The Blendex V.P. of Operations sent a confirmation email this week to alert Blendex staff that our new metal detector will be delivered soon. It kicked off some nostalgia when I realized the old metal detector it will replace has seniority on me at Blendex Company!
I started at Blendex in 1993, but the current metal detector started in 1986! It may be old, but was refurbished more than once, so it is still satisfying FDA, BRC, GFSI and our many national and international customers who audit us regularly. 50 pound Kraft bagged custom blends and poly bag in a box food mixes pass through it now, and it handles the flow just fine.
The update of the metal detector caused a bit more nostalgia for me as I thought of the changes I've seen since I came to Blendex in the 1990s. Back then, we were audited by AIB as a general GMP type audit annually and we scored highly each year. But the rise of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) hit and like many food processors, Blendex adapted to the new requirements. Blendex implemented the British Retail Consortium (BRC) scheme and has scored the highest rating possible for the past couple years.
Our dry food blending production room has morphed every time a customer asked us to produce a custom blend over the years. Our maintenance crew jokes that we should put all the equipment on rollers! A price to pay when you put customers first.
I could go on with the improvements in food safety, environmental monitoring, allergen control, FSMA, new Form Fill and Seal food packaging lines, etc...but the real lesson is this - change never stops. Either improve, or you get pushed aside.
It is very comforting to know Blendex has changed to keep up and we are handing food safety, quality and customer service to the next generation - of both equipment and employees!