CF system keeps an eye on quality control

first_imgCF Controls (Avonmouth, Bristol) has deve-loped a system for checking the colour and height of products including buns, biscuits, cakes, pizza bases and bread. The system measures and records heights to an accuracy of 1mm, while software analyses the colour of each product and categorises the results into one of five groups, from too dark to too light. Colour is recorded by high-resolution 24-bit colour cameras and height is measured by lasers linked to a computer. The lasers mea-sure average height, with highest and lowest points. These criteria are compared to the pre-set parameters of the computer. All product is scanned and non-conforming product is removed by a reject mechanism. The package is controlled by a PC using Microsoft Windows. This enables production information to be gathered and exported to Microsoft Excel or Access in real-time over an ethernet network.CF Controls says the system can be fitted after the prover or oven stage, and it is easy to set up for new products.last_img read more

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Mutually beneficial

first_imgThe success of Britain’s bakery sector is built around a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the major supermarkets.Last week, on these pages, it was reported that a recent survey of UK food suppliers had revealed that 83% of company directors expected to see more firms within their sector go out of business. Much of the blame for this, according to Grant Thornton, the company which carried out the survey, rests with the big supermarkets. Rubbish!Earlier this year, the Competition Commission, reporting on its exhaustive and continuing investigation into the grocery sector, stated that there was “little evidence of any ongoing decline in profits” for manufacturers and processors.In fact, on the three occasions over the past eight years that the Commission has investigated the grocery sector, it has failed to unearth any evidence to support claims that retailers are using their position to profit at the expense of their suppliers. The scale economies arising from increasing market shares have been passed on to consumers in lower prices and product innovation.It is somewhat surprising, then, that Grant Thornton, from a survey of just 50 suppliers, has been able to draw such simplistic conclusions about the state of the grocery market and the relationship between retailers and their suppliers. The reality is that the majority of suppliers enjoy mutually advantageous working relationships with supermarkets.Indeed, the Competition Commission’s own, much more extensive survey of suppliers suggests that supply relationships are generally positive, with 94% of respondents saying they believe they will still be in business in five years’ time and 80% saying they have been able to invest in their businesses in the past two years. That is not indicative of a supply chain breaking under pressure. In the bakery market, the share of retailers’ own-brand products in total sales has been halted and reversed by the big manufacturers, through product individuality and aggressive marketing.Supermarkets know that if they put their suppliers under pressure, it restricts investment and stifles innovation, which is why they aim to foster long-term constructive relationships.One of the things the bakery sector has been able to do well in recent years is innovate to meet the changing tastes of consumers. Bakers were among the swiftest to recognise and react to consumers’ growing interest in health and nutrition, developing new brands and premium and speciality product lines to meet the demand for something different. Super- markets have supported and encouraged this strategy.The supermarkets’ main aim is to serve their customers, which is best done by creating a viable, innovative and competitive supply chain. This is the only way to deliver the choice, quality and innovation that consumers demand.There will always be arguments between supermarkets and their suppliers over terms and conditions, as there are in all supply chains, but supermarkets recognise that treating suppliers badly is bad business, which is why both parties seek, and generally enjoy, mutually beneficial relationships. nlast_img read more

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The Other Half of the 5G Story

