Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo

April 14 -17, 2019

Doral Resort
Miami, Florida

Monday, April 9

7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Registration - Estero Ballroom Foyer

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast - Estero Foyer

Sponsored by azo

8:00 – 8:10 a.m.

Welcome - Estero Ballroom

mark tisdale1
Mark Tisdale, Publisher, Food Engineering

8:10 – 8:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks - Estero Ballroom
 The State of Food Manufacturing

debra schug1
Debra Schug, Editor in Chief, Food Engineering

 Theme for Day One: Manufacturing in the Digital Age

 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. -  Estero Ballroom broadcasting live

Automation Keynote Address: Driving Sustainability through Digitalization, Automation and People Empowerment

Olivo Espinosa1Speaker: Vicente Olivo-Espinosa, Director of Information Solutions, Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. Learn more

Conserving resources, minimizing energy usage and reducing waste are three cornerstone elements of Maple Leaf's production processes and plant operations. By embracing a digital transformation, Maple Leaf has continued to improve operational excellence and line performance. Attend this session and discover how automated production line and process Improvement strategies can help you to achieve sustainability targets for the coming years.

Presentation Sponsored by schneiderweb


9:15 – 10:00 a.m. - Estero Ballroom broadcasting live

 Increasing Productivity and Throughput Using Lean Management Behaviors

bartikoski mikeSpeaker: Mike Bartikoski, Senior Vice President of Operations for Land O’ Frost  Learn more  

Capturing sustainable gains from Lean efforts depends on implementing the activities on the floor AND also changing management behaviors to secure buy in from the front lines to supervisors and supervisors to management.  Firms often overlook the significant changes asked of front line supervision and managers to move from directing to coaching and leading.  To move from “firefighting” and acceptance of status quo to problem solving and driving to eliminate repetitive issues.  This talk will outline some of the steps taken to begin this journey and some of the realizations of changes required.

Presentation Sponsored by optoweb          

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break - Estero Foyer

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. - Estero Ballroom

 Next-Level Craft Brewing  

schroderSpeaker: Nathan Schroeder, Beer Production Engineer for Bell's Brewing  Learn more

From selling the first commercial beer in 1985 until its recent expansion in 2016 Bell’s Brewery in Michigan is writing a fabulous chapter of the American craft beer story.

Over the years, new extensions and older plants with legacy automation system were brought under one roof with a state of the art automation philosophy to guarantee an overall comprehensive approach and plant-wide integration. This is also used for vertical integration of data from the shop floor to the production management level. Nathan will elaborate on how Bell’s approached the site automation and the  benefits that resulted for the day to day and the long term challenges in brewing


11:15 - 12:00 noon - Estero Ballroom

Ask the Experts: Overcoming Food Safety and FSMA Challenges

koch  Gayan web  kelly goforth1  joyce watford1  spotz


Mike Koch, Vice President, Morley Candy Makers / Sanders Candy Learn more

Gayan Hettiarachchi, Director of Food Safety, Champion Petfoods Learn more

Kelly Goforth, DIrector of Manufacturing, Henrietta / OFD Foods

Joyce L. Watford, Director of Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company Learn more

Moderator: Kristen Spotz, Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality, Grocery Manufacturers Association Learn more

From small to large operations, the new FSMA regulations have been introducing new challenges to food and beverage plants. This panel discussion will present some of the obstacles and unique approaches to navigating them.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Calusa Ballroom and Foyer


12:00 – 5:30 p.m. -  Calusa Ballroom


Lots of new technology - check it out and you could win 1 of 5 prizes.

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. - Calusa Ballroom

Refreshment Break Stations

Sponored by pentair    krones   schenck     SandS

2:55 – 4:35 p.m.

Solutions Theater Breakouts - Blue Heron and Great Egret
Track A - Blue Heron

2:55 - 3:25 p.m.

Driving the Digital Enterprise for Food & Beverage

With today’s quick pace of business, manufacturers need to be faster, flexible and more efficient. But simply automating manufacturing isn’t enough anymore. During this session, we will explore a holistic approach that incorporates Digitalization and new transformational technologies. 

Presented by Siemens, Davide Picciotto, Digital Enterprise Thought Leader  

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.  

The Future of Food Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing has the potential to completely transform operations in the food and beverage industry. Learn how best-in-class companies are remaining competitive and capitalizing on a Connected Enterprise.

Presented by Rockwell Automation, Cory Garlick, Food and Beverage Industry Manager

4:05 - 4:35 p.m.    

Food Quality- Can You See Everything?

Increasing your overall production efficiency can be easier said than done. In a hectic processing environment, many problems can happen to increase downtime, cause costly ingredient and product waste and affect the quality of the final product. Learn how you can minimize these issues and increase throughput by integrating the latest AI based vision technologies. 

Presented by Opto-Engineering, Justin Cardenas and Luca Palleschi

Track B - Great Egret

3:30 – 4:00  p.m.

Simulations Before Implementation

It is better to perform simulations than to experiment on the real system. Simulation models can be used to depict actual system dynamics that include time, events and the changes that occur over time. They also have the ability to model variability and stochastic events and perform what-if analyses. Learn how simulations can help justify your business case and improve your decision-making process.

Presented by CRB, Niranjan Kulkarni, PhD, Director, Operations Improvement

4:05 – 4:35  p.m.   

New Solutions for Plant Sanitation

To ensure products processed at your plant are safe and free of contaminants, food safety standards must be applied. This includes keeping your conveyors clean and removing all the food byproducts trapped in gaps and crevices, which can be a difficult and time-intensive task. Learn how the next generation conveyor drive design can help solve this problem, saving you time and money.

 Presented by Van der Graaf, Alex Kanaris, President


4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Expo Reception - Calusa Ballroom

Sponsored by crb


6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 Barbecue - Royal Palm Courtyard

Nathan Schroeder

Beer Production Engineer

Bell’s Brewery

Nathan Schroeder has worked at Bell’s Brewery Inc. for 9 years and has been a part of large capital projects as a Project Manager, like the installation of the 200 BBL Brewhouse in 2011 and Cellar Expansions in 2014, 2015, & 2016. Nathan also led the effort to bring a single automation platform across both Brewhouses and Cellar operations. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering from Michigan State University.