Dog food company sniffs out mixing, batching improvements
When a dog food company wanted to increase production and decrease manual error, faster mixers and electronic controls met both needs.
Old Mother Hubbard Dog Food, Lowell, Mass., manufactures 24 varieties of biscuits and 11 varieties of kibble. To make a batch of dog food, dry ingredients, such as flour, sequentially feed from as many as five bins to a weigh hopper, which a bucket elevator empties. The elevator lifts the dry ingredients to an empty mixer, which dry-mixes the ingredients before two heated liquids -- water and tallow -- are added in amounts gauged by flowmeters. After wet-mixing, workers empty the batch onto a mechanical conveyor that takes the batch to be formed. The batch is then baked, resulting in biscuits or kibble that vary in size, color, and shape, depending on the recipe used.