The Tale of Comet the Wonder Dog

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Have you ever been in a situation where you need a conversation starter that you can be confident will be well received?  Well, here’s a tip, try talking about an unusual pet you have owned, and some of the memorable moments that have resulted.  That’s sure to cause chuckles and shared recounting of misadventures.  Over the years, we have housed a menagerie of mostly cats and dogs, many of which have had endearing quirks that are fun to relate and compare to other friends and acquaintances with their own pet stories.  Here’s one of my favorites, its about Comet the Wonder Dog.

Read More

Topics: food industry

Pet Food Quality, Testing and Tasting

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 18, 2018 2:07:15 PM

 

Pet food manufacturing is a 20-billion-dollar industry. In the United States, the manufacture of pet food is regulated in the same way and with the same rigid requirements that are required for the manufacture of any food. At Optimation we are engaged in the construction of pet food plants as well as facilities for the dairy and other food products. We know that the facilities for both are the same. They must be sanitary, easy to maintain and clean. The control systems must maintain the same high standards for metering, mixing and packaging. 

Read More

Topics: Safety, Quality, food industry

Pet Food Manufacturing, Contamination and Regulation

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 4, 2018 2:58:23 PM

The pet food industry in the United States is huge and growing. In 2017, American families spent over 30 million dollars on pet food.  On average that’s about 800 dollars per year per pet.  There are about 300 manufacturers making this pet food in the United States. If you’re a pet owner yourself, these numbers may not be much of a surprise! What you may not realize is that just like food for people, pet food is regulated.

Today there are stringent regulations put in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the manufacturing of food for pets. These regulations are strict enough that some feel they hinder the growth of the pet food market. The regulations were put in place to assure several things.  It’s mandatory that pet food be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, free of harmful substances, and labeled truthfully. Canned pet food must also comply with the regulations for any low-acid canned food.  Much of the motivation to enhance regulations for pet food was driven pet food recalls that took place in 2007. 

Read More

Topics: Safety, food industry

A Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Traceability for Food Safety

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 26, 2018 2:32:30 PM

When news such as this most recent E. coli outbreak striking romaine lettuce hits the industry and the food chain, it is cause for concern and action.  Safeguards get challenged, systems audited, processes analyzed, and conventional wisdom is questioned.  There can be no areas off-limits, no “sacred cows” that avoid scrutiny.  Everything must be assessed to ensure we protect the security of the consumers and all the elements of the world’s most complex and efficient system feeding Americans and people worldwide.

Read More

Topics: Manufacturing, Safety, food industry

How to Avoid Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 7, 2018 9:20:00 AM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

Read More

Topics: Manufacturing, food industry, Skilled Trades

The Hazards of Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 25, 2018 12:46:03 PM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

Read More

Topics: Manufacturing, food industry, Skilled Trades

Food Science meets Rocket Science

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jul 17, 2018 4:31:56 PM

Conventional wisdom in many corners of industry may steer seekers of outside services such as systems integration (Optimation’s business) to those firms with direct exact and typically singular experience in a given field. 

Read More

Topics: Technology, Trends, food industry

High Pressure Pasteurization and Food Quality

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 12, 2016 2:36:58 PM

I can remember the days, decades ago, when you could stop at a country farm stand and buy a gallon of fresh squeezed cider that tasted exactly like fresh apples. Then one year the department of health stepped in and issued a mandate that all cider sold commercially had to be pasteurized. Suddenly cider tasted more like apple juice and most of fresh flavor was gone. In my mind that was a sad day. A similar mandate had been issued for milk decades earlier. Before that you could buy a gallon of unprocessed milk from a local farmer with all the richness and cream still intact.

Read More

Topics: food industry

Weighing System for a Food Manufacturer

Posted by Mike Triassi on Aug 29, 2016 2:29:09 PM

Optimation has just been awarded a batch weighing system for food grade products. The system handles sequencing of different ingredients into a scale and then discharge of the scale into a mixer.    These formulations are normally 10 to 12 different ingredients and there are hundreds of different formulations.  The typical run size is in tons with approximate 2 tons per batch; therefore 5 to 20 batches of the same formation will be scheduled consecutively.

Read More

Topics: Rockwell, food industry

A New Organic Peanut Butter Plant - Once Again

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jun 9, 2016 3:10:51 PM

I attended a ribbon cutting on June 2 at Once Again Nut Butter.  They dedicated their new organic peanut butter plant in Nunda, NY.  It was a celebration of success in small town America and it represents part of the turnaround in manufacturing in the USA that all of us strive for. 

Read More

Topics: food industry

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

Subscribe to Email Updates