Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo

April 8-11, 2018

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
Bonita Springs, Florida

Monday, April 9

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

 Theme for Day One: Manufacturing in the Digital Age

 8:30 – 9:15 a.m.

Automation Keynote Address: Keys to Reaching Operational Goals

In modern manufacturing, there are many advantages of having a connected plant. This session will address how food and beverage facilities need to upgrade equipment and technology to stay competitive.

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. 

 Increasing Productivity and Throughput Using Lean Managment Behaviors

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

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.


10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

 Next-Level Craft Brewing  

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


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

Ask the Experts: Overcoming Food Safety and FSMA Challenges

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

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.


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.     Presented by Rockwell Automation

4:05 - 4:35 p.m.     Presented by Opto-Engineering

Track B

3:30 – 4:00  p.m.

4:05 – 4:35  p.m.   Presented by Van der Graaf

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Expo Reception

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.