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: Driving Sustainability through Digitalization, Automation and People Empowerment

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

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.


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  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.


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  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

Ask the Experts: Overcoming Food Safety and FSMA Challenges

koch                                     spotz


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

Kelly Goforth, DIrector of Manufacturing, Henrietta / OFD Foods

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

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

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

2:55 - 3:25 p.m.

Presented by Siemens

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

 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     


Track B

3:30 – 4:00  p.m.

Presented by CRB

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


4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Expo Reception

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.