Written by Allen Dawson, Meat & Poultry Market Manager
In my Plant Manager days, when the marination mixer guy missed work, covering his position was a challenge because even with over 400 personnel in the plant, few could be spared. And, without an ergonomic powder induction system, the position required someone who could lift, carry and dump 50 lb. bags all day, so that made it even tougher. Ergonomics are important considering that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (July 2017 Monthly Labor Review) reported that when it comes to work-related injuries, overexertion and bodily reaction are the most common reasons for missing work.
It’s fairly common to have pallets of ingredients next to the mixer with a worker carrying heavy bags up a flight of stairs to dump a whole bag in the tank at once. This causes poor ingredient hydration, dust in the air and fisheyes. All of these are product and/or process failures.
A solution for addressing these issues is with an ergonomic powder induction system like the Admix Optifeed-EZ or PIC Powder Induction System. They are ergonomically designed for dumping powder in at waist level – no more climbing stairs and dumping powder into the tank from above! They are also designed to be connected directly to your mix tank so it truly simplifies your process.
Your powder ingredients are drawn down into the hopper and hydrated as soon as the powder hits the water stream (inlet pipe), then it all gets instantly piped into your mix tank. This increases product functionality and reduces your overall batch times due to the way the ingredient is metered into the batch and because you’ve reduced your physical labor. Also, eliminating that stair climb while carrying a 50 lb. bag all day means that back aches and risk of injury are lessened and you are no longer relegated to pulling from your strongest work force in the facility to backfill a mixer person who is out of work that day.
Another major advantage to using an ergonomic powder induction system is that dusting in the air is greatly reduced, especially when it comes to lighter ingredients. There are major issues with ingredient powder in the air. The main reason we want to reduce powder in the air is for combatting allergen and cross contamination issues. Lighter ingredients that are just dumped into the mixing tank will fill the room with powder in the air. This is also detrimental to the motors in the room and can be dangerous to breath daily.
We highly recommend switching from a stair-climbing / powder dumping situation to one that is safer for your workers, and more efficient for your marination mixing process. Our Optifeed-EZ or PIC Powder Induction System with its built-in table, are great solutions for ending ergonomic and hydration issues when loading ingredients in mixing tanks. Want to see if your process can be improved? Contact us to start the discussion!
Visit our Meat & Poultry page to learn more about mixers for the meat & poultry industry!