The Biggest Trends in Food Processing R&D

The Biggest Trends in Food Processing R&D

Whether driven by the need to capture more market share or changing regulations, food processing companies use research and development to create new products and processes. For example, Sargento expanded its cheese-focused business to include new products like nuts and chocolate. Athens Foods created gluten free phyllo dough, and Lundberg Family Farms added more products like frozen bowls and tortilla chips. These changes earned the companies the 2019 R&D Teams of the Year designation, according to the magazine Food Processing.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Customers Love Industrial Curtain Walls by AmCraft Manufacturing

Top 3 Reasons Why Customers Love Industrial Curtain Walls by AmCraft Manufacturing

As a one-stop custom industrial curtain shop, AmCraft’s customers are afforded the opportunity to select the specific curtain type that best meets their facility objectives; whether it’s a Thermal Insulated Curtain to manage temperature control, an Acoustic Curtain or Baffle System to reduce noise and absorb sound or a Single Layer Industrial Curtain to separate work zones.

However, AmCraft’s customers are not only enamored by the array of industrial curtains available, but they are also pleased with the level of customization and personal attention-to-detail that they receive throughout their ordering experience. In addition, AmCraft Manufacturing is well-known for tailoring each industrial curtain wall to meet the customer’s unique space planning needs, which is one of the many reasons their customers love them.

In exploring the customer feedback shared over the years, we were able to pinpoint the top three reasons why customers love industrial curtain walls manufactured by AmCraft:

Great Performance Results

AmCraft manufactures each curtain in their own Elk Grove Village manufacturing facility. Through in-house R&D, each product is constructed to meet the exacting standards that AmCraft Manufacturing has become known for throughout the industry. Therefore, customers are confident that their industrial curtain wall will deliver the expected performance results – whether it’s reducing noise or containing heat!

High Quality Construction and Durability

It’s not unusual for customers who may have ordered a previous curtain from one of AmCraft’s competitors to realize the huge difference in both quality and durability when they receive their first industrial curtain wall from AmCraft Manufacturing.

The Best Customer Service Experience

It’s one thing to provide the best quality and the best craftsmanship in the industrial curtain wall industry. However, AmCraft takes it to the next level by providing exceptional customer service experiences. This just might be their secret sauce and why their customers really love them!

If you have not yet had the experience of being an AmCraft Industrial Curtain Wall customer, then don’t worry because there is plenty of love to go around! Get in touch with an Industrial Curtain Specialist today.

How Food Grade Industrial Curtain Walls Improve Efficiency

Most work places have a variety of different activities and functions going on within them. Some of these functions may work well together, while others are disruptive to the processes around them. Almost every work place has the need for space division; whether it is to separate an office area from a warehouse area, to divide different manufacturing processes, or a more custom need. Food manufacturing plants are no exception to this rule- they have just as much, if not more, of a necessity to divide their facilities. In addition to spatial needs, food manufacturing plants must also divide their facilities for food safety and compliance reasons.

Keep it Safe: Make Sure Your Conveyor Lines Aren’t Touching

Often times, food manufacturing plants will have multiple conveyor lines running next to or near each other. Each conveyor line may be handling different products, and in many cases, it is imperative that the two substances do not mix. For example, one line may be assisting with processing and packing pretzels, while the line next to it is processing a peanut brittle product. In today’s society, food allergies abound, which makes it very important for the food manufacturing facility to eliminate food contamination between these two lines.

In an additional effort to eliminate food contamination, food manufacturing plants are also required to wash down their equipment and manufacturing space on a consistent basis. If wash down is in progress, it has the potential to shut down an entire area of manufacturing space due to issues such as overspray that may come into contact with lines that are not the focus of the current wash down process. Running a food manufacturing process right next to, and unguarded from, a wash down can put the product at a huge risk for food contamination.

Food Grade Curtains

Cost Effective and Flexible

One way to handle these issues is to build a wall or other permanent partition between the two lines. However this can be costly, and does not allow for any space flexibility. Once this wall is built, it will always be there. Another option for space division is a food grade industrial curtain wall. Food grade industrial curtain walls can form a solid barrier between the two lines, but allow flexibility by running on a track. When the lines need to be separated, the food grade industrial curtain walls can be drawn out. However, when there is no need for separation, they can be stored at the end of the track system. This allows for ultimate flexibility in space division, which is a great asset to most manufacturing facilities.

Safe for Food Manufacturing Plants

Additionally, food grade industrial curtain walls utilize a variety of custom features, in an effort to comply with food safety and compliance guidelines. All hardware (track, mounting hardware, and grommets) is stainless steel. This assists with eliminating the threat of rust during wash down cycles. The PVC vinyl used to make the curtains is non-porous, and there are no sewn edges or hems. These precautionary measures take away porous materials that could foster bacteria growth. Food grade industrial curtain walls can easily be constructed in a way that makes them safe for use within food manufacturing plants.

