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President’s Message – November 2019

“Technology is important – you can't remain a laggard and hope to be great.”
~ Jim Collins

Before I address the great quote from Jim Collins above about technology, I want to first address PROCESS EXPO 19. Clearly the show did not produce the outcomes that we wished or desired. While our recent show was held during an extraordinarily heavy show year, we recognize that “our show” must continue to evolve and stay pertinent by providing new and innovative changes to attract new and more attendees. The Association’s leadership has already begun to evaluate and make the necessary changes that will include not only better show dates, but also implement additional adjustments that will be put in place for PROCESS EXPO 2021. Trust me when I say that our leadership is already laser-focused on making insightful and meaningful improvements regarding our 2021 show. You will be hearing more details about those developments, advancements, and definitive actions in the near future.

Second, I want to future address the topic of technology. The simple truth is that as time goes on technology continues to get better and better. What was once the latest and greatest the day before, is old hat today. The bottom line is that technology doesn’t wait for you and if your company isn’t keeping up with it, you will surely be left in the dust by one of your competitors.

Becoming irrelevant is considered a death sentence by any company’s standards. To stay relevant, especially when it comes to technology, means keeping up with what is trending, technology wise, especially in the food processing food and beverage industry. It’s important to know the extent of your customer’s technological expertise and stay on pace with them. Clearly, if your clients cannot find you and your equipment or services because of technological deficiencies, your business is destined to suffer.

This year at PROCESS EXPO, our show floor contained a variety of technological activities and services that were geared toward helping both your customers and our member companies become more technology knowledgeable. These included: 1) an augmented reality showcase, where thousands were able to climb “inside” and have a fuller understanding of the unique capabilities of equipment from a variety of different manufacturers; 2) our Innovations Showcase where attendees and suppliers alike were updated on the latest cutting-edge technology and equipment in the industry; 3) viewing our five live innovative processing lines; and, 4) hearing great educational sessions covering topics related to how to use data analytics and automation advances to ensure equipment efficiency, processing productivity, and food safety.

So post-show what is your Association doing to help you stay technologically savvy?

Trend Studies: FPSA’s Global Trends and Forecast reports continue to be a tremendous resource to our members as they not only help gauge market size, but also provide information on market restraints (e.g., processing capabilities of equipment for new ingredients) and market opportunities (e.g., improved equipment and technologies). In 2019, six reports were released: Bakery Processing Equipment Market; Beverage Processing Equipment Market; Blockchain in Agriculture Market and Food Supply Chain; Dairy Processing Equipment; Frozen Food Market; and Seafood Processing Equipment. And, in 2020 we will be releasing another six studies that will provide you with helpful technical information. With these new studies we will now have over 19 reports that you can access as a free membership benefit by contacting Ann Marie Penaranda at

Webinars and Podcasts: Not everyone can travel to PROCESS EXPO or the Annual Conference, therefore FPSA’s Networks, and in particular a specific “Technology Network” has been created and is providing substantive technical content via modern-day communication platforms: webinars and podcasts. The Technology Network’s webinars include discussions on: how data driven operations can lead to better designs and products; ways to assess your industrial network to protect food and beverage production from cyberthreats; and how to implement the industrial internet of things (IIoT) which requires bridging the gap from the production line to the boardroom. The Food Safety Network’s podcast series features food safety experts discussing trends they are seeing in hygienic design. Past webinars and podcasts are available by visiting the members only section of the FPSA website. Visit the members only section on to access past webinars. Podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Annual Conference: Each year FPSA’s Annual Conference brings together the food and beverage industry’s top equipment suppliers, distributors, and processors to connect and learn about the latest industry trends driving business growth. 2020 will be no different as our Councils are currently planning sessions to inform us of the needs and trends of the various sectors.  Registration for the event will open in early December but you can make your hotel reservations now at the Park Hyatt Aviara.

In closing and as always, please feel free to reach out to me at or at 703/663-1200 with any questions or how your Association can help you be of any assistance.


David Seckman