Advancing Automation in the Food Industry

The world today has a very large population that has to eat daily. To accommodate this huge basic need, the food industry is large, with millions of restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets, factories, warehouses, storage providers, transport systems, farms, and many other kinds of businesses and operations that make up food processing and getting food to consumers.

At Forpak, we play our own role in the food industry, supporting automated processing systems with custom, innovative solutions. Our team of skilled engineers and technicians builds unique automated systems for the meat, bakery, and pizza industries. Our designs are smart systems that reduce waste, speed up the production schedule, eliminate human contamination, and streamline the processing system overall. We fabricate automated equipment that has complete wash-down capabilities for the best food safety practices.

Our automated equipment for food processing and packaging includes stackers, laners, conveyors, counting systems, autotransfers, wrappers, sorters, and more. We also work with clients who have custom needs to build a system that can be easily integrated into existing facilities.

Automation in the food industry is a necessity, especially when today’s average consumer expects to find most food products readily all year round. The industry works in bulk for the majority of goods, whether they are fresh, frozen, refrigerated, or dry. Automation plays an important role in making the processing of such bulk of products faster, cleaner, and more precisely.

Forpak’s equipment allows customers to integrate improvements in their automation systems. With our food packaging technologies, customers can benefit from the following:

  1. Reduction of labor costs: Forpak equipment has recorded up to a 30%-50% reduction in labor costs in facilities of all sizes. Our automated food packaging equipment eliminates the need for human workers in many places along the production line, which saves money in labor costs and in production overall.
  2. Elimination of human contamination: Because our equipment removes the need for human workers in many places on the production line, Forpak packing systems eliminate many sources of human contamination. This supports the best food safety practices and completely improves production results.
  3. Increase of production speed and precision: With Forpak automated processing systems, you’ll see high increases in the speed of your production line with rapid autotransfers, sorters, stackers, and more. In addition to speed, precision is also improved so packing mistakes and other errors are avoided.
  4. Reduction of workers’ compensation claims: Forpak equipment significantly minimizes the need for the repetitive motion that notoriously leads to workers’ compensation claims. This does save labor costs, but more importantly, protects your workers and improves the quality of their work environment.

Our specialized designs help customers of all kinds in the food industry improve and advance their automation capabilities. To learn more about our equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or forpaksupport@multisourcemfg.com. Request more information online today or request a quote  to get started with us today.

Industry Certifications and Quality Control in Manufacturing

At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we work with many different types of equipment and tools for a wide variety of industries. We also have multiple facilities in several locations, each with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, skilled technicians, and knowledgeable engineers. MultiSource is a well-established contract manufacturing provider, and a large part of our continued operations since 1998 is our commitment to quality control. Quality in all our products is our ultimate goal, and because we meet that goal every time, MultiSource is an industry-leading provider of comprehensive build services.

Our quality control practices include prototyping, finishing services, and diagnostics for final testing of a completed component or full assemblies. All our quality practices follow strict regulations and meet requirements for several certifications.

Our current industrial certifications for quality control include:

ISO 9001: ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications cover many different types of industrial and commercial operations. Our ISO 9001 certification means that we are dedicated to providing the best quality services and products possible. The certification is a public acknowledgement of our quality control practices. The details of ISO 9001 make up a ten-section certification process covering context, leadership, planning, operations, performance, and continual improvement. This certification is a general quality-focused accreditation for many types of businesses. For MultiSource, an ISO 9001 certification shows our clients that we’re committed to implementing an effective quality assurance program for all of our projects and continual improvement of all our operations.

ISO 13485: This ISO certification was developed for the medical device industry. It’s almost always paired with an ISO 9001 quality management certification. While an ISO 9001 certificate requires us to show our continued commitment to improving our operations and quality of results, the ISO 13485 requires us to show that the system we use to manufacture any parts or assemblies that will be used in the medical device industry specifically is effective. This means we adapt our medical device manufacturing to all industry regulations, safety protocol, traceability, precision, documentation, and all other legal requirements of the US FDA.

