NEMA 4X Grade Enclosures for Food Production Equipment

The global food industry requires specific regulations for every stage of the production process. This includes the growing and harvesting, transportation, processing, packaging, storing, and distributing of all food products. The extreme regulations and standards required in the food industry are largely because of the potential food-borne illnesses that can be pervasive without proper handling and contaminant prevention.

 

However, other factors also demand the strict regulation of food processing such as food quality, nutrient preservation, and freshness. At Forpak, we work to provide solutions for safe, hygienic food production equipment with innovative designs that meet all global standards for quality and sanitation. We join forces with MultiSource Manufacturing LLC to design and fabricate high-quality, customizable packaging solutions for OEMs and other customers.

 

One of the most commonly used types of food production equipment in packing facilities are conveyors. Moving products safely without damage from one stage of production to the next is critical on any processing floor. Forpak builds continuous-use food-grade conveyors tailored to your facilities. Our conveyors are built to last longer than any lightweight products available in the industry, with complete washdown capabilities and stainless-steel construction.

 

Because conveyors run on electricity, it’s vital to protect the delicate circuitry controlling your equipment from food particles, liquids, dust, and other common contaminants in a factory setting. It is also equally important to prevent any contamination of food products from electronics. To keep both electrical systems and food products safe, we build all enclosures on conveyor systems to meet NEMA 4X standards.

 

NEMA Standards

NEMA was established as a small enclosure fabricator in 1987 and has since grown to be the industry-leading manufacturer and certifier of electrical enclosures. Today, there are six standard NEMA ratings for electrical enclosures (learn more about all twenty NEMA ratings). The lowest NEMA rating is NEMA 1. NEMA 1 enclosures are for indoor use only and protect workers from exposure to hazardous circuitry as well as preventing dust and other small particulates from falling into the electrical equipment. We build our food grade conveyors to meet NEMA 4X standards, which means our enclosures:

 

  • Protect personnel from hazardous circuitry both indoors and outdoors
  • Prevent contamination of circuitry from solid foreign objects including dust blown with strong winds
  • Protect circuitry from liquid contamination including rain, snow, ice, hose spray, and other sources of water
  • Protect enclosure components and all electronics inside from corrosion with treated steel and other additive measures
  • Maintain peak capacity of interior electrical components even when faced with freezing temperatures and ice formations

 

Because our conveyor enclosures meet NEMA 4X standards, they can be implemented in a wide range of food processing facilities, including freezer warehouses and other climate-controlled packaging settings. With additional protection against liquids, you can maintain high levels of sanitation with routine power washing and hose-downs of processing equipment.

 

If you’re looking to implement innovative systems with quality food production equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or forpaksupport@multisourcemfg.com. Request more information online today.

Microchip Reticle Handling for Semiconductor Components Fabrication

As a contract manufacturer, we work to provide components and full assemblies to OEMs and other customers in a broad range of industries. From aerospace and defense parts to medical devices, our expert technicians, skilled engineers, and overall staff are dedicated to supporting quality and precision in all of our products and services.

 

One of the primary industries we serve are the fabricators of semiconductor components and assemblies. The parts we make at MultiSource Manufacturing LLC for the semiconductor components industry play integral roles in key production processes including microchip reticle handling with state-of-the-art steppers.

 

“Stepper” is a broad term for a processing system that moves reticles and wafers through the photo-engineering treatment. Similar to the development of film photographs, the photo-engineering process uses light application and chemical exposure to generate a semiconductor microchip. General stepper components include:

 

  • Wafer loader and stage: These components are the initial stage of a stepper system. This stage loads a photoresist-coated silicon wafer into the lower front of the stepper. An automated system then moves the wafer into the alignment stage, readying it for exposure.
  • Reticle loader and stage: A quartz reticle with an etched chrome pattern is entered into the stepper via reticle loader. It is then staged in alignment for exposure to multiple wafers with periodic realignment.
  • Reticle alignment system: Precise automated alignment of the reticle is vital for effective wafer exposure in microchip processing. As the wafer is developed in alignment with the reticle it is moved on x and y axes. Multiple alignments are necessary for exact printing of circuitry onto the wafer.
  • Illumination system: Once the alignment and printing processes are complete, the wafer is exposed to the illumination system. The illumination system uses a reduction lens with a pre-programmed exposure time and stepping movement to generate grid pattern.
  • Chemical wash: When the illumination process is complete, the wafer is transferred to a chemical wash stage. This wash removes areas of the wafer that are not covered by photoresist, completing the microchip wafer development.

 

A wafer stepper system is a key tool in the development of semiconductor silicon wafers with high resolution and quality results in mass production. The fabrication of microchip reticle handling equipment like steppers is one of the many services the MultiSource network provides to the semiconductor industry. If you’re developing microchip wafers and fabricating other semiconductor components, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. Request more information or request 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.

