Understanding the extremely high standards that Australia’s food and beverage manufacturers work towards to ensure that consumers receive the highest quality products, SEW-EURODRIVE has announced the recent Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification of its mechatronic drive system MOVIGEAR type B, variant for wet areas.
Traditional machine components are not only difficult to clean thoroughly; they also generally require production areas to shut down – at least in part – for cleaning activities to take place. This procedure places strain on production timeframes, contributing to reduced product throughput affecting the overall profitability.
Machine components mounted in production or processing areas are often exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals. The shape of the component, its material composition and the method of substrate protection all play a large role in the cleaning efforts, likelihood of becoming a source of contamination and product longevity.
Designed specifically for the food and beverage industry MOVIGEAR for wet areas has a number of advantages over traditional drive solutions. Up to three core products can be assembled into a “self-draining” and compact housing: gear unit, motor and drive electronics (optional).
Combining the technical and practical advantages of all three drive components leads to an increase in the performance, efficiency and reliability. The MOVIGEAR product range can be easily integrated into most materials handling applications such as conveyor systems.
The smooth housing of the MOVIGEAR for wet areas is finished with a ‘HP200’ treatment which is burned-in-to the surface during the application process. Highly resistant to rigorous cleaning regimes, including chemical and high pressure wash down, the integrity of the surface finish eliminates the possibility of “paint-lift-off” often associated with traditional surface coatings.
The inherent anti-stick properties contribute to a reduction of debris build-up resulting in reduced cleaning efforts and system downtime. Standard inclusion of stainless steel shafts, fasteners and auxiliary fittings further enhances the MOVIGEAR for wet areas anticorrosive properties.
The totally enclosed non-ventilated mechatronic drive system is designed according to the principle of convection cooling, eliminating the need of a motor fan. Motor-fan noise spread of germs and bacteria due to air swirls are a thing of the past with the MOVIGEAR product range.
Compliant with IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency) standards, a major benefit of the MOVIGEAR is the impressive energy savings potential.
MICROSCOPIC particles that have always been considered a pollutant are being studied for a range of agricultural uses.
South Australian researchers are working on a number of novel uses for engineered nanoparticles including efficient fertilisers, agricultural ‘amendments’ and a unique way to clean-up contaminated land.
Engineered nanoparticles are currently used in a range of industrial materials, such as ceramics and advanced polymers, and are also commonly used in the production of household materials, personal care products and clothing.
These particles are considered a pollutant risk if they are able to accumulate in the environment.
With a maximum diameter of just 100 nanometres, it is easy for the particles to be widely dispersed across soil and accumulated by plants.
As a result, nanoparticles have been considered a pollutant and eco-toxicological risk to both plants and wildlife.
But researchers at the University of South Australia have found that the very same nanoparticles could also prove beneficial to the growth of plants.
A glasshouse trial conducted by Dr Elliott Duncan, Dr Gary Owens and Nazanin Nikoo Jamal involved exposing rice plants to titanioum and cerium nanoparticles.
Dr Elliott said that instead of proving toxic to the plants, the nanoparticles aided the growth of the rice plants.
Current laboratory tests have focused on rice plants, but Dr Duncan said the same particles could also be used to benefit other grain crops and horticultural species, with tests expected to begin on wheat later this year.
“There’s a lot of concern in terms of whether engineered nanoparticles are toxic, whether they’re accumulated by plants and what the end effect is for humans and the environment,” he said.
“But we found these particles may actually provide some benefits for the plants, and, if we could harness those, this could be a big deal for the agriculture industry.”
The experiment demonstrated that some nanoparticles had the potential to be used as an agricultural supplement, although Dr Duncan said it was still unclear how exactly these particles helped the growth of plants.
“The mechanisms behind it and predicting whether it is going to occur and how best to harness it is still unknown,” he said.
His team will continue with glasshouse experiments to test the safety and effect of the nanoparticles.