AS-9100D: This certification is also paired with ISO 9001, but it’s specific to the aerospace, aviation, defense, and space industries. These industries, like the medical device industry, have international standards and regulations that demand high precision and the use of specialized materials. The AS-9100D certification works in the same way as ISO 13485 does for the medical device industry, but for the aerospace and related industries instead. Our AS-9100D certificate shows our customers that we meet highly strict standards for the production of complex and advanced components and full assemblies for the aerospace, defense, and space industries.

All our certifications are a testament to our maintained and continually improved quality control practices. To learn more about our services and our quality management, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can request more information or request a quote to get started with us today.

Military Appreciation Month: Honoring the U.S. Military’s Food Safety Practices

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Because of the many dates marked throughout May honoring the U.S. military, including Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, VE Day, and more, the month of May is designated as U.S. Military Appreciation Month. At Forpak, we support our troops by protecting food safety practices that help promote the quality of food products globally. For more than 25 years, Forpak has manufactured high-quality, innovative solutions for food production equipment. Our packaging systems are designed to protect the safety and quality of food products for the bakery, meat, and pizza industries. When it comes to the U.S. military, organizing the efficient packaging and distribution of the food supply for troops is a highly complex system. Protecting food safety in that system starts with effective, quality handling of products in the packaging process.

Forpak designs support food safety, sanitation, and an overall reduced potential of contamination in the packing process. Our products meet National Science Foundation (NSF) 3A Standard requirements for meat and poultry and Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC) standards for baking. This means our customers can take advantage of our equipment’s strict hygiene and sanitation standards, including leading technology with Allen Bradley controls incorporated into all our designs.

Our equipment for stacking, laning, sorting, transferring, conveying, and other custom stages in a facility’s packaging process are used globally. Excluding Antarctica, Forpak equipment is installed in facilities on every continent, serving many types of customers and protecting food safety worldwide.

In addition to quality designs for food packaging equipment that contributes to global food safety in the distribution of many baked goods, meat products, and more, Forpak provides technical support from start to finish during the production of assemblies and through our new preventative maintenance program. Thanks to our preventative maintenance support, customers experience less down time in production, maximize materials and time, increase the lifespan of equipment parts, eliminate emergency shutdowns, and have access to a detailed record of maintenance logs and part information. Forpak’s preventative maintenance program also offers a 10% discount on parts, visits from our technicians, and emergency services.

Whether the distribution of food safely and effectively to troops means catering in the mess hall or providing field rations, the most important part of preservation of nutrition, caloric quality, freshness, and flavor is correctly and effectively packaging products. With food processing systems like Forpak’s integrated into more facilities, food safety and effective packing can be accomplished much easier.

To learn more about our support of the troops this May for Military Appreciation Month or the products we design and build for food safety in packaging, contact Forpak by calling (612) 419-1948 or emailing forpaksupport@multisourcemfg.com. You can also request more information online today or request a quote to get started with us today.

 

 

Celebrating National Customer Appreciation Month with Unique Food Packaging Solutions

At Forpak, our goal as a food-grade industrial equipment provider is to uphold our own standards and international standards for safety and quality while meeting unique client needs. We’ve developed new food packaging solutions, designed fully automated systems, and manufactured our products for customers worldwide for more than 25 years. To play our part in promoting food safety practices for global food processing, packaging, and distributing industries, we’re dedicated to supporting sanitary equipment use as well as understanding the values our customers hold. We work to provide customer-focused services for all aspects of designing and manufacturing of our food packaging solutions.

 

We are happier than ever to appreciate our customers and their partnerships with Forpak this April with National Customer Appreciation Month. Without our customers’ specialized needs for automation and food-grade equipment, Forpak would not be able to provide our advanced food packaging solutions to help grow the industry.

 

Forpak designs are based on our fundamental values:

 

  • Meeting the strict hygienic and sanitary standards and qualifications for NSF 3A for meat and poultry, BISSC for baking, and more.

 

  • Leading the food packing industry in designs and innovative solutions with added benefits like Allen Bradley controls and components.

 

  • Establishing mutually beneficial relationships with all our clients to provide them with both the packaging solutions they need and our continued support of food safety.

