Leveraging data holds the key to driving greater efficiency and transparency. From plant facilities to entire supply chains, costly nonconformances can eat away at profit margins at a time when competition is high. As the global markets grow more complex, it’s crucial for manufacturing organizations to hone processes that access and interpret data in real-time to control variances and target quality.
How do we balance time and money when it comes to plant maintenance? It’s common for many organizations to rely upon reactive maintenance, and fixing problems as they occur. While this method can seem cost-effective initially, the costs will increase over time with extended downtime and greater unpredictability. Proactive maintenance, however, while generating a higher upfront cost, can lower overall maintenance costs, reduce equipment and employee downtime, and significantly increase asset availability.
There are three essential aspects for driving food safety training for a diverse workforce: accessibility, inclusivity, and dynamic responsiveness. The key to food safety education is to meet people where they are and commit to food safety training and education. Document everything: if it doesn’t get documented, then it didn’t happen. For good food safety education to work, there has to be a commitment from the top down, but also a bottom-up education and knowledge transfer. The employees on the floor should be an integral part of the food safety training curriculum. This approach is similar to cultivating a food safety culture.
Packaging manufacturers are faced with the challenge of balancing regulations, available materials, cost, and function to demand. This article will discuss packaging manufacturing regulations, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and FDA compliance to shed light on the many regulations that dictate the packaging industry.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first reached the U.S. in the spring of 2020, it disrupted businesses, forcing many people out of employment. While some employees could work remotely, many roles didn’t accommodate work-from-home arrangements. To cushion its citizens from the hardships of being out of work, the U.S. government established the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act. This move played a role in shaping the future of work—for many people, the financial benefits extended well into 2021. Stimulus checks and additional unemployment assistance helped many families and individuals in need during shutdowns, but many employers faced labor shortages even after businesses were back up and running.
Traceability is a tool, and as such, it is not an answer or the solution; it’s a means of getting there. Companies often state that they wish to have greater traceability. It is crucial that companies identify what they hope to achieve with traceability because understanding the goal can guide them in how best to use traceability. As a tool, traceability can be an effective marketing technique or a way to authenticate a product. Companies can also use traceability to increase supply chain efficiency or facilitate simpler and easier recalls. Many companies are examining traceability as a way to improve in all of these areas. The technology exists to support all of these goals, but it is helpful for companies to clarify the goals first before attempting to implement traceability.
As competition in the manufacturing industries ramps up on a global scale, organizations are seeking ways to drive sales while also remaining in compliance. Manufacturers may also want to capitalize on a breakthrough in their industry and compel continued momentum after the introduction of a new product or process. Whatever the reason, manufacturers are exploring tools like statistical process control (SPC) software in an effort to create higher-quality products without compromising productivity.
Many organizations understand the “improvement” part of Continuous Improvement but struggle with the “continuous” aspect. A company might improve a process once but then assume they have solved the problem and there is no further need for improvement. Other companies know that continuous improvement can help but are unsure which strategy is appropriate. Learning about key continuous improvement methods can ensure companies know which strategies will yield the results they seek. Many companies find themselves considering many different options, and lose sight of the most important thing which is to start somewhere.
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is an industry-standard procedure that utilizes statistical techniques during the manufacturing process. Managers using SPC can access quality data during manufacturing in real-time and plot data on a graph with predetermined control limits. The capacity of the process determines control limits, and the client’s needs determine specification limits. By implementing SPC, manufacturers use quality data to record and predict deviations in the production environment. Data are plotted on a graph, incorporating factors like control limits (natural process limits) and specification limits (requirements determined by the corporate). When recorded data falls within control limits, it indicates everything is operating correctly.
Regulations in recent years have sought to assist allergen-aware consumers by requiring changes in labeling to reflect individual ingredients and sourcing, but challenges remain in creating labeling clarity and providing relatable education that can facilitate a better understanding for consumers of what labels mean.
The commitment to understanding and protecting the food allergen consumer continues to be a priority for food manufacturers. The impact from a safety and purchasing standpoint is significant. 32 million Americans live with food allergies that impact their well-being and quality of life. Retail establishments, food companies are key players in building empathy and trust with the customer.