Importance of Continued Medical Device Manufacturing in the Face of COVID-19

As we move through the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more states are issuing stay-at-home orders and shutting down nonessential business operations. For essential operations, it’s become even more important for production and services to continue in their support of communities, medical professionals, and national safety. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, our most essential operation today is the production of high-quality, precision-based medical devices. Our skilled engineers and technicians are working daily to fabricate medical equipment that will be critical in caring for COVID-19 patients and developing treatments as well as treating non-coronavirus conditions. With our continued medical device manufacturing practices, MultiSource is dedicated to doing its part in sustaining positive action in the face of this major health crisis.

 

Many medical devices, protective equipment, and treatment tools are in extreme demand during this time. Shortages of medical tools are a serious issue that we, as manufacturers, need to cooperate to combat. Our staff is working to maintain the supply of medical devices, tools, and components that we fabricate for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other customers.

 

Some medical devices and components we fabricate and assemble, and are key in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and other patients with respiratory conditions, include:

 

  • Surgical equipment and instrumentation: While there is limited surgical treatment for COVID-19 patients, there are still various tools and instruments necessary for intensive care of coronavirus and other respiratory infection conditions. Even basic tools such as IV applications, needles, heart monitors, and other generic hospital equipment are vital in saving many lives during a pandemic like the one that is occurring now.
  • Surgical navigation: Fluid draining, catheterization, internal diagnostics, and other treatments that may need surgical navigation tools are utilized hundreds of times daily in emergency rooms (ERs), intensive care units (ICUs), and hospitals treating the rapid influxes of COVID-19 patients around the globe. Our medical device manufacturing services work to support continued use of these tools in the face of shortages.
  • Electrical and battery: Many devices are electronic systems that use a direct power source or battery supply. Equipment such as ventilators and fluid drainage devices that are electrically powered are a critical aspect of COVID-19 treatment, particularly for patients with severe cases of the virus. Our production of these components is an important part of our role in supplying the medical community battling the coronavirus.
  • Pharmaceutical mixing and packaging: While no vaccine has been developed yet for the coronavirus, some pharmaceutical support care options exist. In addition, vaccines and treatments for many other respiratory illnesses, immuno-compromising conditions, and other medical conditions that put patients at risk of severe infection of COVID-19 are available. To promote the continued development and distribution of these medications, our work in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical tool components is valuable.

 

During this pandemic, we’ll do our part to protect everyone from COVID-19. To learn more about our medical device manufacturing, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can request more information or request a quote online to get started with us today.

Streamlining Production with Smart Food Assembly Equipment

For over 30 years, Forpak has worked to understand and provide the best food packaging solutions for large-scale industrial packing facilities. Our partnership with MultiSource has further expanded our capabilities over the years, with development of new production technology, facilities, software, and expert team members.

Today, our products are used globally, and we work with Rockwell Automation to generate intelligent machines that can promote streamlined automated production lines. With our capabilities and partnership with Rockwell Automation, Forpak is able to create unique food assembly equipment that changes the way our customers process and pack a wide range of food products.

Automated smart food assembly equipment can be easily integrated into your facilities with minimal production downtime during installation. With our efficient, innovative designs and intelligent automation software, your facilities can see rapid upgrades in production time, quality, and safety. Benefits of automated food assembly equipment include:

 

  • Downtime Reduction: Rockwell Automation and Forpak create solutions that can be quickly installed, so you won’t lose time during new equipment integration. Our packaging equipment solutions are also equipped with easy access to lanes and conveyors with safety locks, so in the event of packaging errors, workers can reset or right any issues quickly and safely.
  • Greater Precision: With streamlined automated production and packaging systems that have intelligent processing centers, your operations line will see a marked improvement in the precision of the finished product. Whether that means more accurate sorting systems or improved packaging results, an automated, smart assembly will eliminate even the smallest lapse in precision.
  • Real Time Diagnostics: Rockwell Automation programs can provide real-time diagnostics both locally and remotely. This includes a broad range of data and diagnostics such as sorting accuracy, production schedule adherence, equipment health, motor efficiency, oil analysis, and much more. This diagnostics capability prevents a broad range of causes of production downtimes.
  • Maintenance Minimization: These diagnostic capabilities will greatly minimize the need for unexpected or undue maintenance. Your maintenance schedule will see rapid relief, and in many cases, the integration of automated food assembly equipment with diagnostic capabilities opens the door for our customers to develop a high-quality, effective maintenance schedule for their facilities.
  • Equipment Longevity: Because of these improved diagnostic abilities and maintenance minimizations, all your facility’s equipment will see a greatly increased longevity and long-term integrity.
  • Total Ownership Cost Reduction: Thanks to these overall benefits from the integration of automated food assembly equipment, your cost of ownership will see a great reduction. In virtually all cases, the installation of automated equipment paid for itself many times over, and often in a short period of time.

