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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Competing in the Big Box Age

November 9, 2007 9:37 am | by Edward J. Goldman, Senior Vice President, Foster-Miller Inc.

Supplying big box stores like Wal-Mart is somewhat like survival of the fittest - adapt to their distribution model or lose the business. While most food manufacturers have adapted to meet the varying carton pack quantities and product mixes that these huge retailers demand, many have done so at the expense of product novelty.

Demystifying the Organic Process

November 9, 2007 9:04 am | by Graham Mitchell, President, Sustainable Innovations Inc. & Bob Anderson, President, Sustainable Strategies

Producing certified organic products in a facility that is also running conventional products requires careful consideration of production schedules, labeling and storage of products and tools.

ERP as Organic Change Management

October 18, 2007 8:17 am | by Johann Heydenrych, industry solutions manager, itelligence Inc.

Recent high-profile recalls have illustrated the dire potential consequences for food manufacturers unable to track and trace throughout the supply chain. But for every headline-grabbing incident, there are scores of less publicized cases with equally damaging capacity. 

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WMS Helps Maple Leaf Get Their Ducks in a Row

October 11, 2007 7:55 am

Duck farm employs an ERP warehouse management solution to streamline a complicated manufacturing process The need to maintain product quality and freshness from factory to marketplace can complicate the food manufacturing process. When dealing with poultry products, the "freshness factor" is not just desirable, it is mandatory, regardless of whether the poultry is distributed raw or cooked.

Refine the Design

October 11, 2007 7:06 am | by George Bachnivsky, MSKTD

Take the experience of a mid-western plant that ran into a bacteria problem last year. Every couple of weeks, tests would indicate the presence of bacteria. It was often different, suggesting different sources. The plant manager pressurized the building and implemented other tactics to keep bacteria out - to no avail.

Auditing to Protect Your Bottom Line

September 11, 2007 12:48 pm | by Tom Chestnut, vice president of supply chain food safety and quality programs, NSF International

When it comes to food, consumers have high expectations. In fact, it rarely crosses the consumer's mind that their food might be unsafe. The general population has a limited understanding, if any at all, of the extensive quality and safety control programs necessary to keep them safe and healthy.

Who's Keeping Score?

September 10, 2007 10:36 am

If ever you want to start an unremitting debate, all you need to do is drop the 'W' word: Wal-Mart. Suddenly, everyone has something to say. This is not surprising, as the retail Goliath has managed to couple itself with controversy over everything from health care to organics.      But no matter what side you are on, overlooking Wal-Mart's influential role in the market - including the food industry - is out of the question.

Updating Your Facility’s Electrical System Documentation

September 10, 2007 10:22 am | by Joseph Weigel, Product Manager, Square D Services, Schneider Electric

A critical issue that is often neglected in industrial plants, including food manufacturing facilities, is the importance of updating electrical system documentation. This includes things like maintaining an accurate electrical single-line diagram or commissioning a short circuit study, coordination study or arc-flash hazard analysis.

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Don’t Let Unsaleables Break Your Supply Chain

September 10, 2007 10:14 am

How clearing the path between dock and trailer can reduce product and profit loss By Walt Swietlik, Rite-Hite Corporation Whether it's frozen dinners or canned goods, product somehow has to make it to market unharmed. In every industry, however, a certain percentage of all products end up discarded because of expiration, contamination or, most commonly, physical damage.

Filling the Convenience Gap

September 10, 2007 10:07 am | by Robert E. Hogan, Director of International Sales and Marketing, Zip-Pak

Flexible packaging offers many advantages to consumer product goods companies, from weight reduction and space compression to increased shelf visibility. For consumers, convenience is even more critical - serving as a differentiator that draws an initial sale and retains consumer brand loyalty. 

Robotics Help Power Glide Past Logistical Weak Points

July 12, 2007 6:34 am

Gilde is Norway's leading meat processor employing a total workforce of 5,000, with 750 employees at the East Plant in Tonsberg. The company supplies some 500 different meat products throughout Norway with only a small percentage being exported. Gilde needed to improve processing of its high volume products in order to keep pace with demand. Robotics served as the solution.

