to focus their sights on innovative ways to optimize energy consumption and improve operational efficiency in their manufacturing, product lines, distribution and administrative operations.


New Approaches to Contract Manufacturing Open New Doors for Manufacturers

January 28, 2014 8:00 am | by David Douthit, Accenture

Although many global manufacturers may have a limited view of contract manufacturing, seeing it as a safety valve to handle the pressures of excess demand, manufacturing leaders identified in an Accenture study are outperforming their peers and making contract manufacturing a core part of their long-term strategy.


Investments in MIS on the Rise

January 27, 2014 12:00 pm | by John Tertin, Director of MIS, ESE, Inc.

Food safety. Quality standards. Yield management. Waste control. Cost containment. The list goes on. With so many competing requirements, manufacturers' need for more timely and accurate process data is accelerating both the interest and demand for Manufacturing Information Systems — or MIS solutions.


Do You Believe in Safety Factors?

January 27, 2014 8:00 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

A wide variety of practices and methodologies enables us to pursue optimization with greater sophistication than designing to arbitrary safety factors or setting controls well within limits. Choose the right and best way for your organization to establish appropriate safety factors and stay within performance limits.


Process Mapping for Marketing

January 24, 2014 12:00 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

There is a truly important and powerful side affect of the process mapping effort. It rapidly identifies elements of the market and people’s behavior within the market that you don’t understand. By the time your process map is done, you will know more about your market than you imagined there was to know.


Low-Cost and Eco-Friendly Packaging for Confectionery and Baked Goods

January 24, 2014 8:00 am | by interpack

Manufacturers of sweets and snacks face a unique challenge. Their products have to stand out from the crowd without extravagant packages that drive up costs. Packaging and machinery manufacturers can help with material-saving packaging solutions and more efficient production lines.


PwC 2014 Manufacturing Trends Predictions

January 23, 2014 12:00 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO

Every January, companies make predictions about the year ahead and what trends they should expect. Bobby Bono, the U.S. industrial manufacturing leader at PwC, has assembled a list of trends he is predicting for the manufacturing sector moving forward.


Uncovering New Ways to Improve Yield in Food & Beverage Production

January 23, 2014 8:00 am | by Jonathan Chong, David Beal, Michael Hatto, Doug Bonner and Beth Morrison

Huge gains in yield have been achieved through Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and Kaizen — so much that it may seem no more can be done, particularly in the waste-intensive, fast-paced food and beverage industry. However, it is possible to produce an 18 to 25 percent improvement in yield on a repeatable basis.


Tracking the ‘Manufacturing Jobs for America’ Campaign

January 22, 2014 12:00 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

The “Manufacturing Jobs for America” initiative aims to “train Washington’s focus on manufacturing jobs.” The initiative wants to bring new legislation to Congress and the President that will help American manufacturers grow and hire new employees, while also assisting in training a workforce capable of working those jobs.


Stopping to Smell the Whisky

January 22, 2014 8:00 am | by PerkinElmer

The production of whisky requires maturation in wooden casks for the full development of the finished product’s character. Subtle differences in the casks’ conditioning can produce quite different flavors and aromas that require skillful blending to achieve a consistent product.


Taking Control of Energy

January 21, 2014 12:00 pm | by Michael Nicoloro, PE and Joan Fontaine, PE

Manufacturers don’t have to remain hostage to the price and availability fluctuations of the energy markets. They can take control, producing their own power and meeting their thermal needs with Independent Energy Districts.


Getting the Most Out of Scarce Production Resources

January 21, 2014 8:00 am | by Hernan J. Clarke, president and CEO, 4Sight Technologies

Resource optimization software can not only help companies adapt more efficiently to resource constraints, but it can also minimize idle time, anticipate parts shortages, free up labor and equipment to be shifted among tasks, and otherwise get the most out of your labor and capital.


General Mills Leverages External Partnerships to Grow Its Convenience Business

January 20, 2014 8:00 am | by General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network

One of the key strategies to bringing innovation to the convenience-store channel is leveraging external partnerships through open innovation. Since formally adopting its open innovation strategy in 2007, General Mills has connected with numerous outside partner companies to help introduce some of the company’s most successful new products.


Power Quality Problems Plague Manufacturing’s Push for Productivity

January 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Ben Grimes, Chief Technology Officer, Innovolt

While most manufacturers have comprehensive equipment maintenance and service programs in place to minimize downtime, most manufacturers pay much less attention to a problem that, according to Electric Power and Light Magazine, causes 30 to 40 percent of business downtime: power quality fluctuations.


7 Reasons You Should Benchmark Your Manufacturing Performance

January 17, 2014 8:00 am | by Mike Roberts

Whether it’s for internal comparisons or for measuring the effectiveness of your company against close competitors, benchmarking is a vital continuous improvement tool. If you're an executive that hasn’t bought into benchmarking manufacturing performance, here are seven reasons why you might want to reconsider that strategy.


Harnessing Big Data with a Systems Thinking Approach

January 16, 2014 12:00 pm | by Tom Kadala, Founder and CEO of Alternative Technology Corporation

With 90 percent of the world’s data created in the last two years, what can we expect our data vaults to hold two or even 20 years from now? Today we measure our lives in peta-bytes, but by 2020 estimates show a 2,300 percent increase in the bits and bytes that will define our lives.


A Headless Chicken Leading the Blind

January 16, 2014 8:00 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

My wife coined the phrase, “headless chicken leading the blind,” last week. Her organization is experiencing a bit of a crisis and such is how she described the phenomenon. It’s common enough that we all feel familiar with it without any description.


CMMI: Is Your Business Mature Enough?

January 15, 2014 12:00 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

Unlike other frameworks or standards, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) isn’t a compliance exercise, and doesn’t require adherence to a particular methodology. It’s methodologically agnostic, which means that rather on focusing on how to do something, it focuses on what needs to be done.



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