 

To learn more about the integration of automated food assembly equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948. For more information 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.

Types of Software We Use in the Contract Manufacturing Process

In any modern manufacturing facility, the use of software systems and digitally controlled equipment is necessary. Even the simplest, smallest fabrication facility most likely uses software for some purpose, whether that means automated equipment, inventory tracking, engineering and design, simulations and troubleshooting, or general calculations.

At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we utilize software programs for a wide range of purposes. From the office to the production floor, intelligent digital tools make it possible for us to provide OEMs and other customers with the precision and excellence we’re known for. As an industry-leading provider of contract manufacturing, we use software to improve our company daily and continue to provide the broad range of fabrication and design services we offer.

MultiSource Manufacturing produces components and full assemblies for many different industries, including medical, defense, aerospace, food, semiconductor, and more. Software programs are used comprehensively on each part of the production floor for all manufacturing and general day-to-day needs. Some primary examples of how we implement software include:

 

  • Project management: For the scheduling, outlining, and delegating of any project we take on, software plays an important role in generating information, estimating timelines, determining materials and tools, and sharing all that information among the parties involved.
  • Prototyping: For CAD/CAM design and general virtual prototyping, software systems are key. We use software specialized to engineering a digital 3D image, projecting specifications, generating calculations and predictions, and producing a 3D printed part.
  • Automated equipment: A large majority of our equipment on the production floor is automated. From versatile horizontal and vertical machining centers to calibrated plastic welding equipment, our equipment relies on software programs for direction. This automation provides the precision and accuracy required for the many intricate or complex parts and full assemblies we manufacture.
  • Inspection and simulation: When prototypes or finished components are completed, our team of expert technicians utilize specialty software programs to run thorough diagnostics of the condition of fabricated parts. They also perform comprehensive simulations that predict the behavior of components and full assemblies in a functioning setting with likely stress factors.
  • Maintenance program: To protect the integrity of our manufacturing practices, MultiSource adheres to a well-oiled maintenance program and upkeep schedule. With maintenance-scheduling software, predictive software technologies, and digital analysis, we can maintain an optional condition in all areas of our facility.
  • Inventory tracking: From materials and parts we use in daily production to cleaning supplies and staff safety tools, our inventory tracking database relies on a software program that can handle complex records. Our inventory tracking software makes sure we have what we need to keep our production schedule streamlined while continuing to meet global industrial certification standards and OSHA goals.

 

In addition to the preceding uses, software plays an important role at MultiSource facilities. To learn more about our contract manufacturing capabilities and the software we use, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. Also, you can request more information or request a quote online to get started with us today.

MultiSource Will Feature Food Stacking and Laning Solutions at Interpack 2020

From May 7 to 13 this year, MultiSource’s own Forpak division will feature innovative Food Stacking and Laning Solutions at the Interpack 2020 Convention in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since the start of our partnership in 2006, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC and Forpak have worked together to develop unique, advanced solutions for food packaging of bakery and meat products. Our work in creating new, improved ways to perform stacking, laning, sorting, and packing systems has allowed our customers to streamline their operations and expand their production schedule with the integration of unique Food Stacking and Laning Solutions into their facilities. Our specialized Food Stacking and Laning Solutions will be exhibited alongside some of the world’s leading packaging innovators at this year’s Interpack Conference.

 

The 2020 Interpack Conference will be hosted at Messe Düsseldorf in an exhibition spaces of over 12,000 square meters. Visitors can find Forpak and MultiSource’s booth in Hall 12 at Booth C20-2. Our booth will feature information on some of our newest innovations as well as our tried-and-true equipment, including:

 

  • Stacking solutions like our GS6 stacker for the meat industry, stackers for the baked goods industry, and stacking equipment for the pizza industry.
  • Laning solutions with pre-sorting and counting technology.
  • Equipment that offers conveying, transferring, and feed flow wrapping.
  • Logistics technology.

 

Forpak Food Stacking and Laning Solutions implement advanced technology, including Allen-Bradley controls and Cognex vision system interactive readers. Our custom packaging solutions provide our customers with state-of-the-art equipment that can be easily integrated into their operation schedule and facility. With the additional support of our engineers and technicians, customers can expect communication and guidance throughout installation and use.

 

Our custom Food Stacking and Laning Solutions meet food grade requirements, including NSF 3A Standards for the meat industry and BISSC standards for the baked goods industry. MultiSource and Forpak are dedicated to meeting hygiene and global food safety standards in the manufacturing of all our products, even those with the most unique and innovative designs.

 

Visitors to the Interpack 2020 Conference will have access to new and improved food equipment processors like Forpak’s and other industry leaders as well as cutting-edge technology for better food storage and packaging from a global scale to the common home kitchen. In addition to food storage industry providers, vendors attending the exhibition include companies and researchers working in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, nonfood, and beverage storage industries.