 

While we fabricate a large portion of our own unique designs for food packaging solutions, including production line equipment such as conveyors, stackers, sorters, laners, auto transfers, and more, Forpak also designs machines that are tailored to the specialized needs of many different customers.

 

Our customers work in multiple food packaging industries, from baked goods to meat and poultry. All of our clients that have integrated our custom equipment into their facilities have immediately seen the benefits of our designs. Not only are our custom systems completely fitted to work into our clients’ production and maintenance schedules, facility spaces, building technical capacities, staff and training backgrounds, and sanitation routines, they also benefit from Forpak’s own long-term services through our preventative maintenance program.

 

Whether customers utilize our equipment or require the development of a new Forpak design for their facilities, our new maintenance program offers our staff expertise with our products, an extensive knowledge of potential repairs, and a breadth of familiarity with how our components interact with client facilities. With this program, you can rely on us for longevity in equipment quality, limited production downtime, and a stress-free experience with all Forpak’s equipment.

 

To learn more about our food packaging solutions and our appreciation for our customers, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or forpaksupport@multisourcemfg.com. You can also request more information online  or request a quote to get started with us today.

Customer-Focused Contract Manufacturing Practices

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For over 20 years now, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC has grown into the highly developed network of multiple design/build contract manufacturing facilities it is today. Our team of hardworking engineers, machinists, and other staff, along with our state-of-the-art equipment across five highly operational facilities, has allowed us to work with a foundational focus and value of our customers. Because April is National Customer Appreciation Month in the U.S., we would love to take this time to highlight how exactly we work with a customer-focused approach to all our contract manufacturing practices.

Our goal as a customer-focused contact manufacturer is to provide a comprehensive service structure for any project from start to finish. Because we work with Fortune 500 companies, OEMs, and many other types of clients, some projects may look very different from others. No matter how small, large, simple, or complex a project is, we continue communication between our team and client throughout the main six steps of a contract manufacturing project:

1. Prototyping: To understand your exact needs for a part or full assembly, our prototyping process starts with a full breakdown of your design, specifications, and materials. When a CAD/CAM file is generated, simulated tests are run and a first prototype can be fabricated. If this prototype passes all initial physical testing, we will move with your design to the fabrication stage.

2. Fabrication: With multiple facilities and hundreds of machines operated by advanced, precision-based software and skilled technicians, we can quickly manufacture almost any component with best-cost practices. We aim to create the most effective part solutions, eliminating excess time and cost without compromising quality. Our production of a precise part will prevent issues in its function, the function of the assembly as whole, and unnecessary maintenance down the line.

3. Assembly: If you need a full assembly with multiple parts, our engineer team can incorporate that finished system into the prototyping process. When each component is tested for operation, we will assemble all parts together and test your system as a whole.

4. Quality Control: Including value-added services like deburring and heat treatment, MultiSource provides full quality control inspections. Final testing, visual inspection, and predictive maintenance strategies are all used in our quality control processes for parts and full assemblies.

5. Packing: To meet our standards for excellence in JIT delivery, MultiSource takes quality packaging and rapid delivery very seriously. We will package your parts and assemblies with specialized packing methods and provide inventory tracking systems. We understand that every part has its own unique packing needs.

To honor and thank our customers each year, we celebrate National Customer Appreciation Month each June. To learn more about our customer-focused contract manufacturing practices, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. Request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Top Benefits of Laning Capabilities in Food Automation Equipment

In today’s food industry, there’s a vast quantity of products available worldwide, ranging from common produce like potatoes to complex processed foods and luxury goods. In order to accommodate the packaging and distribution of this wide array of products, the food packing industry has had to create innovative solutions for handling large-scale quantities of goods that need to be quickly and effectively packaged and transferred while meeting food safety standards. At Forpak, we’re dedicated to supporting food safety and quality food packaging with unique solutions for food automation equipment. From stackers and conveyors to sorters and laners, Forpak technology offers streamlined, fast, and cost-effective methods for handling food products in industrial facilities. Our products are easily integrated into existing food assembly equipment systems, and our preventative maintenance program helps customers maintain long-term quality in installed equipment.

