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STELLAR, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction, refrigeration and mechanical services worldwide, welcomed GARLAND SMITH as a business developer in the company’s Food Logistics division. Before joining Stellar, Smith spent 20 years in the construction industry, with most of his career as a senior manager directing and overseeing projects.

STONHARD promoted David Senn to the position of director of global accounts. He has been building relationships with Stonhard customers worldwide since 2011. Senn will continue to handle accounts directly as well as oversee a team of global account managers.

GRAHAM PACKAGING appointed ROBERT PYLE as its new president and CEO. Pyle joins Graham, and is succeeding interim CEO Doug Owenby, who will return to his role as chief operating officer of the company. Owenby served in the interim after former CEO Michael King left in March 2021 to become CEO of Graham’s sister company, Pactiv Evergreen.

In another announcement, GRAHAM PACKAGING named RICHA DESAI as its new director of sustainability. In this role, she will support and drive company-wide sustainability initiatives including the development of goals, policies and programs that promote efficient, cost-effective products, technologies and operations.

BERNER FOOD & BEVERAGE LLC named KELLY DIAMOND vice president of operations. She has experience in operations and cross-functional collaboration, having spent nearly 10 years at Dean Foods, plus positions at Woodward Inc. and Anderson Packaging Inc.

In a management change at MULTIVAC, JAIRO RODRIGUEZ has assumed the managing directorship of the two subsidiaries, MULTIVAC Centroamérica y Caribe S.A. (Costa Rica) and MULTIVAC Dominicana, S.R.L. (Dominican Republic), as well as the management of the branch offices in Guatemala and Panama.

KUECKER PULSE INTEGRATION welcomed RYAN MEAD as its executive vice president, general counsel. Mead joins the KPI family with more than 15 years in the field of law with expertise in business and corporate law, representing clients in all stages of their business.

KEMIN INDUSTRIES, a global ingredient manufacturer, has selected REBECCA LUCAS to serve as director of research and development for its human nutrition and health business unit. Lucas previously spent ten years at Kemin, building expertise in the company and its industries through roles in R&D, marketing and strategic acquisition.

AFRESH TECHNOLOGIES, an AI-driven technology company building fresh food supply chain solutions, announced the addition of BOSKY DALAL to its technical leadership team as director of data engineering. Dalal will head the company’s data engineering functions, including continuing to build the team of data engineers and analysts.

FLAVORMAN, a beverage development company, announced that SCOTT WEDDLE and PETER EBERLE have been named chief operating officer and chief strategy officer, respectively. The move comes ahead of the company’s milestone 30th anniversary in 2022. Weddle formerly served as director of business development, and Eberle joins the Flavorman team with an extensive career in successfully leading multimillion-dollar companies through critical growth and development periods.

SCHUNK promoted MICHAEL GAUNCE to vice president of sales, toolholding and workholding. He joined SCHUNK in 2012 as a sales support engineer with a background in the specialized industry or magnetic workholding and material handling.

Industry News

CPM HOLDINGS INC., a global supplier of process equipment, services and technology, announced the acquisition of BLISS INDUSTRIES LLC. Founded in 1981, Bliss is a manufacturer of hammer-mills, pellet mills, counter-flow coolers, and peripheral equipment for the biomass, pet food and animal feed industries. Bliss is headquartered in Ponca City, Okla.

SCHENCK PROCESS GROUP has reached an agreement to acquire SOLIDS HANDLING AND PROCESS ENGINEERING CO. LTD., a supplier and specialist in providing powder handling and powder processing solutions located in Bangkok, Thailand.

PSSI, industry food safety and contract sanitation provider, signed a definitive agreement to acquire SAFE FOODS CORPORATION, a food safety performance management company and global leader in antimicrobial technology. Safe Foods will remain an independent subsidiary within the PSSI family of companies.

BÜHLER, CARGILL, GIVAUDAN and PURIS have joined forces to help accelerate start-ups that are innovating in plant-based proteins. Together, they have created the SCALE IT UP INNOVATION CHALLENGE with the aim to bring sustainable, protein food products to market more quickly. The four participating companies are all active in the production of sustainable, plant-based protein food products to meet evolving consumer needs, each focusing on differing parts of the value chain and each bringing their unique expertise to the challenge. The Challenge will provide resources, mentorship and expertise to the challenge winners.

FLEXICON CORPORATION has expanded manufacturing space by 50,000 sq. ft. (4,645 sq. m.) in its Bethlehem, Penn. facility to meet increased demand for its bulk handling equipment and systems. The new space is slated primarily for warehousing of sub-assemblies, crating and staging of assembled equipment.

Canadian-based EXCHANGER INDUSTRIES has announced the acquisition of HRS HEAT EXCHANGERS, supplier of heat exchangers and custom process systems across the environmental, food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. The two companies will continue to operate separately.

BANNER ENGINEERING, has launched a partnership with AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS) and expanded the range of its IIoT solutions in the AWS marketplace by certifying multiple products to be compatible with AWS IoT Core.

ERIEZ has doubled the space of its Eriez Service and Repair Center, located near the company’s corporate headquarters in Erie, Pennsylvania, which will lead to improved turnaround times for in-house repair and rebuilds of even the largest equipment.

ATS AUTOMATION TOOLING SYSTEMS INC. announced the acquisition of BLSG AG, a consulting company specializing in process engineering and operational excellence.

Plant Openings & Expansions

Americold will expand its refrigerated warehouse in Russellville, Ark., investing $84 million to add 131,000 sq.-ft. of warehouse space.

LaBatt Breweries is investing $119 million to expand its facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The expansion includes new warehouse space and a ready-to-drink building.

SunOpta will build a new plant-based beverage facility in Midlothian, Texas, near Dallas-Fort Worth. Expected to be operational in late 2022, the facility will be sized at 285,000 sq.-ft., with the ability to be expanded to 400,000 sq.-ft.

Deli Star Corporation, provider of cooked proteins, will build a new production facility in St. Louis, Mo. to replace the old building in Fayetteville, Ill., which was destroyed by fire in February 2021. Of the 104,080-sq.-ft. new facility, 94,080 sq.-ft. will be dedicated to production; the facility will be completed early in 2022.

Tyson Fresh Meats (Columbus Junction, Iowa) is investing $15.4 million to upgrade its pork production line, creating 10 jobs.

Monogram Food Solutions will invest $13.9 million to modify its snack foods facility in Denison, Iowa, adding new production lines. The plant was purchased from Quality Food Processors.

City Brewing Company, co-manufacturer of low-alcoholic beverages, started production on a new line at its Irwindale Brew Yard in California. This marks the opening of its second production line, with another line scheduled for January 2022. By next year, the brewery expects to reach initial capacity of approximately 55 million 24 x 12-oz cases per year, as well as capacity of 110 million cases per year within the next five years

Grey Ghost Bakery, a made-from-scratch cookie baking company, announced plans to expand operations in Charleston, S.C. The $395,000 investment will create 25 new jobs.

General Mills plans a $28 million expansion to its Sharonville, Ohio, cereal facility, updating its building and equipment and creating 33 jobs.

Lamb Weston plans to spend $415 million to expand its French fry facility in American Falls, Idaho. The expansion adds 150 jobs and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2023. FE

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