Dr Duncan said there was also the potential for specially designed nanoparticles to be used as a way to delivery fertiliser more efficiently.
“With current fertilisers, a lot of the nutrient isn’t available to the plants – essentially the plant can only use 30 to 50 per cent, so up to 70 per cent of the fertiliser expense is just wasted,” he said,
“The idea would be that if we can improve that, you can get away with applying a lot less, which then has benefits for the economics of the farm and the environment.
“This stems from the fact that the nanoparticles are small, which means they’re quite mobile in the environment so they should be able to interact with plants a lot better than more traditional bulk fertilisers.”
The size of nanoparticles also means they possess unique properties such as a high surface-area to volume ratio, which could also make them effective for cleaning up contaminated land.
Dr Duncan is also researching the effectiveness of nanoparticles in binding to toxic chemicals such as lead and arsenic.
“To remediate a site is often quite destructive, you cause quite a big change to the environment if you’ve got to say dig it up, it’s quite labour intensive and so on,” he said.
“So this could be a faster, simpler way to remediate a site than current technologies, so we want to see whether these particles can reduce the bio-availability of contaminants, which should reduce how much is available to plants and also how much is lost into water-sources.”
Dr Duncan said more understanding was still needed around the ease with which nanoparticles could move into soil, plants or wildlife, and that long-term toxicity was also an important safety factor to evaluate.
However, if his research continues to yield positive results, he said there was the potential for a commercial product for the agriculture industry.
“We need to do it in an Australian context to see how it’s going to potentially impact our industry,” Dr Duncan said.
“We’re aware that there are risks involved with nanoparticles, but the reward could also be great too.”
HACCP Australia has released a new ‘world’s best practice standard’ for pest management services in the food industry.
Pest control is one of the major issues affecting food safety. It accounts for a significant number of food safety incidents, recalls, audit non-conformance and actions by state health departments.
According to the company, the new standard meets international best practice, both in its development and in terms of the standard itself; and will make a huge contribution to reducing food safety incidents. It can be used to ensure a consistently high standard of service, performance and outcomes in pest control within food handling facilities.
The standard has been developed by expert food technologists at HACCP Australia, together with a review committee comprising food manufacturers, retailers, auditors and pest management companies.
“This is a world first. There are number of guidelines around but guidelines are only that – guidelines. A standard allows for absolute performance measurement and can be used as a minimum criterion for food companies and pest management service providers. Companies operating HACCP programmes need to give their contractors a precise set of measurable expectations and companies certified to this standard will be able to demonstrate their ability to deliver exactly that which is required, said Clive Withinshaw, a director of HACCP Australia.
“It will be a really useful tool both here in Australia and overseas. It has been years in development and the very hard work put in by so many people will at last offer a real benefit to our industry and a reduction in food safety risk and non-conformances.”
All pest management service providers that are currently certified by the company will be audited against this standard after a transition period. New applicants will be audited to this standard henceforth.
Tennants ec-H2O technology electrically converts water into an innovative cleaning solution that cleans effectively, saves money, improves safety, and reduces environmental impact compared to daily cleaning floor chemicals and methods.
Real-world testing by customers and a third party has shown that scrubbing with ec-H2O technology effectively removes soil. And ec-H2O leaves no chemical residue so your floors retain that polished look with simplified ongoing floor maintenance.
Using ec-H2O technology can deliver cost savings and productivity gains by reducing training, purchasing, storing, handling, and mixing tasks and costs associated with floor cleaning chemicals.
Using ec-H2O technology can deliver cost savings and productivity gains by reducing training, purchasing, storing, handling, and mixing tasks and costs associated with floor cleaning chemicals.
ec-H2O technology significantly reduces the environmental impact of cleaning operations in seven key categories, according to a third-party study by EcoForm. Scrubbers equipped with ec-H2O technology can scrub up to three times longer with a single tank of water and use up to 70% less water than conventional floor scrubbing methods.