When it comes to laning capabilities in a food packaging facility, Forpak laners are industry leading machines designed to offer increased automation unlike any other competing systems. The Forpak Laner has a small footprint but a big impact on the efficiency and safety of a plant. Capable of laning up to 100 pieces a minute per lane while meeting NSF 3A and BISSC standards, the Forpak Laner is a state-of-the-art food automation equipment design.

Customers that integrate a Forpak Laner into their facilities will save time, labor, and costs. Direct benefits of a Forpak Laner include:

  • ease of integration into even complex food assembly systems, including the ability to plug laners directly into automated set ups and unique assembly processes
  • brand new automation capabilities that no other laners can provide
    simplification of otherwise complicated sorting and laning stages of a processing schedule
  • full wash down capabilities with water-tight controls for complete sanitation
    ability to fit into a tight space while also increasing processing speeds
  • elimination of worker contact, allowing plants to improve COVID-19 protocol and protect workers from exposure while also decreasing potential human contamination of food products

Forpak Laners are small but mighty workhorses that have the ability to completely change and improve the way customers process foods to a smoother, faster, and safer system. Laners are built with 1-10 lanes, 7-gauge side rails, variable speeds, and high-quality, food-grade stainless steel.

Customers processing goods in the bakery or meat industries can install Forpak laners even in tight facilities with limited areas. This food assembly equipment addition will mark a new beginning of efficiency and safety in any packaging facility.

To learn more about Forpak Laners and all our food automation equipment solutions, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or forpaksupport@multisourcemfg.com. Request more information online or request a quote to get started with us today.

Mechanical and Electromechanical Assembly for Medical Device Manufacturing

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The medical device industry is demanding and complex, with many restrictions and high-standard requirements. This is, of course, because of the effects that devices can have on patients’ lives. Failure is not an option! To meet the rigorous expectations of the medical device industry, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC follows precision-based and customer-focused practices with our multiple design/build facilities. With over 20 years of experience providing high-quality contract manufacturing for several industries, including medical device manufacturing, our engineers and technicians continue to exceed standards for device design and fabrication.

A major component of medical device manufacturing is the productions of parts that go into mechanical and electromechanical assemblies. Not only do many internal devices rely on intricate electromechanical systems, but also a majority of all common devices in hospitals, clinics, and treatment centers function with electromechanical and mechanical assemblies.

In addition to having a significant place in patient treatment, electromechanical and mechanical assemblies are a requirement in modern pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging. Any time a medication is taken, a doctor’s visit is scheduled, an emergency or at-home treatment is undergone, or medical tests are done, the manufacturing of electromechanical and mechanical medical device components took part.

MultiSource engineers and technicians have extensive experience and training in the prototyping, fabrication, assembly, finishing, and testing of complete medical devices that incorporate electromechanical and mechanical systems. We grow every day to meet customer needs, and we currently manufacture a broad range of devices and components, including surgical equipment, drug delivery systems, internal navigation, implantable devices, fibrillation and heart valving, catheterization, and more.

Utilizing electromechanical systems in medical devices is beneficial for increasing control of the device action, supporting sustainable energy usage, producing cosmetically clean and in-practice sanitary equipment, creating compact yet powerful tools, reducing costs, and meeting FDA, USDA, and many other medical standards. Both mechanical and electromechanical assemblies allow fabricators to make real advancements in the medical device manufacturing field and offer better options and innovative treatment solutions for patients and healthcare professionals.

At MultiSource Manufacturing, we are committed to adding our own expertise, history, facilities, equipment, and skilled team to the support of quality, trusted medical device manufacturing. To learn more about our services for the medical as well as other industries, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Plastic Fabrication in the Manufacturing World Part 1: Polypropylene

Since the development of plastics in the last 100 years, polymers and plastic compounds have become heavily utilized in various manufacturing industries, largely because plastics are cost-effective, easily manufactured, and highly useful fabrication materials that are applicable to a broad range of purposes. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we work with a variety of plastics to build precision-based components and full assemblies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other customers. As a contract manufacturer for multiple industries, plastic fabrication plays an important role in the full-service design and building of many products for our customers. Part 1 of this blog series focuses on polypropylene, including its properties and uses.

