Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo

April 8-11, 2018

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
Bonita Springs, FL

Monday, April 24

7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:10 a.m.


mark tisdale1
Mark Tisdale, Publisher, Food Engineering

8:10 – 8:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

The State of Food Manufacturing

debra schug1
Debra Schug, Editor in Chief, Food Engineering

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.

Theme for Day One: The Future of Food Manufacturing

Automation Keynote Address: The New Frontier of Strategic Planning

phil viruso1

Speaker: Phil Viruso, Vice President of Manufacturing, LiDestri Food and Drink Read Bio

Learn how LiDestri Foods stays competitive through its manufacturing plan and uses innovations to enhance its plants’ capabilities.

9:15 – 10:00 a.m.

Getting Lightning to Strike: Don’t be a Disruptive Innovation Victim

miller chris

Speaker: Christopher W. Miller, Ph.D., NPDP, Founder of Innovation Focus, Inc., past President of the Product Development and Management Association Read Bio

Dr. Miller will take you on an exciting journey from incremental to disruptive innovation along your value chain - consumer, retailer, logistics, you and your supplier. Radical only has the value of the profitable growth it provides to both you and to your customer; Incremental consumes energy and cannibalizes profits. This high energy presentation will start with an examination of the innovation myth and take the attendees through to an examination of the facts in the peer reviewed literature. The good news is that we are better than we think we are at creating profitable disruptive opportunities for our companies. The bad news is that it takes hard work, an intense desire to be good at it and the rigor of a proven and agreed to process.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Smart Supply Chain

stewart leeth

Speaker: Stewart T. Leeth, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc. Read Bio

Consumers and retailers are becoming more interested in how food is made. This session delves into the growing importance of traceability, transparency and creating a more sustainable supply chain.

11:15 - 12:00 noon

People, Processes and Production in the World of Food Manufacturing

 rankin su

Speaker: Su Rankin, Senior Vice President of Operations, Land O' Lakes, Inc. Read Bio

Continued technological improvements are necessary to stay competitive, but there are always many factors to consider. This session will provide insights into integrating varying human perspectives and processes, illustrated by learnings derived from a major renovation at one of Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s premier cheese plants.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.


12:00 – 5:30 p.m.


2:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Refreshment Break Stations

3:30 – 4:35 p.m.

Solutions Theater

Track A
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Eliminating Foreign Material Contamination with the Van der Graaf Drum Motor

Presented by Van der Graaf

Learn how to eliminate foreign material contamination with the Van der Graaf Drum Motor that requires no sprockets. Designed and engineered to drive conveyor belts in food processing plants where sanitation is paramount.

4:05 - 4:35 p.m.

The Future of Dough Production

Presented by Zeppelin Systems USA

Learn how pre-hydration with DymoMix can save processors on mixing time while also increasing dough production.

Track B
3:00 –3:30  p.m.

Big Data Starts Here - Leveraging MII for Smart Manufacturing with PepsiCo

Presented by Seeit Solutions and PepsiCo

Has your plant reached the digital age? SAP MII helps today’s leading manufacturers run smarter. Big Data connects manufacturing People, Process, and Technology to the extended supply chain, and in real time. Learn how PepsiCo improved manufacturing efficiency and reduced waste resulting in significant dollar savings.

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Expo Reception

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.