Chemicals manufactured or imported before January 1 2017 will be allowed to be supplied without having to meet Work Health and Safety Regulations’ labelling requirements, according to Safe Work Australia.
Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said this was decided in response to concerns raised by chemical suppliers in the lead up to Australia developing a globally harmonised system for chemical labelling.
“This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock,” she said.
“From 1 January next year, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported on or before 31 December 2016, and were correctly labelled at that time.
“In 2017, manufacturers and importers operating under harmonised work health and safety laws must label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the GHS under the model WHS Regulations.”
Netball Victoria has announced that Mother Earth has formed a new partnership with our Clinics and Camps program in 2017.
Mother Earth is the flagship brand of Prolife Foods New Zealand, manufacturer and producers of the Mother Earth range of snacks, nuts and spreads including Baked Oaty Slices, Fruit Sticks and Brekkie on the Go!
“We are delighted to have Mother Earth partner with us for Netball Victoria Clinic and Camps in 2017,” said Netball Victoria CEO Rosie King.
“Mother Earth is the perfect fit for Netball Victoria with its wholesome range of snacks, nuts and spreads matching our desire to promote healthy and active lifestyle choices in the netball community.”
As part of the partnership Mother Earth will provide clinic funding, where children have fun improving their skills and making new friends.
King’s sentiments were echoed by Kevin Hawkes, general manager grocery & marketing Mother Earth.
“Mother Earth is thrilled to come on board as a major partner of Netball Victoria Camps and Clinics,” said Hawkes.
“We have always supported community and family through a range of programs including some junior and club level netball sponsorships in New Zealand.”
“This partnership is a perfect opportunity to invest in grass roots netball here as the Mother Earth brand increases its presence and investment in Australia.”
According to phys.org, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that short-term feeding of canned dog food has resulted in a significant increase of BPA in dogs. Scientists believe that because of shared environments, dog exposure to BPA through canned foods could have human health implications.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used industrial chemical found in many household items, including resins used to line metal storage containers, such as food cans.
“Bisphenol A is a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical found in canned foods and beverages,” said Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center.
“We wanted to determine if short-term feeding of widely available commercial canned food could alter BPA concentrations in dogs. Thus, we assessed BPA contained within pet food cans. We also analyzed whether disturbances in bacteria found in the gut and metabolic changes could be associated with exposure to BPA from the canned food.”
“The dogs in the study did have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline,” Rosenfeld said. “However, BPA increased nearly three-fold after being on the either of the two canned diets for two weeks. We also found that increased serum BPA concentrations were correlated with gut microbiome and metabolic changes in the dogs analyzed. Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that has the ability to metabolize BPA and related environmental chemicals.”
Dogs who share internal and external environments with their owners are likely excellent indicators of the effects of BPA and other industrial chemicals on human health.
“We share our homes with our dogs,” Rosenfeld said. “Thus, these findings could have implications and relevance to humans. Indeed, our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns.”
“Bisphenol A (BPA) in the serum of pet dogs following short-term consumption of canned dog food and potential health consequences of exposure to BPA” was published in Science of the Total Environment.
28 BLACK has released their 28 BLACK Pink Flamingo cocktail.
Featuring their new flavour – Pink Grapefruit Mint energy drink, the taurine-free beverage is designed as a mixer with what the company calls, “the taste of summer.”
Chrish Graebner, Level Beverages Managing Director said, “Our newest flavour to the range is by far my favourite and is a great mixer.”
The flavour is designed to cater for those who love a good tang and is also meant to be mixed with rum.
The company also said that 10 cents from each can of the 28 BLACK Pink Grapefruit sold will be donated to The McGrath Foundation which raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young Australians.
The Chia Almond Natural Energy Ball is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, contains 23.7 per cent protein per ball, 40 per cent of the required intake of Omega 3 and has no refined sugar, no artificial additives or preservatives.