first_img5G is not just about building a new telecom network or standard – that’s only half the story. What about the story of how telecom is intersecting with other industries, industrial plants, transport infrastructure companies, oil fields and ships, all of whom are leveraging 5G and LTE technology, to transform their business models? Picture everything from oil rigs in the North Sea reporting their daily yield back to base, search and rescue missions at sea, companies connecting buildings for efficient energy usage, and industrial plants making medicines.Smart factoriesAs a case in point, ABB Power Grids – who provide solutions to meet the growing demand for electricity with minimum environmental impact – is now using the 5G-ready Ericsson Industry Connect solution (based on the Virtual Edge Platform 4600) in a shop floor production environment at its factory in Sweden. The advantages are clear: low latency, a robust and secure private network, efficient and improved production quality, plus increased flexibility in the maintenance and upgrade of production lines.Opening up new possibilitiesIt’s clear from this example that while 5G is a huge enabler in its own right, it’s also advancing the already strong trend towards IT and OT convergence, serving as the glue to connect diverse technologies on the factory floor with everything from edge computing, predictive maintenance and vision-based quality systems through to machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Over the last four years, Dell Technologies has been working to build the most comprehensive ecosystem of partners in order to solve business challenges for customers in different vertical industries across a range of use cases. All these solutions run on top of our Industrial IoT/data architecture, built for scale-up with predictable cost.As we couple all this with 5G technology, we start to access a whole new world of data possibilities and business insights. Imagine the power of combining autonomous vehicles for material transport on the factory floor or mine, cameras on the conveyor belt, a drone to inspect the quality of parts, IoT data from the sensors on the production line, plus structured telemetry data from control systems, all interlinked through a 5G mobile network.Uniting expertiseI believe that designing and delivering these next-generation communication networks demands a range of expertise from multiple partners working together. To address this need, Dell Technologies Design Solutions has structured its organization to work with both the leading communications infrastructure providers and the largest industrial companies, all under one “OEM G20” team umbrella. In this way, we’re bringing together expertise in telecoms, IoT, IT infrastructure and industrial automation.As we have the same teams working with both industries, we can support both sides in their 5G ambitions, helping to design the right communications infrastructure and ensuring its subsequent deployment into industry. This puts us in a wonderful position to support innovation in the first instance, and importantly ensure that is made quickly available to industry.Partnership will determine the futureI hope that our shared work will influence other industries and help accelerate 5G and LTE deployments around the globe. In turn, that should help drive broader innovation as the more we can automate and seamlessly interlink technologies, the more time we all have available to develop new products and services. While it’s impossible to predict all the possible solutions that might emerge, I believe that having an open and responsive ecosystem to help deploy that ingenuity is critical.How are you deploying 5G in your company? Do share your stories. Interested in learning more? Take the first step and contact us today. Learn more about Telecom Solutions from Dell Technologies Design Solutions.Learn more about IT/OT Convergence in the 5G arena by listening to a recorded editorial webinar, hosted by RCR Wireless News here.Follow us on Twitter @DellTechDesign and join our LinkedIn Dell Technologies Design Solutions Showcase page here.last_img read more

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Panel discusses depression

first_imgIn continuation of the College’s “Support a Belle, Love a Belle” Week, a group of Saint Mary’s students shared their personal experiences with depression and anxiety in a panel discussion Tuesday in the Student Center Lounge. Freshman Victoria Otteson opened the discussion by recounting her battle with depression and anxiety to event attendees. “I made poor choices in my life and I made depression and anxiety define me,” she said. Though people deal with the challenges of their lives in different ways, Otteson said her struggle with depression and anxiety negatively impacted her ability to cope with specific situations. “One person’s way may be different from mine. … Life sometimes throws you things that you think you cannot survive,” Otteson said. “You can choose to fight [depression] with all you’ve got, or you can let it win.”   Sophomore Molly Smith shared her personal experiences with the audience. “As a kid I was very normal,” she said. “Then I started bottling up my feelings and my mood began to decline. … I completely shut down.” Despite the challenges depression presented her, Smith said recovery is an achievable goal. “[Mental illness] can be a lifelong battle. … But no matter how impossible it seems, it’s completely possible to recover,” she said.  “It takes patience and time.” Contrary to widespread public perceptions of mental illness, freshman Rebecca Jenkins said mental illness can affect anyone. “People think that mental illness is something unstable people bring upon themselves, but it does not discriminate,” she said.   As a result, Jenkins said people who suffer from mental illness should muster the courage to seek help instead of struggling alone. “My fellow Belles, don’t be afraid to speak up. There is nothing wrong with looking to others for help. … We’re all here for you,” she said. “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to, and that’s okay.” Junior Allie Richthammer said support systems are crucial for those fighting mental illness.  “There are always people who can make you brave,” she said. “You do not have to go at it alone.” The panelists also encouraged audience members to support friends and family members who suffer from any type of mental illness by discussing their personal sources of love and support, including family, friends and teachers. Above all, the panelists stressed mental illness should never stop people from reaching their potential or attaining happiness. “Your life is worth way more than you know, and you deserve to live life to the fullest,” Jenkins said.last_img read more

