The first is preventing contaminations caused by people, which
includes providing personal protective equipment, enforcing employee
hygiene, creating hygienic zoning, displaying appropriate signage in
the facility, and using appropriate food handling and sanitation tools.
The next is preventing contamination throughout the facility.
Solutions include proper filtration, shatter-proof lighting, pest control, drainage and moisture control, and sealed floors and walls.
The last major category is preventing contamination in the production area. Solutions include investing in stainless steel equipment that is
moisture-, water- and chemical-resistant, as well as using metal detectable products and food-grade pipes, valves, fittings and lubricants.
Q. Which new technologies are changing food
A. There are many new technologies that help food manufacturers reduce costs and save time. One of the most common current
trends is the move toward in-line and at-line inspection processes and
tools that minimize wait time for lab testing. Technology has also
helped minimize production line changeover times, a common source
for operational inefficiency due to the time and labor involved to tear
down, clean and rebuild equipment. To save time, manufacturers are
investing in Clean in Place (CIP) compliant equipment, which reduces some of the equipment’s breakdown requirements. Manufacturers
are also implementing comprehensive preventative maintenance plans
to evaluate the health of the equipment and continuously ensure their
production assets are running at maximum capacity.
In addition, there are a number of popular new commercial products – including Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), laser
technology and hyperspectral chemical imaging sensor-based systems, all of which help enhance sorting during production runs,
eliminating human errors and increasing yield percentages.
Q. How are these changes best introduced and
integrated into food production facilities?
A. With any potential change, it is important to determine if
the costs involved (including equipment, training and down-time
during conversion) will be exceeded by the potential returns in a
reasonable timeframe. For some companies, a five-year ROI may be
acceptable, while others require a much shorter time frame. Once
this is determined, an organization must clearly and consistently
communicate the importance of the change and its impact to individual roles. An organization that fails to implement a communication
strategy runs the risk of poor or inconsistent execution, additional
costs and a missed ROI target.
Sean Foran is a Senior Brand Strategy Manager focusing on
the Food and Beverage Segment. His team’s mission is to ensure
Grainger customers in the Manufacturing and Food Processing segment have the products, services, expertise and transaction channels
to operate their business safely and efficiently. Sean is a University
of Dayton graduate and has been a Grainger employee for 16 years.
He has held various roles in Sales, Sales Management, eCommerce,
Consulting and Brand.
Elizabeth Bernhardt has spent the last 16 years as a Grainger
Technical Product Support Specialist, specializing in Safety and
Laboratory Products. She has five years of food manufacturing experience as a Crew Trainer for Taco Bell’s food safety and OSHA processes. Elizabeth has a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. ◆
5980 Grand Haven Road • Muskegon, MI 49441 USA
800.640.6850 • www.DynamicConveyor.com
Minimizing safety risks is extremely important in food manufacturing. If an employee does get
hurt, it can result in a number of
inefficiencies including lost work
time, workers’ compensation
costs and high insurance costs.
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