Bounce Natural Energy Balls are available in eight additional flavours including Almond, Apple Cinnamon, Cacao Mint, Coconut Macadamia, Hazelnut Cacao, Maple Pecan, Peanut, Spirulina Ginseng and Superberry.
As Christmas approaches and families begin planning their menu for the big day, RSPCA Australia is encouraging consumers to shop humanely at the supermarket.
Demand for ethically-produced ham, turkey and chicken is high at this time of the year, but with so many different labels on products it can be challenging to know which claims to believe.
“Four out of five Australians believe that it’s important that meat, eggs and dairy products sold in Australia are farmed in a humane and ethical way ,” said Hope Bertram, Humane Food Marketing Manager, RSPCA Australia. “Shoppers wanting to cut through the confusion should choose RSPCA Approved.”
First founded in 1996, the Approved Farming Scheme is part of the RSPCA’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of Australia’s most intensively farmed animals.
In the twenty years since the Scheme began, 805 million hens, pigs, chickens and turkeys have benefited from significantly better conditions on farm.
The commitment of retailers like Coles and Woolworths to sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken for their own brand ranges has seen the Scheme experience exponential growth in the last two years alone.
“When the Approved Farming Scheme started, there was far less consumer awareness around animal welfare in farming,” said Ms Bertram. “Now people are more conscious of the impact their choices have on farm animals.”
“RSPCA farming standards are grounded in science and go beyond legal requirements in ensuring that animals are farmed in a way that meets their physical and behavioural needs.
“By choosing RSPCA Approved, hens can nest, chickens can perch, turkeys can peck and pigs have space to roam.
“That’s why shoppers looking to purchase higher welfare food this Christmas should look for the RSPCA Approved label.”
Harris Farm Markets is removing all $1 per litre milk from its shelves across its 24 stores in New South Wales, in a bid to support the local dairy industry.
Harris Farm Markets will stock its own Farmer Friendly Milk range that will sell for $2.29 per two litres. The grocer is working with New South Wales-based farmer-owned cooperative processors who are transparent about their farm gate price, so they can ensure a fair price is being paid to dairy farmers with this new range.
Harris Farm Markets says that it believes milk is a beautiful, natural product and should be sold at a fair price that doesn’t see farmers selling their milk for less than the cost of production.
The retail price is reflective of the true cost of production, allowing Harris Farm to return 95 per cent of the sale price back to the cooperative and onto the farmers who own it.
Farmer Friendly Milk is a higher-quality milk (than its $1 per litre counterpart) with a higher butterfat content of 3.6 per cent, so it’s creamier, because there isn’t the price pressure on the processor to extract as much of the butter fat to create margin in other dairy products.
Harris Farm Markets Co-CEO Tristan Harris said the announcement this week comes after several months of planning to ensure the best product at the best price – for all parties – was going on shelf.
“We understand that people want good value on products that they use lots of every day. However, we believe most people don’t agree that it should be cheap at all cost, including the costs of lives and livelihoods of Aussie farmers,” Tristan said.
“We are charging $2.29 for two litres of milk. We still believe this represents great value for customers but not at the expense of farmers.
“As a family-owned business we knew we wanted to make a difference where we do have control, and after seeing the uproar from farmers, advocates and the public on $1 per litre milk earlier this year, we were compelled to change our approach to milk.”
The Farmer Friendly Milk is on shelves and available in the online store in two-litre bottles of full cream and lite options.
Harris Farm Markets said that it will continue to stock a wide range of milks from a variety of suppliers large and small, and continues to work with these suppliers on transparency around pricing to ensure a fair go for the participating farmers.
According to ARC, due to the essential nature of many of the products produced, the food & beverages industry is typically less affected by global economic conditions trends than many others, but is highly sensitive to government regulations that often determine how products are manufactured and where they can be sold.
Regional demographic changes also often have a major impact on this industry.