 

While we work with many plastics to perform welding, forming, and finishing operations, the four primary plastics we use are polypropylene, PVC, CPVC, and PFA. For many reasons, polypropylene is key plastic due to its durability and other properties.

 

Properties: Polypropylene is one of the more lightweight plastics that is used most often worldwide as a packing solution. This is mainly because it has a very low risk of deforming with repeated bending and movement. Polypropylene has a high elasticity and toughness that will hold up against stress by bending and reforming its original shape. Because of this, polypropylene is very resistant to fatigue. Additionally, it is resistant to acidic or alkaline chemical exposure and resistant to electricity, making it ideal for insulation purposes. Polypropylene can also be made semi-transparent or opaque for various cosmetic results.

 

Uses: The properties of polypropylene make it ideal for many applications in an industrial setting. It also responds well to various manufacturing techniques, including injection molding, CD printing, CNC machining, and other production operations. The two main types of polypropylene, homopolymer and copolymer, are useful in multiple applications. These compounds work well for parts facing high stress, needing to resist fatigue, needing to be deformed and reformed to function (such as a hinge or lid), having to be manufactured with injection molding, and much more. MultiSource utilizes polypropylene extensively in the semiconductor component, financial processing, medical device as well as other industries. More parts made with polypropylene include electrical insulation, packaging, and many additional components. Parts made with these particular plastic compounds can last a long time in any setting that won’t be subjected to high heats that may begin to melt or deform polypropylene, and they last a long time without compromising effectiveness and reliability.

 

Other plastics we use in the manufacturing of various components will be covered in the next three parts of this blog post. Plastic fabrication is a unique field that requires specific knowledge and advanced technical training to understand precision in a manufacturing setting. Our plastic fabrication capabilities allow our technicians and engineers to meet customers’ specific needs. To learn more about our contract manufacturing services, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or a quote to get started with us today.

 

Benefits of Laning Capabilities in Food Production Equipment

MultiSource Manufacturing LLC and Forpak work together to create innovative solutions for the food processing and packaging industry, meet global safety standards, and generate unique systems tailored to our customers’ needs. Every day that we work to design and manufacture specialty food packaging solutions, we find more ways to streamline production processes and incorporate the benefits each solution provides.

 

Primarily, Forpak builds solutions for the baked goods, meat, and pizza industries. Our skilled engineers and technicians work together to put our state-of-the-art machining equipment to the test in generating industry-leading food production equipment for OEMs and other customers.

 

One of the best solutions we can build into our custom food production equipment is the capability of laning products on a conveyor as they are transported from one operation to the next. Laning is a conveyor tool with many benefits for food packaging and processing facilities, including:

 

  • Buffering: Laning is an important conveyor tool for handling the accumulation of products on a line without causing backup or product damage. As goods accumulate at any point where that accumulation is designed to occur or will naturally happen, a buffer laning system can alleviate that accumulation and keep products moving forward.
  • Diverting: In addition to buffering an accumulation of products at certain points on the production line, an effective laning system can move products in multiple directions, working in diversions when necessary to keep products going the way they need to go. A diverting lane system can increase efficiency and limit exposure of each product to potential contamination.
  • Orienting: Depending on the product, an orienting lane system may need to be put into place on a conveyor system. If goods need to be rotated or reoriented at certain stages of the production line, a logical, effective laning system will prevent damage or mismanagement of the products and their packaging materials.
  • Combining: In many cases, product components need to be combined at some point on the production line. With a good laning system, product components can be sorted, combined, and packaged in a streamlined, sanitary, and safe process. This is especially key in packaging products that will have multiple of the same item per unit.
  • Sanitation: Above all, sanitation and food safety are the most important factors to consider in the manufacturing of any food production equipment. On many conveyor lines, laning is used as a method for preventing cross contamination between products, maintaining the integrity of the product, and overall ensuring sanitation practices during processing and packaging.

 

Laning systems are just one of the many essential design systems we work into our food production equipment solutions. To learn more about Forpak’s comprehensive capabilities and our current designs for food production equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948. For more about our other services, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. Request more information or request a quote to get started with us today.

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