 

To learn more about our attendance at the Interpack 2020 Conference or to find out more information about our own Food Stacking and Laning Solutions, contact Forpak at (952) 491-6523. Request more information or request a quote to get started with us today, and learn more about the Interpack 2020 event at interpack.com.

Making “Dock to Stock” Possible with Precision Machined Parts

In the industrial world, quality is the most important factor of every piece of equipment used, from the simplest bolt to the most intricate electromechanical assembly. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, quality control is our foundational mission for all the components and assemblies we manufacture for each industry we provide for. OEMs and other customers can trust that a final product from our quality control and testing floors has undergone rigorous testing, simulated use, prototype retouching, and complete diagnostics. Because of our dedication to promoting quality at all turns, we’ve been able to establish the MultiSource network as a “dock to stock” (DTS) provider for many of our customers. When you work with MultiSource for precision machined parts, you may be able to eliminate lengthy and costly order checking and product testing chores with every new shipment from our facilities.

 

As a DTS supplier of products for many industries, MultiSource understands how vital and useful quality control practices are, but we are also acutely aware that quality must start at the beginning of any given manufacturing process. Quality can’t happen in a component or assembly without precision and accuracy in prototypes or reliable precision machining and finishing equipment.

 

What Is Dock to Stock?

Put simply, our DTS status with a customer means that a shipment from our facility can be unpacked and put directly into storage, on the shelf, or integrated into production without a double check of factors like quantity, quality, or part number. DTS policies are typically only established after working with a supplier for a long time with no issues in shipping and product quality. Most DTS suppliers have provided a minimum of five deliveries of products without issue. With our precision machined parts, highly developed quality control program, and state-of-the-art facilities, we have been able to establish trusted relationships as a DTS provider for customers in the food packing, aerospace and defense, financial processing, semiconductor, and many other industries.

 

One exception to the DTS establishment is the medical industry. While our production of medical devices and components has never had an issue in regards to quality, reliability, and safety, the FDA requires the checking and inspection of medical grade products, and with good reason. Because medical equipment can greatly affect the lives of patients and treatment providers, we would never want to be a DTS supplier in this industry—no matter how high-quality our medical products are.

 

With all our customers, even those with current DTS relationships, we strive to continually improve the supply we offer. Our engineers and technicians work daily to increase the quality of the precision machined, fabricated, and finished parts we manufacture for a wide range of industrial applications.

 

To learn more about our precision machined parts and other products, or for information about a DTS status, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or request a quote to get started with us today

Clean Room Airflow for Contract Manufacturing

For many types of manufacturing services, a highly sanitized and isolated workspace is key. To prevent contamination and poor production practices, sealed clean rooms with varying degrees of quarantine are necessary. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we ensure the protection of semiconductor components and assemblies during fabrication with our ISO Class 3 (FED STD 209E Class 1) clean room.

 

The certification of our clean room to a Class 3 is critical for all our semiconductor services and many medical component and assembly production. When you choose MultiSource for your clean room-required contract manufacturing services, you can trust our facilities to protect every part of your product from start to finish.

 

Each clean room across the industrial world needs to meet highly specific requirements in order to qualify for ISO (globally) or Federal Standard (in the U.S.). A large part of meeting these specifications has to do with the airflow.

 

Airflow in a clean room is a critical part of what makes it so clean. Put simply, all clean rooms need a down-and-out flow of air. The ventilation systems are installed in the ceiling and push airflow directly downward while other vents pull the flow outward, removing air continuously from the isolated room. This also continuously removes any particulates, bacteria, and other contamination from the room as it’s passed through with the air.

 

There are two main types of clean rooms that the majority of contract manufacturers use for any industrial processes that require extreme isolation from contaminants. These include:

 

  1. Single Pass: These simple-type clean rooms push the airflow down-and-out continuously. This means there is new air constantly introduced to the room through high-grade filters in the top vents and that air is then removed from the room entirely. These clean rooms can be used for manufacturing processes that don’t need climate-control options, such as temperature and humidity.
  2. Recirculating: For manufacturing processes that need exacting humidity and temperature control as well as high air filtration, more complex clean rooms that use recirculating systems are vital. Recirculating systems have an additional wall containing the interior room. This passageway around the room seals airflow and the air pushed down-and-out of the interior room is forced back upwards to the top of the room and re-filtered through the top vents. This ensures continued filtration and exposure to the same allotment of air for as long as the room and exterior passage is sealed.

 

For semiconductor and medical device manufacturing, single pass clean rooms can be effective, but a recirculating room is recommended for true quality in production. Our Class 3 clean room uses a recirculating airflow for excellence and safety in all our manufacturing processes that require zero-contaminant exposure.

 

Contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500 for more information about our clean room. Request more information, or request a quote for contract manufacturing services today.

 

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