In general, new products, product innovation, and a growing population drive growth in the food & beverages sector. The growing middle class in emerging economies increases demand for more convenient processed foods as well as for more profitable luxury food and beverage products.
Today’s food and beverage companies strive to be able to respond to consumer demand for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, convenient, and high-quality foods.
Many companies invest large amounts of money to develop new products. As many manufacturers operate globally, product packaging and labeling must meet country-specific requirements and regulations. In addition, product formulas need to be adapted to suit different consumer tastes.
As a whole, this sector has invested heavily in IT infrastructure in recent years.
These systems are expected to support information necessary to maintain quality standards, improve compliance, address food safety issues, and track product information.
Flexibility in both R&D and manufacturing are important to support frequent product changes and reduce product time-to-market.
We’re also seeing increasing pressures to reduce costs to remain competitive.
One area of concern is the potential effect of product recalls on a company’s reputation. Most companies are making targeted investment to both improve their internal controls to reduce the risk of product recalls and improving their ability to recall products, when necessary.
Cybersecurity is another challenge that the industry is addressing, largely through technology. Despite these challenges, food & beverage manufacturers are reasonably optimistic about their future prospects.
Executives believe that new products and line extensions, plus more autonomous operations and efficiency improvements will drive growth and help improve profitability in this largely low-margin sector.
Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed an innovative optical sensor using conventional tape, a low-cost and flexible material that can be easily acquired at stationery shops. It can detect variations of the optical properties of a liquid when is immersed. The sensor can be used to control both the quality of beverages and environmental monitoring.
Light from an LED is introduced in one of end of a piece of tape and the light that emerges from the other end is detected through a photodiode.
The light coupling to the flexible waveguide is mediated by a diffractive element using a grating with aluminum lines of nano dimensions; it is added to the tape through a simple process of “tear and paste.” Both ends of the waveguide can be easily adhered to the LED emitter and the light detector (photodiode).
Because of the flexibility of the tape, the waveguide can bend and is partially immersed in the liquid under examination. Due to the waveguide bend, part of the propagated light is lost by radiation.
This curvature loss depends on the refractive index of the surrounding medium. Thus, it is possible to detect variations of the refractive index of the liquid by photodiode measurement of the optical power lost during the path of light through the immersed waveguide.
The refractive index of a liquid solution is related to both its physical and chemical properties, including density and concentration.
Thus, researchers can assess, for example, the maturation degree of grapes by measuring the refractive index of grape juice; it could also detect the alcoholic content of certain beverages. The sensor can be used in the food sector for process control and beverage quality, and in the environmental sector for water quality control.
The materials and components used to develop this sensor are common and inexpensive. Additionally, the assembly of the three main components of the sensor is simple and there is no need for instrumentation or specialized tools.
Therefore, the assembly can be carried out by non-qualified personnel.
Dr. Carlos Angulo Barrios, the lead researcher for this project, says, “These features, along with the flexibility of the tape, make this sensor very advantageous regarding other optical instruments for the detection of refractive index more complex, rigid and expensive, especially in field applications and on-site analysis of liquids in areas of difficult access.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-flexible-optical-sensors-quality-beverages.html#jCp
Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing faster than any time in the past 20 years. The increase is largely driven by the growth in food production, according to the Global Methane Budget released today. Methane is contributing less to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO₂), but it is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
Since 2014, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have begun to track the most carbon-intensive pathways developed for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
If these trends continue, methane growth could become a dangerous climate wildcard, overwhelming efforts to reduce CO₂ in the short term.
In two papers published today (see here and here), we bring together the most comprehensive ensemble of data and models to build a complete picture of methane and where it is going – the global methane budget. This includes all major natural and human sources of methane, and the places where it ends up in methane “sinks” such as the atmosphere and the land.
Methane is emitted from multiple sources, mostly from land, and accumulates in the atmosphere. In our greenhouse gas budgets, we look at two important numbers.
First, we look at emissions (which activities are producing greenhouse gases).