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Holy Cross reports four confirmed COVID-19 cases since reopening

first_imgThis report was updated Aug. 23 at 9:42 p.m.Two Holy Cross students have tested positive for COVID-19, College President Fr. David Tyson said in an email to the Holy Cross community Thursday.The students who tested positive have been placed in isolation, and individuals who were in close contact with the students are now in quarantine.“Team members will make daily calls with the students in isolation as well as those in quarantine, ensuring all needs are met such as meals and prescriptions,” Tyson said in the email.Tyson urged students to continue to abide by safety precautions.“We ask that you continue the daily health check, along with being mindful about physical distancing, wearing masks and practicing good hygiene to keep our campus healthy and safe,” Tyson said. “We will continue to use strict cleaning protocols to keep all areas of the campus sanitized.”Two additional Holy Cross College community members tested positive for COVID-19 College President Fr. David Tyson said in a Sunday email to the Holy Cross community, raising the total number of confirmed cases at Holy Cross since reopening to four.“They have been placed in supported isolation at this time, and their limited close contacts have been put in supported quarantine,” Tyson said.Tags: COVID-19, David Tyson, Holy Crosslast_img read more

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Fall cleaning

first_imgGeorgians are closing in on the end of the backyard planting season, and soon all that will be left are a few barren planting boxes and a few packets of unsprouted seeds. While there may be a temptation to pack all of this stuff back into your garage or shed until next spring, it may be worth it to do a little “fall cleaning” first. Some things are worth saving, and others are not. Don’t keep old seeds aroundEven if you grew the best tomatoes or cucumbers of your life this year, it is not worth hanging on to the last five or 10 seeds left in the envelope or seeds collected from this year’s fruit. At best, they won’t survive the winter, and they could possibly transmit this year’s disease or fungus problems to next year’s garden, said UGA Cooperative Extension Agent Frank Watson. The only seeds you may want to save from year-to-year are seeds that you harvest from vegetable varieties that are not available commercially. If you’re trying to save seeds from an heirloom variety, make sure to harvest seeds from your disease-free and best-performing plants, Watson said. “One of the easiest ways for homeowners to safely store vegetable seed is to air dry them for several weeks, seal them in moisture proof containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer,” Watson said. “Seeds stored in the freezer should be allowed to thaw before being handled.” Keeping the seeds in a cold dry environment keeps them alive, but just barely — preventing them from starting the germination process and prolonging their viability, he said. Most commercial seeds won’t last from one growing season to the next because they’re never completely dormant like seeds kept in a freezer. “If you buy a pack of seeds in April and put them straight into the freezer, you might be able to use them next year,” said Paul Thomas, a UGA Extension horticulture professor. “But if you wait until August to put them in the freezer, they’re not going to last. This is because the seeds use up their food reserves when kept warm.” No need for new soil One thing that will last — frozen, thawed or otherwise — is potting soil, Thomas said. While some horticulturalists warn against using the same soil from season to season, Thomas believes the average gardener won’t see much difference if they use one- or two-year old soil. “Most of the things that you’re growing in these pots evolved to live outdoors,” Thomas said. “There’s no difference between what’s in (your patio planters) and what would be out there in garden soil, so I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference … We don’t replace our potting soil every year and we don’t have diseased plants.” There are, however, a few things you need to take care of before packing away your pots or planting boxes. First, check your soil’s structure. If it’s more than a few years old, it has probably broken down a good bit and become compacted. “Every three or four years, you may need to replace the soil because the structure of the soil will start to break down,” Thomas said. “And you’ll know. Once the soil level in the pots seems to get low — if it looks like the soil has shrunk — it’s time to replace it.” Even if the soil is just one planting season old, you may want to refresh each pot or box by mixing in some new compost or several handfuls of fall leaf mulch. Thomas chops fallen leaves up with his lawn mower and adds a coffee can full of the shredded leaves into each pot. They decay over the winter, adding extra nutrients and body to the soil. This is also a good way to get rid of leaves, and Thomas’ plants love it. Second, take note of any pots or areas of your planters where you had a lot of problems. Remember not to plant the same type of plant in that container next year. The soil could retain a disease or fungus that is especially harmful to that specific type of plant, he said. Thomas’ third suggestion is to watch where you store your pots. They need to be covered or stored in a relatively dry area. Water-logged soil can grow fungi and bacteria that can harm your plants it in the spring, and wet soil can also freeze, expand and crack or warp planters.last_img read more

