JACKSONVILLE, Fla., U.S. — Royal Cup Coffee & Tea (Royal Cup) has won the 2019 “Manufacturing Innovation of the Year” award from ProFood World for its coffee processing facility in Birmingham, Alabama.
The distinction recognizes the privately held, proven leader in sourcing, roasting, blending and providing high-quality coffees and fine teas for its state-of-the-art plant expansion, which was designed and built by Stellar, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services worldwide.
“We are pleased that Royal Cup’s forward-thinking plant has received such prestigious recognition,” said Todd Allsup, vice of president of sales for Stellar’s Food Group. “We always knew this unique project was working at the cutting edge of what’s possible in food manufacturing and it is gratifying to see that honored.”
Royal Cup’s plant incorporates the latest food handling and manufacturing technologies. Stellar’s process involved a thorough review of Royal Cup’s current and future business plans to ensure the company keeps pace with customer demand for many years. Since the plant officially opened, Royal Cup has increased profitability and secured numerous new deals it previously would not have been able to fulfill previously because of difficulty meeting volume demands with its old facility.
“These upgrades have truly been invaluable. We now understand our business better than ever before,” said Royal Cup CEO Bill Smith.
Among the plant’s innovative features:
- A 33,000-square-foot, high-tech green bean receiving facility that automates the process of moving beans from the receiving dock into storage, including automatically scanning incoming product for precise inventory control
- Telescopic conveyors that extend directly into semi-trailers to unload them, eliminating the need for manual unloading with a forklift — saving time and eliminating the risk of forklift accidents
- State-of-the-art software that collects real-time data from the plant’s machines and storage silos and adjusts to improve the efficiency of product flow
- Data-driven design to improve material and personnel traffic flow
- Food safety and infrastructure improvements, including enhanced airflow, upgraded dust management, new building insulation and efficient roasters
“To pull off a project of this scale, you don’t just need any old design and construction firm, you need a partner. That’s exactly what Stellar was for us,” said Kevin Boughner, senior vice president of operations at Royal Cup.
“They didn’t just build a facility and throw us the keys on their way out the door. The Stellar team took time to learn our business and spent countless hours in our wheelhouse to understand our needs. That’s the hallmark of a true partner, and I’m incredibly grateful for the outstanding work they did.”
Learn more about Stellar’s central role in upgrading Royal Cup’s processing facility in this case study.