Food contamination and foodborne illness prevention are essential to the success of food manufacturers and the safety of its consumers. Therefore, mitigating risks on the manufacturing level is critical. At AmCraft Manufacturing, we understand the importance of food grade industrial curtain walls and the role they play in the food manufacturing industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create an efficient workflow within your food manufacturing plant.

The Food Grade Standard: Food Grade Curtains for your Facility

In the food processing and manufacturing industry, food grade standards of safety are regulated with a strong hand by federal and government sanctioned agencies.  Especially in the case of meat, poultry, and produce, these federal regulations are set in place in order to protect the well-being of the general population.  A certain “marriage” between safety and cost-efficiency is a challenge to every meat, poultry, and/or seafood processing company.

Food grade curtains are a cost-efficient solution to divide work areas in a food processing facility (and offer the ability to open up an area, as needed).   These specialized food curtains have a unique construction that caters to food safety requirements as well as flexibility.  There are several food grade curtain options that keep regulatory safety in mind which food processing dividers offers at a fraction of the cost.

Food Grade Curtain Materials: What Are They Made Of?

In addition to specialized construction and track systems, the material itself is approved for food grade use.  A .040” thick, flexible and clear PVC material is used, which also has a certification of CFR Title 21 Part 174-182.  In addition to this, the material itself was produced with a formulation that meets and / or exceeds the requirements of U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI Revision 22.  This is a standard that is used for all FDA and USDA customers.  Simply stated – this material was designed to serve facility requirements that require food grade standards.

Welded Food Curtain Wall Construction

The food curtain wall replaces the stitching (found in regular curtains) with a vinyl welding process, which is used on all seams and edges.

This unique welded construction helps adhere to the FDA Food Code 2009 6-101.11 regarding Physical Facilities, Materials and Construction and Repair, Indoor Areas.  According to this code, the surface characteristics of construction material for indoor floor, wall and ceiling surfaces under conditions of normal use shall be smooth, durable, and easily cleanable for area where food establishment operations are conducted.”

Number 3 of this same section states that the surfaces must also be “… nonabsorbent for areas subject to moisture such as food preparation areas, walk-in refrigerators, warewashing areas, toilet rooms, mobile food establishment servicing areas, and areas subject to flushing or spray cleaning methods.”

Since the food curtain wall has heat sealed seams, this takes out the “absorbency” factor which is mentioned in this section.  The absence of “organic,” fabric threads will prevent such moisture from absorbing, further disallowing contaminants and bacteria to fester and grow.

Stainless Steel Fixtures for Food Processing Dividers

Normal curtains have metal grommets along the top that are made of brass, nickel, copper, or other types of metal.  In warehouse facilities, the general type of hardware that is used is made of some type of galvanized metal.  But according to FDA Food Code 2013 4-101.15 entitled “Galvanized Metal, Use Limitation,” it states the following:

“Galvanized metal may not be used for utensils or food-contact surfaces of equipment that are used in contact with acidic food.” 

In some cases, galvanized steel is sometimes used above an approved drop ceiling with a t-bar grid system – but in most cases, you may want to use stainless steel to make sure your system will help your food facility meet compliance.

In the case of curtain system components (wheeled trolley hooks, industrial curtain track rails, and/or any other retractable or stationary mounting options), friction between the two surfaces would wear down and eventually “chip” away at the galvanized metal surface.  These “chips” have a strong possibility of contamination when a pressurized wash-down cycle occurs, or even if you are simply retracting the curtain.

In order to drastically reduce the possibility of contaminants affecting products and/or processes as well as follow compliance, a stainless steel industrial track system is preferred for a food processing facility when choosing to use an industrial curtain.  Proper construction of a complete food grade curtain system would include stainless steel track metal hardware.  Even the grommets would be stainless steel, as an added measure of safety for the food processing facility.

Additional Benefits of a Food Grade Curtain Wall

A food grade curtain provides the following:

1)    Separation of Two Areas

2)    Food Processing Divider helps meet and/or exceed compliance

3)    Flexibility to retract the curtain when not in use, or re-configure the food processing areas.

4)    Smooth, easy to clean surface helps down on wash down cycles

5)    Saves money in two ways:

  1. Installation only takes days to complete
  2. The smooth, easy-to-clean surface makes wash down cycles more time efficient

Give AmCraft a call today to begin speaking with one of our technical specialists about your food grade curtain project!

For more information on compliance, visit:  http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/default.htm

Why and How to Divide a Space with Industrial Curtain Walls

If you work in or manage/own a warehouse or garage space, you know the challenges associated with keeping jobs properly contained. Whether you’re working on vehicles, painting them, or doing anything else within the location, chances are separating out some of the space could be beneficial to your business.