Fuel of the Future: Lift Trucks Drive the Hydrogen Era

July 12, 2007 6:23 am | by Steve Medwin, Manager of Advanced Research, The Raymond Corporation

For years, the automotive industry has been buzzing about hydrogen fuel cell technology as an alternative to gasoline, but automobile manufacturers have yet to make it a reality for consumers. The materials handling industry, on the other hand, is leading the way to successfully implementing hydrogen fuel cell technology in electric lift trucks; and this new technology is quickly becoming a viable alternative to lead-acid batteries.

Nanofood: It’s What’s for Dinner

June 11, 2007 11:58 am

There are many buzz words used in the food industry that are inherently appealing to consumers. "Organic," "fresh," and "pesticide-free" are just a few. "Nanotechnology," however, does not fall into this category. Mmmm nanofood.      And yet, nanotechnology has the potential to transform the future of the food industry.

The Importance of pH Measurement in Assuring Product Quality

June 11, 2007 6:25 am | by Ken Queeney, Product Manager, Mettler-Toledo Ingold

A functional definition of pH is the measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution commonly measured on a scale of 0 to 14. pH 7 is considered neutral, with lower pH values being acidic and higher values being alkaline or caustic. pH is the most common of all analytical measurements in industrial processing and since it is a direct measure of acid content [H+], it clearly plays an important role in food processing.

The New Generation of Laser Coding

June 11, 2007 5:59 am | by Paul Schildhouse, Laser Product Manager, Videojet Technologies Inc.

Food and beverage manufacturers are always looking for ways improve productivity and increase the uptime of their machinery. There are many ways to achieve both of these goals, but one area that is often overlooked is variable data coding of packaging. This entails placement of information like expiration dates, manufacture dates, lot codes and other variable data on packages. Such information is a means to protect consumers from harm and help the manufacturer locate affected product lots faster if there is a concern.

Protect Your Product (and Your Business) with Time-Temperature Indicators

June 7, 2007 7:57 am | by Bill Teto, Sales Manager, Ciba Specialty Chemicals & Rob Cohen, Vice President Marketing, Freshpoint

Several recent health scares at major restaurant chains in the United States have opened up a new debate on food safety. An increasingly complex global supply chain allows consumers to buy fresh produce, dairy and meat products from virtually anywhere. 

Going Organic? Need Help?

May 7, 2007 10:32 am | by Rebecca Gill, Vice President, Technology Group International

As organic foods make their way into the mainstream and onto the tables of the everyday consumer, the demand of this one time niche market is growing rapidly. Unfortunately this growth comes with a cost to the producer and distributor. The explosion of organic food demand places more and more pressure on the companies producing and transporting these goods. 

The New Generation of Filling Control Systems

May 7, 2007 10:31 am

The filling control technology employed in bottling machinery has evolved over the past decade, offering higher levels of accuracy and reproducibility, while achieving extremely high reliability.

A Dangerous Game of Chicken

May 7, 2007 9:33 am | by by Karen Langhauser, Editor-in-Chief

The last few years have been tough on poultry. Avian Influenza has claimed the lives of over one hundred million birds, between precautionary culling and actual infection. Now it seems that even the pet food recall has touched the lives of poultry. The USDA and FDA have reported that byproducts from pet food manufactured with contaminated wheat gluten imported from China have been used in chicken feed on some farms in Indiana.

Nut Processor Takes a Systems Approach

April 19, 2007 6:06 am

“We want everything to be orchestrated from the point of accepting the raw peanuts and nuts all the way to the back door with the finished product going out to the customer.”  So stated was the mission of Tom Meyer, Facilities Manager for John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., when setting up their new, much larger facility, in Elgin, IL. John B. Sanfilippo & Son is the country’s fastest growing nut processor and packager.

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