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Vermont captive insurance company formations best since 2005

first_imgVermont licensed 7 new captives in the first quarter of 2011 which is the strongest start since 2005, according to the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA). The 7 new captives consisted of 4 single-parent, 2 risk retention groups and a special purpose captive.‘We’re seeing wide diversity in the types of applications,’ said David Provost, Deputy Commissioner of Vermont’s Captive Insurance Division. ‘Captives formed for professional medical liability and smaller to mid-sized companies are trending strongly.’ The first quarter pace surpasses Vermont’s 30-year first quarter average of 5.2 captives.‘It is encouraging to see this strong start to 2011,’ said Governor Peter Shumlin. ‘We will continue to work with the legislature to be responsive to industry needs. Vermont is committed to maintaining its ‘Gold Standard’ reputation.’Vermont has current captive insurance legislation, H.438, which has passed the House of Representatives and has moved on to the Senate. The proposed legislation will allow for the formation of incorporated protected cell companies and expand its cell legislation, providing more options for companies interested in that structure.‘Vermont continues to see an increasing number of smaller and mid-sized companies exploring the captive insurance option,’ said Dan Towle, Director of Financial Services. ‘This trend exemplifies how Vermont provides a good fit for companies of all sizes.’ Half of Vermont’s captives write less than $5 million in gross written premium annually.Vermont is the largest captive insurance domicile in the U.S. and the third largest in the world, with an excess of $25 billion in gross written premium in 2010. Vermont is also home to 42 of the companies that make up the Fortune 100, and 18 of the companies that make up the Dow 30 have Vermont captives.Captive insurance is a regulated form of self insurance that has existed since the 1960’s, and has been a part of the Vermont insurance industry since 1981, when Vermont passed the Special Insurer Act. Captive insurance companies are formed by companies or groups of companies as a form of alternative insurance to better manage their own risk.Captives are typically used for corporate lines of insurance such as property, general liability, products liability, or professional liability. Growth sectors of the captive insurance industry include securitization, professional medical malpractice coverage for doctors and hospitals, and the continued trend of small and mid-sized companies forming captive insurance companies.Montpelier, VT, April 21, 2011  www.VermontCaptive.com(link is external)last_img read more

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Cybersecurity is top concern of entire financial services industry

first_img continue reading » Credit unions and the financial services industry at large are dedicated to protecting customer information along with working to ensure that systems used to provide financial services to Americans are robust, secure and resilient, CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Committee this week.“CUNA members continue to highlight cybersecurity as a top concern as protecting systems from outside threats becomes ever more complicated. Credit unions of all sizes invest significant resources to protect critical systems from attack,” the letter reads. “The NCUA and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) have been good partners in assessing cyber risks and providing resources for credit unions.”The letter adds that these efforts, along with several industry-led initiatives to share information and bolster resilience for all types of financial organizations, demonstrate that the financial services industry along with financial regulators expend great efforts to ensure that the system remains robust. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Glenn Fogel, Executive Director of Booking Holdings: We are continuously working on the development of all payment systems, and we recognize the potential in cryptocurrencies