Why?

The “why” of separating industrial spaces is simple – these spaces can be in disarray and can be very loud. Industrial curtain walls provide a simple solution for sectioning off areas to keep grime and substances, like paint spray or oil particles, contained. Additionally, work within a warehouse or garage can be noisy to the point of distracting other workers.  Installing curtain walls is a good way to keep that at bay and allow everyone to work to their fullest capabilities. Separating spaces using industrial curtains can also be beneficial for your energy bills, if you cool parts of the building but not others. Dividing spaces can help you further customize where your various utilities, such as air conditioning or even lighting, are used. Even better, separating garages using curtains means that you can repurpose or reorganize the layout virtually anytime you want, since the setup is not permanent.

How?

The process of installing industrial curtains depends on what type of system you want. There are several different types of track systems, but mainly you need to decide what type of curtain wall you’d like to use – industrial curtain walls, insulated curtain walls, or acoustic curtains. Industrial curtain walls are versatile and can be used in many different areas besides garages and warehouses and can be beneficial when used as:

  • Photography backdrops
  • Heavy duty outdoor curtains
  • Paint booth curtains
  • Food storage
  • Food grade curtains
  • Autobody shop curtains

As for insulated curtain walls, these are ideal for sectioning off areas that are kept at different temperatures—such as warehouses that deal with food storage.

Acoustic curtains are most beneficial for loud areas in which sound containment can help boost the area’s efficiency and/or help meet compliance for noise regulations.

Once you choose the type of curtain you need—dependent on what you’ll be using them for—you’ll have an easy time figuring out how to install them within your workspace. If you need help figuring out what equipment you’ll need for installation, the associates at AmCraft Manufacturing will be happy to help you find the perfect fit.

Calling All Industrial Suppliers and Contractors!

AmCraft Manufacturing aims to be a resource for all of its distributors; we are calling on all industrial warehouse suppliers and contractors to be a part of our distributor team.  We call it a team because we work with our curtain distributors to provide solutions to everyday customer issues.  We give our valued industrial curtain distributors the tools and knowledge to market, sell, and distribute high quality products to a wide spectrum of different industries.

Some of the industries that may be an ideal fit for our industrial curtain distributorship are:

–          Material Handling Companies

–          Autobody Shop Equipment Suppliers

–          HVAC Contractors

–          Mechanical Contractors

–          Industrial Warehouse Suppliers

…and more!

As a member of the AmCraft industrial curtain distributor team, a company will have the following items available to them:

–          Marketing Materials, printed or electronic documents

–          Technical Support, both printed and live

–          Product Samples

–          Price List

Material Handling Companies

Often times, material handling companies visit facilities, plants, and warehouses of customers and have the ability to assess the structural layout for recommended equipment installations.  During these site visits, customers and material handling advisors alike may observe required divisions within a large, open workspace.  This can be an open floor plan for an office, an 80,000 square foot warehouse, loading docks, or other areas.  Solid wall construction may not be an option within the budget and the timeline. AmCraft provides the necessary tools and technical support to successfully sell and distribute our different industrial curtain products to your customers!

Auto Body Shop Equipment Suppliers

Auto body shop suppliers provide different auto shops, from large franchises to local garages, with the equipment they need to run the business.  Many times, body shops require a flexible partition between areas to separate different work functions.  Our durable, high quality products and attention to customer service lays the groundwork for which an autobody equipment supplier can expand their existing product offerings to include AmCraft’s industrial curtain walls.

What’s In It For Me?

Being a warehouse curtain wall distributor for AmCraft Manufacturing has many benefits.  We give your company an additional, high quality product line to recommend to customers. AmCraft provides distributors with price lists and instructions to quote potential customers quickly and efficiently without having to get pricing from AmCraft first.

Industrial curtains can be used in a variety of different workplace settings and offer a solution to many of your potential customers.  AmCraft is a custom fabricator of industrial sound curtain products, insulated industrial curtain products, and single-layer curtain options, with several additional options depending on the application.  Industrial warehouse suppliers are aware of the need and are prepared to further enhance a customer’s experience by being a “one stop shop” across a diverse spectrum of industries and applications.  Some examples of these industries and/or applications are:

–          Warehouse Division

–          Office Division

–          Recreational / Sports / Concert Venues

–          Autobody Paint Shops

–          Cosmetics Manufacturing

–          Food Processing

–          Welding And Fabrication

–          Temperature and Climate Control

–          Reverb and Noise Reduction

… bring us your customer requirements, we’ll give you the information needed to provide a solution!

Our technical specialists are available via online chat, email, phone, and fax to discuss additional details or answer questions our industrial curtain wall distributors may have.  Please give us a call at 847-439-4565 or email us at sales@amcraftonline.com for more information on becoming a member of AmCraft’s industrial curtain distributor team.