As I walked the show floor at last week’s Pack and Process Expos, silently celebrating that I had only gotten lost within the exhibitor booths half a dozen times and found my way to an exit each time without necessitating a trail of breadcrumbs, I noticed two prevailing trends. The first was the continued push for sustainable options — everything from eco-friendly packaging materials to environmentally-responsible processing solutions.
A Philly cheesesteak sandwich is a culinary indulgence to some and a dietary staple to others. Thin slices of beef, chicken or pork piled high on an Amoroso-style roll with lots of melted cheese is a palate-pleasing treat that originated in Philadelphia, but can now be found in sandwich shops all over the world.
“Americans had a champagne taste while on a beer budget.” It wasn’t a particularly life-shattering statement, but as a fan of idioms I was immediately drawn to attention. With it, Alex Davern, National Instruments’ (NI) CFO and senior vice president of manufacturing and IT operations, had succinctly summed up our nation’s propensity to overspend.
The FDA’s Reportable Food Registry electronic portal became operational in early September 2009, requiring food manufacturers, processors, packers and distributors to report potential issues and adverse events electronically within 24 hours. Prior to this, mandated adverse event reporting was largely limited to the life sciences industry for product issues, but with recent and ongoing incidents involving produce, meat and pet food, food safety issues have once again raised public consciousness of the issue.
Goya® Foods is a 70 year old multi-national, family owned business that specializes in Hispanic cuisine. Its 2,500 employees worldwide produce more than 1,200 products, including condiments, pantry items, beverages and frozen foods. Goya is a big business with an intensely loyal customer base.
In spite of the optimistic signs that the recession is receding, it would be illusionary to believe that everything will revert to the way things used to be. As a result of the economic turmoil, distribution centers are experiencing fundamental changes and redefining their relationship with material handling integrators.
According to results from the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 13th annual Food Biotechnology: A Study of US Consumer Trends survey, Americans have a limited understanding of biotechnology as it relates to food production, and few express concerns about its safety. Results indicate an important opportunity for the U.
Cooling towers scrub large volumes of air and effectively remove solids consisting of dust, microbiological organisms, and various airborne debris. Makeup to the tower adds suspended solids in the form of corrosion products, microbiological growths and wood fibers from the tower, and process leaks.
A challenging economy is the best time for packaging innovation. With signs pointing to recovery in 2010, brands can position themselves for success by investing in innovation now. At PACK EXPO 2009 (today through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center), food manufacturers are discovering the innovation they need to build stronger brands, enhance production efficiencies, meet sustainability requirements and reduce total systems costs.
It's not about the tools, but how you use them and customize them to make them your own. Today is my first day in the office this week, as the first two allowed for a dynamic range of visits that ran the gamut from medical equipment firms to a private label chocolate processor. No offense to the good people at the surgical device companies, but the tempting smells and allure of the subject matter (along with a couple of sweet samples that were so graciously provided) made the chocolate company portion of the trip a definite highlight of this sabbatical from the office environment.
Appropriately, I write this blog from the comfort of bed—pillows stacked up behind me, tissue on my right, orange juice on the left, laptop whirring on my arched legs in the beautiful Gaylord Hotel in Orlando, FL. Considering that I flew here specifically to be at the Emerson Global Users Exchange (in amazing Floridian weather whilst my native Wisconsin was getting pummeled by rain and even hail), I couldn’t help but think what a waste.
Perhaps it’s because it’s one of the most visible brands out there, but Starbucks has been all up in my face in this recession. I remember vividly when I knew this whole economic collapse was real… and it was literally the day last summer I read in the paper that Starbucks — one of the most ubiquitous and iconic brands of my generation — was going to close the doors on several hundred stores.
Although the term “carbon footprint” has been added to the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, few users of automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) have added it to their corporate dictionary. As a result, most companies still focus on traditional justification measures, overlooking the value of a facility’s carbon footprint.
In the face of economic uncertainties and increasing environmental concerns, many businesses today are evaluating ways to make their operations more lean, efficient, and environmentally friendly.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the world’s largest retailer, with nearly 6,500 stores and wholesale clubs across 13 countries, more than 1.9 million associates worldwide, and revenue of more than $312 billion in fiscal 2006. Wal-Mart also enjoys a reputation as a leader in supply chain technology and efficiency.
NewAge Industries, a manufacturer and fabricator of flexible plastic tubing and hose, molder of silicone, developer of RFID tagging technology, and a supplier of fittings and clamps, has been family-owned and operated since 1954. Current CEO, and son of the founder, Ken Baker, has consistently taken a proactive approach to employee relations, and has seen the dividends pay off in low turnover, a solid company culture, and most recently, as one of 35 finalists for the 2009 Top Small Workplaces Award.
While it’s not the first time a trip to Starbucks has helped propel my work, it usually has more to do with the caffeine kick than any topical inspiration. However, a visit last week offered some insight on both the innovation and challenges that lie ahead for the processing industry. In particular, it wasn’t what I bought, but what was being given away at this particular location that got me thinking.
Capturing and using waste heat could be one of the largest conservation and green house gas reduction opportunities. Heat recovery is an opportunity to recycle energy that is typically wasted. According to the EPA, In the United States alone it is estimated that the potential for waste heat recovery could substitute approximately 9 percent of the total US energy usage, or 1.4 quadrillion BTU.
As food safety becomes more prevalent with each headline-grabbing recall, an increasing number of manufacturers have begun to accept the absolute necessity of implementing food safety programs. However, many organizations fail to grasp the full spectrum of activities and competencies needed to implement a comprehensive safety strategy.
The ability to react rapidly to changes in demand is one of the most crucial capabilities in business today. At one time you might have staffed extra people or carried extra inventory, but that is expensive. Every wasted dollar eats away at your margins. Whatever your industry, you need a way to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand while minimizing your costs.