Charlottetown Metal Products Ltd (CMP) and FPS Food Process Solutions (FPS) announced the launch of an Innovation Center located at CMP’s manufacturing complex on Prince Edward Island, Canada. This significant investment in both people and place will focus on the development of new innovative hygienic food processing solutions. With this commitment, the FPS and CMP team will continue to strengthen their partnerships with universities and colleges, various government agencies, strategic suppliers, and the food processing customers they serve globally.

Renovations of the 10,000-square-foot Innovation Center will be completed over the next year. There are currently seven innovation projects in the pipeline. The first project to be completed was the development of a state-of-the-art End-to-End Solution for packaged food products. Several key technologies were incorporated into a forty-foot conveyor loop to handle the transfer, alignment, merge, and diverge of packaged food products to and from chillers, freezers, and other processing equipment. Projects now underway focus on full process line solutions that bring operational efficiencies in the areas of energy utilization, process automation, and increasing production yields.

“This investment will enable rapid acceleration of new product development and reduce time to market of several technologies we have currently in concept phase,” said Kees Jansen van Rosendaal, director, New Product Development.

The Innovation Center will be staffed with dedicated process engineers, design engineers, controls specialists and technicians with broad experience across the food processing industry. Growth plans are already underway to add 10 additional team members that will complement the 165 employees currently on staff at CMP. Financial support has come from Innovation PEI to help make this innovation center a reality. In addition, CMP is receiving advisory services and research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support innovations in food processing and full line optimization.

"I am delighted we have this opportunity to re-invest company profits into innovation. We are working hard to build a better future with advanced food processing machinery and process line solutions,” stated Trevor Spinney, president, Charlottetown Metal Products Ltd.

Jeffrey Chang, President, FPS Food Process Solutions Corp, added, "FPS has had a longstanding commitment to innovation which has fueled our rapid growth since company inception. Through our combined efforts, our continued focus on innovation has resonated well with new and existing customers."