During a recent trip to Aruba – right around the time when the wind was blowing so furiously that my $14 pina colada actually took flight off my beach towel – I started thinking about wind power. It surprised me that a place such Aruba – which has an average wind speed of around 18 mph – was not making use of this renewable energy source.
In today's competitive global food market, process manufacturers search for effective ways to increase profitability and reduce costs in the face of mounting customer service and pricing pressures. The challenge to create competitive advantages and boost profits without unnecessary risk extends throughout a supply chain that can sometimes circle the globe.
Long viewed as a traditional packaging type, metal cans are about to be shaken up by the commercialization of innovative shapes that deliver a strong marketing message. Although the familiar cylindrical shape won't disappear any time soon, the technology is now in place which makes the production of shaped metal cans at commercial quantities a viable option for forward thinking marketers.
The other day, I went to the grocery store to buy some marinade. I soon discovered that marinades have their own special, secluded section in the store. When I entered the world of marinades I found that aside from the no less than 100 different flavor choices, marinades come in “low sodium,” “low fat,” “low carb” and “low calorie” not to mention “sugar-free,” “fat-free,” “carb-free,” as well as “all-natural,” “organic” and, my personal favorite, “fancy gourmet.
Two tradeshows, 67 booth appointments and 5896 Frequent Flyer miles later, I’m back behind my desk in NJ. For those of you who did not have the chance to attend PROCESS/PACK EXPO in Las Vegas and the World Wide Food Expo in Chicago, you missed out on two eventful shows. When I walk the floors of industry tradeshows (most of the time wishing that running shoes were an acceptable footwear pairing with business suits) I try to absorb what seems to be an endless amount of information about new products, technologies and company initiatives.
Anyone who has ever worked in an office is surely familiar with the catch phrases, clichés and buzzwords that litter nearly every meeting - even the water-cooler kind. A few of my favorites include: "undergo network optimization," "formulate an action plan," and "develop core competencies." All of these terms sound powerful when they are spoken, but upon returning to the comfort of your cubicle, you usually realize you have no idea what these words actually mean, at least in the context they were spoken.
Food Manufacturing magazine asked key industry experts who will be presenting at the 2008 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo (January 23-25) to comment on current issues confronting the poultry industry. Detailed presentations on pressing topics such as fuel costs, supply and demand, and animal feed recalls will be offered free to attendees and exhibitors.
Even with the emergence of new rotating-equipment supply channels including web-based vendors, the traditional channel of industrial distribution remains a vital supply source for food manufacturers and processors. The reasons involve familiar distributor strengths, such as accessibility, personalized service and fast delivery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.