ProFood World will honor the winners of the fifth annual Manufacturing Innovation Awards at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in September 2021. These awards recognize outstanding food and beverage processing and packaging innovation projects involving greenfield plants, expansion and renovation projects, or line upgrades. This year’s winners include MWC, Kraft Heinz, and CTI Foods.
MWC will be recognized for its new 400,000-sq-ft, state-of-the art facility in St. Johns, Mich., which processes 25% of the state’s milk production. Each day, the facility receives 8 million pounds of raw milk and produces approximately 850,000 lbs of cheese. MWC also processes whey at approximately 11,000 pounds per hour producing whey protein concentrates and isolates. Whey permeate left from the concentrate process is sent via a piping bridge to a neighboring plant that houses North America’s largest permeate spray dryer.
Also honored will be Kraft Heinz for a project involving its iconic macaroni and cheese product. Kraft Heinz expanded and modernized its Wausau, Wisc. facility to meet the requirements of a recent formulation improvement. The new recipe delivers a creamier customer experience, but required building upgrades, new liquid and powder handling systems, and a complex clean-in-place system to fulfill production needs. In addition, the project resulted in improved employee safety and ergonomics, and provided a production increase of more than 40%.
CTI Foods serves the restaurant and industrial ingredients industry with proteins, soups, sauces, and dressings. In order to automate its labor-intensive filled taco line, special end-of-arm tooling was designed to perform dual picks of the tacos and orientate them into trays. The upgrade tremendously improved the production rate to 960 tacos per minute across four packaging cells. Other improvements to the integrated system include robotic controls, pick and place delta robots, an in-feed conveyor, tray erector, vision system, tray wrapper, checkweigher, inspection, and more.
“We look forward to hosting this year’s award winners at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to share their experience bringing these innovation projects to life,” says Joyce Fassl, editor in chief of ProFood World. “Their success stories inspire our community of food and beverage manufacturing professionals to envision the future of food processing and packaging innovation.”
ProFood World Publisher Patrick Young adds, “We’re excited for the return of The Processing Zone at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to support the food and beverage manufacturing community with opportunities to network and discover new solutions to help increase efficiency, achieve total system integration, and ensure safety.”
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