Second, we look at where this gas ends up. The important quantity here is the accumulation (concentration) of methane in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. The accumulation results from the difference between total emissions and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere and uptake by soil bacteria.
CO₂ emissions take centre stage in most discussions to limit climate change. The focus is well justified, given that CO₂ is responsible for more than 80% of global warming due to greenhouse gases. The concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere (now around 400 parts per million) has risen by 44% since the Industrial Revolution (around the year 1750).
While CO₂ in the atmosphere has increased steadily, methane concentrations grew relatively slowly throughout the 2000s, but since 2007 have grown ten times faster. Methane increased faster still in 2014 and 2015.
Remarkably, this growth is occurring on top of methane concentrations that are already 150% higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution (now around 1,834 parts per billion).
The global methane budget is important for other reasons too: it is less well understood than the CO₂ budget and is influenced to a much greater extent by a wide variety of human activities. About 60% of all methane emissions come from human actions.
These include living sources – such as livestock, rice paddies and landfills – and fossil fuel sources, such as emissions during the extraction and use of coal, oil and natural gas.
We know less about natural sources of methane, such as those from wetlands, permafrost, termites and geological seeps.
Biomass and biofuel burning originates from both human and natural fires.
Given the rapid increase in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, what factors are responsible for its increase?
Uncovering the causes
Scientists are still uncovering the reasons for the rise. Possibilities include: increased emissions from agriculture, particularly from rice and cattle production; emissions from tropical and northern wetlands; and greater losses during the extraction and use of fossil fuels, such as from fracking in the United States. Changes in how much methane is destroyed in the atmosphere might also be a contributor.
Our approach shows an emerging and consistent picture, with a suggested dominant source along with other contributing secondary sources.
First, carbon isotopes suggest a stronger contribution from living sources than from fossil fuels. These isotopes reflect the weights of carbon atoms in methane from different sources. Methane from fossil fuel use also increased, but evidently not by as much as from living sources.
Second, our analysis suggests that the tropics were a dominant contributor to the atmospheric growth. This is consistent with the vast agricultural development and wetland areas found there (and consistent with increased emissions from living sources).
This also excludes a dominant role for fossil fuels, which we would expect to be concentrated in temperate regions such as the US and China. Those emissions have increased, but not by as much as from tropical and living sources.
Third, state-of-the-art global wetland models show little evidence for any significant increase in wetland emissions over the study period.
The overall chain of evidence suggests that agriculture, including livestock, is likely to be a dominant cause of the rapid increase in methane concentrations. This is consistent with increased emissions reported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and does not exclude the role of other sources.
Remarkably, there is still a gap between what we know about methane emissions and methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all the methane emissions estimated with data inventories and models, we get a number bigger than the one consistent with the growth in methane concentrations. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions.
We also don’t know enough about emissions from wetlands, thawing permafrost and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.
The way forward
At a time when global CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry have stalled for three consecutive years, the upward methane trend we highlight in our new papers is unwelcome news. Food production will continue to grow strongly to meet the demands of a growing global population and to feed a growing global middle class keen on diets richer in meat.
However, unlike CO₂, which remains in the atmosphere for centuries, a molecule of methane lasts only about 10 years.
This, combined with methane’s super global warming potency, means we have a massive opportunity. If we cut methane emissions now, this will have a rapid impact on methane concentrations in the atmosphere, and therefore on global warming.
However, current efforts are insufficient if we are to follow pathways consistent with keeping global warming to below 2℃. Reducing methane emissions needs to become a prevalent feature in the global pursuit of the sustainable future outlined in the Paris Agreement.
Australia’s newest distillery, Cape Byron Distillery has launched its first spirit, Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin via Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible.
Created by Eddie Brook and acclaimed Scottish distiller Jim McEwan, Brookie’s captures the unique tastes and flavours of sub-tropical New South Wales.
