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MWC, Kraft Heinz, CTI Foods Named 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award Winners

Take Five Video: ProFood World will pay tribute to the winners of the Manufacturing Innovation Awards at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, honoring three outstanding food processing projects involving greenfield plants, plant expansions, and major line upgrades.

Quick hits:

      • Cheese and whey producer, MWC, will be recognized for its new 375,000-sq-ft, state-of-the art facility in St. Johns, Michigan, The plant processes 25% of the state’s milk production.
      • Kraft Heinz will be honored for a project involving its iconic macaroni and cheese product. The company modernized its Wausau, Wisconsin, facility for a recent formulation improvement.
      • CTI Foods’ automated its labor-intensive, filled taco line, special end-of-arm tooling was designed by JLS to perform dual picks of the tacos, and orientate them into trays.

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      Read article   Read the transcript below:

      I'm Joyce Fassl , Editor in Chief of ProFood World, keeping you informed about ProFood World's 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Awards. ProFood World will honor the winners of the fifth annual Manufacturing Innovation Awards at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, on Tuesday September 28th. These awards recognize outstanding food and beverage processing and packaging innovation projects, involving green-field plants, expansion and renovation projects, or major line upgrades. This year's winners include MWC, Kraft Heinz, and CTI Foods.

      Cheese and whey producer MWC will be recognized for its 375,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in St. Johns, Michigan. The plant processes 25% of the state's milk production, and the facility is the most advanced of its kind in the dairy industry. Each day the plant receives eight million pounds of raw milk and produces approximately 850,000 pounds of cheese. MWC also processes whey at approximately 11,000 pounds per hour, producing whey protein concentrates and isolates. Whey permeate left from the concentrate process is sent via a pipe bridge to a neighboring ingredient processing plant, providing sustainable savings for both facilities. Engineering know-how, proven equipment and technology, and a seasoned workforce add up to make MWC's facility a success story. Look for the cover story on MWC in the June issue of

      Kraft Heinz will be honored with a 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award for a project involving its iconic Macaroni & Cheese product. The company expanded and modernized its Wausau, Wisconsin facility to meet the requirements of a recent formulation improvement. The new recipe delivers a creamy customer experience, but required building upgrades, new liquid and powder handling systems, and a complex clean-in-place system to fulfill production needs. In addition, the project resulted in improved employee safety and ergonomics, and provided a production increase of more than 40%.

      The next and final 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award winner is CTI Foods, a company that serves the restaurant and industrial ingredients industry with proteins, soups, sauces, and dressings. In order to automate its labor-intensive filled taco line, special end-of-arm tooling was designed by JLS to perform dual picks of the tacos and orientate them into trays. The upgrade tremendously improved the production rate to 960 fresh tacos per minute, across four packaging cells. Other improvements to the integrated system include robotic controls, pick and place delta robots, an in-feed conveyor, tray erector, vision system, tray wrapper, checkweigher, inspection system and more. Look for ProFood World's feature articles on CTI Foods in the August issue, and Kraft Heinz in the December issue.

      MWC, Kraft Heinz and CTI Foods will discuss their award-winning projects and technologies during a special session at PACK EXPO Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon September 28th. That wraps up this edition of Take Five with ProFood World.

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