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How Will 2017 Affect the Food Industry?

As the new year unfolds the food processing industry watches to see what the changes in political administration may mean for the field.  Understanding these issues can help a company plan strategically to meet these challenges.  There are several trends to watch that may give some insight into the changes to come.

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Food Technology and the Future

The food processing plants of the future are becoming more and more reliant on the ability to process big data and the need for better equipment in order to maintain product quality. From biotechnology to food production processes, technology infiltrates the entire farm-to-table process. Additionally, big data can be harvested from machines in order to provide real time feedback about consumption patterns, machine efficiency and more. The food production industry can use this information to streamline efficiency and better utilize resources. And in some cases, technology is the difference between food safety and a national problem.

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Developing Partners in Paper

Teams work. The businesses that thrive in the marketplace are those who place a high priority on communication at every level — and those who invest in quality partnerships to advance the industry. This is especially true for the paper industry in the current market situation.

Building great partners begins on the factory floor between management and employees. A mill works with logistics that encompass orders, packaging, stock, inventory, customer database, machine order changes, usually with several shifts of workers. There is a lot of room for error and downtime, with even small mistakes leading to an idle machine for hours. Developing good communication with your floor creates less downtime and fewer surprises in the form of idled machines and reruns. Every mill has a range of communication tools and partnerships between units that result in better work performance.

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Assessing Paper Mill Priorities

The paper industry has been in a state of tension for some years now, partly the result of raw materials costs, a decline in the market and competition abroad. Many mills have closed, and those that are open are certainly keenly aware of the issues surrounding the industry. How do leaders in the industry manage to stay afloat? By making sure they are operating at peak efficiency.

The paper industry is a great example to all other forms of manufacturing because profits were so robust only a couple of decades ago. By the end of the 1990s, however, technology and other factors created razor thin margins and owners were forced to adapt or go extinct. The marketplace became even more cutthroat than before.

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Cost Reduction Leads to Growth

As manufacturers and other industry leaders look back over the last half-decade, the impact of the recession on business has been marked.  As companies struggled to continue to find profits, industry leaders were forced to look closely at budgets, layoffs, and what is now known as “lean” business practices, which essentially means doing as much as you can with fewer resources.  Cost optimization was key to staying afloat.  But now, looking toward the next few years, businesses are in a position to see how cost reduction will enable future growth.

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Municipalities Measure Environmental Impact

While it is the vital work of our small governments to provide safe drinking water and sanitation solutions for all residents, sometimes municipalities have to contend with other environmental issues that have ramifications to the whole environment.
As surface-water problems continue to crop up frequently in the news, municipalities should consider how investing in the right equipment and processes can prevent some of these environmental issues.

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Manufacturing Changes to Consider Now

Despite the labor drain to Asia in the 1990s, manufacturing is experiencing trends like “reshoring” and embracing new smart technologies that are becoming a game changer for the industry. If your business wants to examine its procedures, here are the changes you should be aware of now.

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How to Really Measure Productivity

There are about as many ways to measure the bottom line as there are companies that routinely watch the bottom line! But the value of a truly effective productivity measure simply cannot be understated. Particularly in the manufacturing industry, what happens on the shop floor is often conflated with supply chain issues, and in many instances, cost saving measures that generate a lot of real value to the company get lost in the calculation. If you really want to know how to measure your productivity, you need to make sure your company is looking at efficiency and utilization.

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Latest Outlook on Oil: The Spigot is on – Mostly

It’s been dubbed the biggest downturn in a generation, but the oil industry is set to green-light more than double the projects that have been approved in the past, shaking off the effects of years’ worth of slump that bankrupted some companies and forced others into survival mode. U.S. shale operators will increase spending on oil exploration by 3% — bringing the industry investments to $450 billion. Rising oil prices from an OPEC cut in production has many rushing to get projects off the ground again.

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Meaningful Manufacturing Trends

While everyone is quick to point out the death of manufacturing, there are actually quite a few trends currently that indicate manufacturing is set to experience a boost in production and manufacturing technologies.  These trends indicate that the United States is far from losing its manufacturing base; but the trends also indicate the need to invest in quality equipment while the time is right.

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