The distillery itself is nestled in the very heart of the Brook family’s macadamia farm and is surrounded by a lush rainforest.
A traditional “dry style” Gin, Brookie’s is a balanced combination of the traditional and local native botanicals, trickle distilled in a custom hand-made copper pot still.
Jim McEwan said, “We’re bringing a new level of excellence to distillation. When you taste this gin, it tastes pure. You’re tasting a bit of nature, you can taste the salt air, you can taste the fruits and flowers of the rainforest, it has the warmth of the personalities associated with family distillers.”
Brookie’s is a gin also has a strong environmental message. Over the past 30 years the Brook family have planted over 35,000 native trees, mostly sub – tropical rainforest trees. Today the farm is thriving eco system.
A percentage of the profits from every bottle sold will support the work of the local Big Scrub Landcare group, whose sole mission is to protect what’s left of a mighty rainforest and to encourage new plantings.
Routine moisture-analyser testing between professional calibrations is a good way to ensure moisture measurements are consistently correct.
However, regular performance testing is often neglected because traditional methods are time-consuming and impractical. Mettler Toledo’s SmartCal offers a fast way to verify the performance and veracity of a moisture analyser.
SmartCal simultaneously tests both the heating and weighing units. When results lie within expected tolerances, it lends validity to all measurements made since the previous test.
These results are viewed in a series of clear, readable measurement reports for straightforward monitoring.
They can either be stored directly in the instrument or manually entered into an Excel report.
Mettler Toledo’s also offers a certified version of SmartCal. cSmartCal is tested by the independent German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.
It satisfies regulatory requirements and is suitable for highly-regulated environments that require an extra level of results assurance. SmartCal StarterPac contains 12 sachets and accessories including the user guide, reporting templates, thermo-hygrometer, and validation documentation.
When it comes to choosing a bulk packaging system, every business has its own unique needs. There are different types of bulk packaging systems available on the market, and each machine comes with its own uses and advantages.
Some focus more on outer packaging functions such as forming, cleaning, and sealing. Others focus more on the interior of the package through filling, wrapping, and creative packaging solutions. What you’ll need depends on the type of items you’ll be packaging and the type of packaging you’ll be using, as well as your budget.
Form, fill and seal machines (FFS)
These machines are commonly used for food packaging, although they can also be used for other items including liquids and solids. The FFS machine creates a bag from a flat roll of film, while simultaneously filling the bag with the product and sealing the bag once it’s full. The advantages of FFS machines are that they can operate at a high speed and they’re ideal for running the same product continuously.
The cost of the film is cheaper than purchasing pre-made bags, so you will save on operating costs. However, changing the film is time-consuming, and if the bag is dropped it will often break.
Vertical form, fill and seal machines (VFFS)
VFFS machines fill each bag before heat sealing it, labelling it with a time stamp, and auto cutting the bag. Most VFFS machines can operate at about one finished bag per second, so they are ideal for businesses with high output requirements.
They can be used for small individual packages (like sachets) or for larger bags, and they can package a wide variety of materials like seeds, powders, liquids. VFFS machines are suitable for bagging oats, hay, mulch, fertilisers and more.
Bale packaging machines
Bale packaging machines use hydraulic cylinders to compress products to a quarter of their original size. This allows you to store more products, maximise your available space, and save on packing and transportation costs. This type of bulk packaging system is normally used for cereals, rags, sawdust, humus, straw, hay and fodder.
Valve bag fillers
These machines are consistent, accurate, and simple to install and adjust. Valve bag fillers use a two-stage filling system. The majority of product is filled at maximum rate, and then just before the bag reaches its target, the machine reduces the fill rate to a dribble feed.
This way, the machine can stop filling more accurately when the bag reaches its target weight.
Valve bag fillers are relatively small machines, so they don’t take up a lot of floor space. They’re suitable for packaging dry materials, powders and granular products such as soil, mulch, minerals, grains or concrete mix.