first_imgFogel believes that in the future, all payments will be made mainly via mobile phones, and cash payments will become a rarity. “You can already make payments by phone using your fingerprints or scan your mobile phone at the reception, but the process is still quite fragmented.” Strategic cooperation within the entire ecosystem is the most important factor in leaving a positive and lasting impression on the global travel industry, Fogel believes. “We envision a future in which travel operators, independent researchers, NGOs, institutes, social enterprises and governments work hand in hand to continuously advance the global travel experience.” Also, Fogel does not believe that private companies should take on their roles in trying to tackle mass tourism. “Our job is not to tell passengers where they have to go, but our job is to provide passengers with as many different choices as possible”, Said Fogel. With the development of super applications, ie a range of various applications that are implemented in one (such as WeChat), Booking is also interested in a similar strategy. “We want to provide a complete platform for the end-to-end experience. Our mission is to help people experience the world. The whole world is at your fingertips, but it’s still too complicated to experience. Technology could make this possible so complete infrastructure is needed in one place. Payments are a great example of this. We work to build a payment infrastructure for all types of payments – credit cards, WeChat Pay, Alipay and the like – in our technology so that anyone and anywhere can pay for a hotel or any experience, without worrying about whether the supplier accepts the preferred form of payment payment.” Also, Fogel recognizes the potential for a new form of global currency that is protected and secure. “When Bitcoin became famous, many questioned its legitimacy. But I believe that blockchain currencies will continue to emerge and there is a possibility that some of them will become more widely accepted around the world.” Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdingscenter_img Booking Holdings has entered into cooperation with Libra cryptocurrency and is currently working on new payment systems. Fogel believes that security and privacy are the most important items in the development of payment systems. “Everything must work without any difficulty. The most advanced payment technologies and solutions can be developed, but if the public is not convinced of the security of their data, everything loses its meaning.” Fogel also touched on mass tourism, especially on the example of Amsterdam where Booking.com is headquartered. Asked whether he believes that Booking, as a responsible online travel agency, should limit the number of tourists in overcrowded tourist destinations, Fogel believes that it is not up to private companies to regulate tourism in destinations. “There is no doubt that there are concerns about mass tourism and we do not take it lightly, but city officials and governments have a responsibility to determine the right steps, rules and legislation in favor of their cities. In these cases, we will abide by any law that is set. We have a great relationship with Amsterdam and are active in many discussions about solving the problems the city is facing. Also, it is not our job to tell passengers where they have to go. Our job is to provide passengers with as many choices as possible where they want to go.” Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel is a big proponent of the development and use of various payment systems for travelers, especially in countries outside the United States where credit cards are not the primary method of payment, Skift reports. Source / photo: Shiftlast_img read more

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UFC to beat virus lockdown with event on tribal land

first_imgThe Ultimate Fighting Championship is aiming to circumvent coronavirus lockdown restrictions by staging an event on an Indian reservation in California later this month, US media reported on Wednesday.The New York Times reported that UFC chief Dana White planned to hold UFC 249 at the Tachi Palace Resort Casino in central California on April 18, sidestepping state guidelines that have brought sports to a standstill.The casino — which has been closed since March 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic — is on land belonging to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe. Indian reservations typically operate independently of the states in which they are located, outside of local government or US federal government control.By staging the event on tribal land, organizers also evade the requirement to obtain sanctioning from the California State Athletic Commission. White has repeatedly voiced determination to continue holding UFC cards, insisting that the circuit can continue safely with events held without spectators.On Monday, White told ESPN that he had secured a venue for UFC 249 and further events but did not state where. White also said he had secured the use of an “island” to stage figts. Topics :center_img “This place where this fight is going to be on April 18 I have locked up for two months, so I’m going to continue to pump fights out,” White said.”I’ve got an island. The infrastructure is being built right now. We’re going to do all of our international fights on this island. We’re going to start cranking. The UFC will be back up and running, internationally and here in the states.”The Ultimate Fighting Championship has already postponed three events after officials were unable to find venues to stage fights amid restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.last_img read more

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