Weber’s new administrative complex and slicing machine showroom strengthens its customer-service platform and business growth potential.
Gunthër and Kirsten Weber braved an early summer storm to make their way from Breidenbach, Germany to Kansas City, Mo., for the kickoff ceremony marking the grand opening of their company’s new North American Technology Center.
Weber manufactures an extensive line of high-tech slicing machinery, a wide variety of skinners, derinders and ice machines. The new facility includes a “Weber U” training area and a product testing and demonstration room for hands-on training to simulate actual production-floor conditions.
“Within our new facility processors can now test a variety of fully equipped Weber slicers on products they now produce, as well as on products they are considering adding to their offerings, Weber confirms. “We wanted to provide meat and cheese processors in America, Canada and Mexico with a conveniently located facility where they can view and test the world’s best technology against real-world applications, like the challenges they face every day.”
Meanwhile, Scott Scriven, president of Weber North America, who hosted the event, predictably started the day tying up loose ends in preparation of the arrival of invited guests including customers, dignitaries and contracting crew members.
“Innovative engineering and unmatched concerns for hygienic operation has made Weber the acknowledged leader in high-volume slicing systems,” Scriven says. “We believe this investment in our new facility will benefit the entire industry, especially as it relates to hygienic operations and the teaching of proper sanitation procedures.”
Notable features of the 40,000-square-foot facility, completed after a year-long construction project, include a 2,700-square-foot product demonstration and testing area for meat and cheese processors in North America. Significant design characteristics include nearly four miles of plastic tubing beneath floors to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly heat source. Natural lighting controls energy consumption while creating an inviting work environment.
The North American complex represents the latest in a two-year series of worldwide facility investments by Weber GMbH totaling more than 12 million Euros. Gunthër Weber, an equipment innovator with the soul of an entrepreneur, established his business in Germany in1981, branching out in America 15 years later with an independent operating U.S. division headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. Scriven joined the company in 1999.
“With new products in the Weber pipeline and an ever-growing base of machinery installed in America, Canada and Mexico, it is more important than ever to be able to deliver original Weber equipment, product upgrades and replacement parts in a timely and cost-efficient manner,” Scriven concludes. “Our new facility, centrally locate in the heart of American, helps Weber assure both availability and timely delivery.”
Eliminating The Paper Trail Switching to Sani-Sense® disposable sanitary wipes pays off for Kayem Foods.
Using paper towels for various cleaning jobs is a typical response in many homes and businesses, but Kayem Foods of Chelsea, Mass., has been using a more reliable solution. It started a couple of years ago when company officials spotted a captivating alternative touring another processing plant. Employees, who were using Sani-Sense® sanitary wipes, manufactured by Medtrol Inc., to clean their machinery, recommended the product. The wipes soon became a part of Kayem’s sanitation process.
Kayem Foods started as a handmade sausage business in 1909. The product line now includes hot dogs, traditional Italian sausages, deli meats and fresh gourmet chicken sausage. The company’s Chelsea plant employs more than 500 people and has continually expanded to more than 200,000 square feet with the latest addition. It operates under strict ISO 9000 quality standards, which emphasizes quality control and continual process improvement. In such an environment, proper sanitation becomes vitally important.
Kayem’s employees have found the Sani-Sense wipes to be a convenient and useful solution. “We’re using them in our fully cooked packaging areas,” explains Jon Trelfa, Kayem’s quality assurance manager. “We’re using them on our contact surfaces and non-contact surfaces intermittently throughout production to keep them clean.”
Previously, employees had been spraying alcohol onto paper towels to clean surfaces. Medtrol’s wipes, which already come pre-saturated, proved to be a much more efficient method of cleanup. “You just open up a package at the beginning of production, grab a towel and go to town,” says Trefla. “You don’t have to unravel a bunch of paper towels, squirt it down and do all the prep work.”
Another improvement is that the wipes can last longer outside of the dispenser than an alcohol-soaked paper towel. If the towel is left out, the alcohol will quickly dissipate, making it ineffective for sanitation. A Sani-Sense wipe that’s been left out for a few minutes will still have sanitizer on it and can still be used to properly clean a surface.
Since the processor has started using the wipes, Kayem has also seen improvements in its bacterial counts throughout the production day, particularly in areas such as the sides of machines. “We are definitely seeing some cleaner surfaces there,” Trefla notes.
Medtrol states that Sani-Sense is designed for safe use on food surfaces and is manufactured on food-grade automated machinery in an FDA Department of Health and Human Services Certified facility. The Sani-Sense sanitary cleaner chemical agent is a cationic solution (Quaternary ammonium chloride) with 10-percent IPA added for quick evaporation. The chemical agent in Sani-Sense Sanitary Cleaner conforms with recognized chemical solutions that may safely be used on food processing equipment. The Sani-Sense Sanitary Cleaner chemical solution requires no rinsing, and deemed safe in the presence of food products.
Check out the April 2021 edition of The National Processor, featuring Bell & Evans' initiative to ensure growth in organic chicken, portion control trends, spare parts know-how, slicing, sanitation and much more!
Check out the April 2021 edition of Independent Processor, featuring meat science education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ever changing regulations for small processors, moving beyond traditional peppers and spices, butcher tools and how to safely use them and much more!