Pre-made bags or open mouth baggers
These systems are extremely flexible. They are compatible with paper bags or woven bags, heat sealers, inner liners, stitched outer bags, fold overs and taped seals.
They offer various feeding methods including gravity feeding, auger feeding, and vibratory feeding, providing you with the ability to package unusual products.
You can add dust extraction systems or bag compression functions depending on your business needs. Poly woven bags are, on average, more robust than FFS bags, but your cost per bag will be higher. Open mouth baggers also tend to be slower than FFS systems.
According to Techpro, food conveyor cleaning can now be done quicker and also more cost effectively.
While manual conveyor cleaning is regularly undertaken to ensure Australia’s first-class food hygiene protocols are maintained, a number of manufacturers have found effective conveyor cleaning is achievable simply by installing the correct spray nozzles for the job.
A properly automated conveyor cleaning system should provide uniformed cleaning across the entire conveyor as well as efficient water usage.
Optimal results can only be achieved when the positioning of spray nozzles is carefully planned.
Other factors to consider include available water pressure and flow rate, nozzle size, droplet size and spray pattern.
Coca-Cola has announced details of Powerade’s new Australian Summer campaign ‘Smash the Sweat’.
The campaign is designed to encourage consumers to smash the sticky, humid conditions associated with the season through the launch of limited edition Powerade sport-themed ‘shrink packs’ aimed at generating cut-through during the key summer period.
The strategy, said the company, revolves around tapping into the Aussie’s love of sports through collectable summer sports-themed packaging, featuring imagery from a range of sports including rugby, cricket, basketball, tennis, soccer and athletics.
The signature packs are signed by sporting legends and Powerade Ambassadors Greg Inglis, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Bogut.
Appearing from early November, the limited edition packs will be promoted in-store at point-of-sale and supported on social media channels in the build up to summer.
As the summer sport season kicks off, the campaign will be boosted through outdoor media calling on consumers to ‘Smash the Sweat’.
Sarah Illy, Brand Activation Manager, Powerade, said: “We all love an Aussie summer, but with the hot, sticky conditions it becomes even more important to stay hydrated. So this summer we are challenging people to ‘Smash the Sweat’. Being a sports-obsessed nation, we decided to tap into that trend through our collectable sport-themed packs to encourage people to be active and stay hydrated.”
“The limited edition bottles have been inspired by Australian sporting legends with the objective of keeping Powerade ION4 top of mind for rehydration needs. Powerade ION4… is scientifically formulated to help replace four of the electrolytes lost in sweat and is an ideal way to ‘Smash the Sweat’ this summer,” said Illy.
Falls from heights are an ongoing safety concern in all industrial environments.
According to the Safe Work Australia report, Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities Involving A Fall From Height, in 2010–11, 7730 claims for serious injury were lodged due to a fall from a height. This means that 21 employees each day lodged a claim for a falls-related injury that required one or more weeks off work.
Given the importance of preventing falls from height, 3M, the leader in safety, and Capital Safety, the leader in fall protection, are now connected for a safer future – 3M Fall Protection.
To be held at the 3M’s Fall Protection headquarters in Sydney on Thursday, October 27th, the day will feature many informative activities that demonstrate that the importance of fall protection.
Visit the custom-built fall protection Training Centre where you can learn about how to prevent falls from heights and dangerous workplaces and how to create a safer work environment.
Watch as 3M tests its products on its purpose built product Testing Tower!
View the disastrous consequences of a fall from height so you and your company can avoid them in future. Fall protection goes virtual with 3M’s new virtual reality experience, which is available all day!
Learn about new arc flash technology and the product life-cycle concept where you are taken through the R&D process of prototyping and testing, through to the manufacturing assessment and into mass production.
Go on guided tour of the production floor where you will see how a harness gets constructed from raw material through to the finished
See live, hands-on training demonstrations such as Dropped Objects and Pick-off Rescues on 3M’s mobile Road Show Demo Truck.