A&J Mixing Case Studies - Better Blends With A&J Paddle Mixers
Food-Seasoning Manufacturing Company
After landing a major account with a large food service company to produce a complex seasoning blend for its nationwide restaurant chain, this manufacturer began to look for equipment to ensure that it could keep up with the customer’s needs.
The manufacturer’s production method for the seasoning blend included labor-intensive batch weighing and manual transfer of 28 ingredients in a multistep process that included premixing the first 27 ingredients and adding the final ingredient, a very light fiber, just prior to packaging. The many ingredients varied significantly in bulk density, from 7 lb/ft3 to 40 lb/ft3, making them a challenge to blend in the manufacturer’s ribbon blender. With the manufacturer’s new, larger contract, it could no longer afford the lengthy time it took to blend the ingredients using the ribbon blender, so Jim Bejna, Saratoga Food’s director of operations, began searching for a better solution.
A&J Mixing's Solution
While the system was being designed, we sent a pilot mixer to the supplier coordinating the system integration. Test batches were made so that the system could be validated before scaleup. “We actually flew to the plant and made product so we knew we were on the right path,” says Bejna. Within 60 days, the pilot plant was tested and validated. By May 2009, the equipment installation was complete and equipment operators were trained to use the new system over a 4-week span. At the heart of this system is a two-step mixing process using two PHLAUER Paddle Mixers.
Results using these two mixers have been above expectation. “We’ve actually created a gold standard blending method for this product,” says Bejna. “We’ve been able to secure a long- term contract with our customer because we have a system that can produce this product quickly and at a very high quality.”
Over the past 3 years, Saratoga has been able to con- tinue to increase its share in the market due to the superior quality, manufacturing speed, and increased available capacity afforded by this processing line.
“The biggest thing we’ve learned from this process really was that A&J claimed to have a blending technology that was superior to ribbon blenders, and it really proved to be true. Both in speed and in blend integrity, the paddle mixers were better for this blend.”