Sanitary, High-Quality Automation Technology for Food Packaging Equipment

Automation in the food industry has evolved greatly over the years. Long gone are the days when a lack in climate, temperature, and clean processing conditions leading to dangerous outbreaks of severe foodborne illnesses or spoiled products was common. However, despite our advanced technology, knowledge of diseases, and ability to control distribution systems, there are still some instances when a lapse in quality along the food processing line has led to illness and even death in some communities. Because our food industry is vast, it’s critical that everyone working to farm, ship, process, package, and distribute products meets high standards for hygiene and safety. At Forpak, we support global food safety with innovative solutions to automating food packaging equipment for the bakery, meat, and pizza industries. Our production equipment provides automated systems for sorting, laning, transferring, stacking, conveying, and discrepant product rejection. We also work with clients to design and build custom solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing production systems.

Food Packaging Equipment

For any kind of food packaging equipment, safety and quality comes from increased automation systems that can be subject to frequent sanitation. The greater a machine can be automated, the lower the risk of human error, contamination, or worker injury. Automated systems also work faster, more precisely, and with lower long-term costs than manual production.

Improve Quality

Forpak incorporates Rockwell Automation’s Allen Bradley control systems and NEMA 4X rated electrical enclosures into our equipment. These features improve quality and sanitation for all our customers.

Allen Bradley Controls:

Rockwell’s programmable logic controllers (PLC) and programmable automation controllers (PAC) offer micro- to large-scale precision-based processing. These controllers are programmed through industry leading software programs, including Studio 5000 and FactoryTalk View ME. With Allen Bradley controllers, our food packing systems can move products rapidly down the production line while analyzing damage or other issues at reject points. Customers can trust Forpak equipment to increase their production speeds and improve the quality of every step in the process.

NEMA 4X Rated Enclosures:

Controllers and other electronics installed in Forpak designs are all protected with NEMA 4X rated enclosures, which are built with corrosion resistant materials, including stainless steel and aluminum. They are sealed to protect electrical systems from dust, rain, splashing water, hose-directed spray, ice, and other foreign objects. This means they have full washdown capabilities for routine equipment sanitation. They also provide visual access to controls and screens with viewports when needed.

All our equipment utilizes Allen Bradley controls and NEMA 4X rated enclosures for maximum quality and efficiency in an automated production line. To learn more about the automation tools we incorporate into our food packaging equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or You can also request more information online today or request a quote to get started with us today.

Part 2: Numerical Control Systems and the History of CNC Machining

This second part of our two-part blog covers the early beginnings of computer numerical control (CNC) and some of the first turning machines, which includes turning machines developed in the mid to late 1700s, lathes used in gun copying during the 1800s, and other preliminary forms of automated machining. Today’s CNC operations utilized in many fabrication industries were developed from John T. Parsons and Frank L. Stulen’s work in engineering punch card systems. Their abstract programming and numerical control designs were studied and tested in an U.S. Air Force funded research project through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Modern CNC machining gives manufacturers a vast range of fabrication capabilities for machining, turning, lathing, milling, and more. As a contract manufacturer, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC utilizes over 140 CNC machines, including 3-axis and 5-axis indexed milling and Swiss turning equipment. Our CNC hardware and software technology helps us meet customer needs for parts, components, and full assemblies in the medical device, aerospace and defense, semiconductor, food and bakery, financial processing, and many other industries.

Joseph Marie Jacquard Memorial Award

After Parsons and Stulen finally received funding from the Air Force, they began to test and build their by-the-numbers automated machines. By that time, Parsons Corporation entered into a full collaboration with MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory to build experimental milling machines. In 1968, Parsons received the first Joseph Marie Jacquard Memorial Award from the Numerical Control Society. In 1975, he was given an honorary plaque by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers naming him “The Father of the Second Industrial Revolution.”

Computer Aided Design

During the late 1950s, the successful engineering and understanding of numerical control systems led to the potential of programmable language systems that would soon become the basics of what we know today as CNC. The first computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) incorporated into CNC systems came in 1959 when the MIT laboratory began the “Computer-Aided Design Project,” funded again through the U.S. Air Force.

CNC Machining

CNC machining developed further throughout the late 1970s and into the 1990s. Toyota car factories in Japan implemented many new systems of lean manufacturing with CNC practices, General Motors (GM) had used CNC practices since the 1960s, and large vendors like International Business Machines (IBM) began to stock standardized CNC and CAD/CAM supplies.

Software Systems

Advancement of software systems, coding, computers, and other digital capabilities also improved the precision and range of CNC processes. Data storage capabilities grew throughout the 1990s, allowing more versatile, extensive, and portable systems, and the growth of the Internet opened doors for direct communication between machines and other components of production.

Manufacturing Abilities

Contemporary CNC machining continues to develop with expanding additive and subtractive manufacturing abilities. Our CNC systems allow us to manufacture at close tolerances without compromising extreme precision. To learn more about our fabrication services and our equipment, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information, or request a quote to get started with our team.