More than 90 food industry engineers, managers, and owners participated in the event, which provided a platform to present new ideas and case studies on how to reduce energy usage in food manufacturing plants. Speakers included representatives from Energy Recovery Partners, KEI Steam Systems, Kuhlman Incorporated, MillerCoors, Miron Construction, Rockwell Automation, Smithfield, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The goal of the forum was to increase awareness of projects that could be implemented to reduce energy consumption within food manufacturing plants.
Nick George, president of the Midwest Food Products Association, said that for most businesses, “Buying energy from their local utility is as deep as it needs to go. However, for food manufacturers, and most manufacturers for that matter, there are a number of variables to consider that can complicate the overall energy strategy. Because energy is a major cost for food processors, the forum emphasized how the industry can use energy wisely and get the most for their money.”
Topics discussed during the forum ranged from strategic energy management systems and sustainability to optimization of refrigeration systems and process room improvements.
George believes there are many benefits of partnering with Focus on Energy and Miron Construction to offer these informative and affordable programs to food processing leaders. “Using energy wisely makes economic and environmental sense,” George said. “We look forward to holding similar programs in the near future.”
According to Chris Wolslegel, vice president of industrial business development for Miron Construction, feedback from the forum has been extremely positive. “Most attendees requested future meetings with a specific focus on topics such as refrigeration and steam/condensate. We are working to develop additional educational programs for 2018 and 2019 that the food industry will find beneficial in helping them to reduce their energy footprint.”
Due to the success of this event, organizers plan to hold a similar event next year.