Tag Archives: factory

Factory in A Box

One of the interesting exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing  next week, is UFT who are promoting a Factory in a Box. While this seems to be an extension of UFT’s normal turnkey factory offering, it makes me think of a time in the late nineties in South Africa when container based “factories” were very popular.

FiaB at Gulfood Manufacturing

This was driven in South Africa by an excess of used containers, Corporate Responsibility’s responses to the new South Africa and arguments of low cost, simplicity and portability allowing units to be relocated in the event of failure.

In my experience this didn’t work out as the excess of used containers was soon depleted, the costs of installation and modification where higher than predicted and relocation turned out to be expensive because of transport and service connection costs. Containers have fared better as retail or service outlets than as food processing facilities.

Research shows that the principle of an “instant”, prefabricated or modular factory that can be quickly installed on site is attractive. There are still many examples, including those developed by multinationals. This definitely needs to be borne in mind and investigated when new processing is being evaluated.

Click the images below to be directed to sites explaining the different concepts.

Flexible fast and functional Nestlé to adopt modular factories Nestlé Global

Www chocolateworld be pdfs CW concept pdf

Sint TECNOLOGIE Design and Realization Modular Slaughtering Systems

Biscuit Factory In A Box by WFP United Nations

Food Boccard From the modular solution of process to the complete factory www boccard com

Innovation in Food Modular Factories

Researching this has been an eye opener for me and it surely needs some research and evaluation to make sure we are not missing something by “going it alone”.

Should Sun Drying be Rejected as a Food Unit Operation

Papers describing food drying techniques normally list the obvious contamination risks of drying in the open air as a major disadvantage and and based on this dismiss its application. However, the large volumes of food that are sun dried every year and the savings in energy and capital bely this quickly reached conclusion.

Searching the literature and regulations doesn’t give any guidance on the advisability of establishing a new sun drying business.

However, the two videos below show the large scale use of sun drying and the associated technologies applied at Cecilia’s Farm, near Prince Alfred in South Africa.

It seems that the critical point about the sun dried business they run, is that all fruit is washed before further processing and or packaging. Arguably this makes it comparable to fruit which is often not peeled, packaged salad and leafy vegetables. These are grown in the same environment and simply washed before eating.

The massive advantage of sun and to a lesser extent solar drying is that they produce shelf stable foods with minimal environmental impact and low processing and packaging costs.

Principles For Hygienic Factory Design

Here is a short and very simple article on designing a factory that would meet the FDA's requirements.

click the image to visit the website

I find the well structured approach, via six focus areas, and the simple first person language easy to read and absorb.