pet food shredded

Should Pet Food Processors Invest in a Meat Shredder?

Shredded meat is making its way into the pet food world.

Dog and cat owners increasingly want to see recognizable meat and vegetable pieces in their pet’s food as part of a larger trend towards more natural, less processed pet food.

The uniformly shaped cubes traditionally found in wet pet food is not easily recognizeable (is that cube supposed to be chickn or beef?) and is often perceived by pet owners as over processed and unnatural — something pet food processors are trying to move away from.

Shredded meat, on the other hand, is seen as more natural and less processed due to its irregular shape and size. Pet owners are able to recognize meat shreds as actual meat, and are more willing to feed it to their pets.

With this growing trend towards natural pet food and, more specifically, shredded meat in wet pet food, innovative processors are already looking ahead at ways to optimize the shredding process.

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manufacturing day resources

3 Fascinating Manufacturing Day Resources You Have to See

Friday is the national Manufacturing Day — a day set to address common misconceptions about manufacturing impacts by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is, and what it isn’t.

Created by Founding Partner Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International in 2012, MFG DAY is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

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illinois country living article

Fusion Tech Featured in Illinois Country Living Magazine

Fusion Tech Integrated, a custom design and fabrication shop located in Roseville, Illinois, was featured in the September 2018 issue of McDonough Power Cooperative’s Illinois Country Living magazine.

The article focused on Fusion Tech’s story — how we started with three employees in a two car garage and grew to become an international provider of custom designed food processing equipment. As Kelly Hamm, Energy Services Manager at McDonough Power Cooperative, said, “Fusion Tech has such a neat story and we thought it would be interesting to share it.”

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door seal

What is the Best Style of Door Seal for a Smokehouse?

The door seal is a vitally important part of any industrial smokehouse, dehydrator, or steam oven.

This one component is responsible for keeping the oven doors sealed tightly in the frame, preventing heat and steam from escaping the cabinet, and in some oven designs, keeps the doors closed.

Imagine the cost you would pay if the oven didn’t have a door seal: utility expenses would spike with the loss of heat from the oven, employees would be burned just being near the oven, and product wouldn’t cook consistently, resulting in product rejections.

The door seal is that important, but not all styles of door seals are created equal.

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spray nozzle

What is the Best Spray Nozzle for Cleaning a Smokehouse?

Choosing a spray nozzle for the clean-in-place (CIP) system in a smokehouse or dehydrator doesn’t seem all that important, especially when compared to choosing a heating source, damper control system, or the main fan.

While the spray nozzle may be just a small component part, it plays a big role in effectively cleaning an oven — and reducing the risk of product contamination that can occur in an oven that is not properly cleaned.

The right spray nozzle will give you maximum coverage to clean the inside of the oven. The wrong spray nozzle, however, will give you the illusion of being clean, while leaving a good portion of the oven untouched by cleaning solution — a huge no-no in the world of food processing.

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thermometer calibration log

What Data Do You Need to Record in a Thermometer Calibration Log?

Good record keeping is an essential part of any smokehouse or dehydrator thermometer calibration.

The ability to review temperature differences, comments from previous calibrations, who performed the calibration, and if the thermometer needs to be replaced is essential to any HACCP program — and will save you the headache of trying to track down the data later.

If you’re cooking product in a smokehouse, dehydrator, or steam cabinet, getting your team in the habit of calibrating thermometers on a regular basis and recording the results is a must!

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chain driven dampers

3 Reasons to Avoid Chain Driven Dampers in a Smokehouse

Chain driven dampers were the industry standard for decades when it came to “controlling” the breakpoint in an industrial smokehouse or dehydrator.

If you have an older oven, or one manufactured in Europe, chances are the dampers are driven and kept at a 90 degree angle from each other using chains and sprockets.

While this design was revolutionary in the industry when it was first introduced, new technology and updated designs have made chain driven dampers a thing of the past — and a very ineffective way of controlling the breakpoint in an oven.

In order to understand why chain driven dampers should be avoided in a smokehouse or dehydrator, it’s beneficial to know what the breakpoint is and how it’s controlled.

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prevent slips

3 Practical Solutions to Prevent Slips in Your Workplace

Slips in the food processing industry are a serious issue — one that leaves a large number of employees injured and costs the company thousands of dollars in claims and work time lost.

In Washington state alone, there are approximately 340 workers’ compensation claims each year for slip and trip injuries in the food processing industry. On average, each claim costs $4,600 while the average work-time lost for each of these injuries is 35 days.1

That’s a lot of lost work time and money spent on an easily preventable injury.

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musculoskeletal disorders

18 Easy Principles for Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders

According to the California Department of Labor Statistics and Research, the food processing industry has one of the highest lost-workday incidence (LWDI) rates. In 2000, it was almost double than the LWDI rate for all industries as a whole.1

Bruises, cuts, burns, fractures, and amputations are among the top causes of such a high lost-workday incidence rate — due in part to the equipment used in food processing plants.

While those injuries are severe and drive up the LWDI rate, there is a much more common set of injuries that account for the majority of the high LWDI rate: musculoskeletal disorders.

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food processing employee safety

3 Important Reasons to Focus on Employee Safety

June is National Safety Month — a month set aside to focus on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities, with the ultimate goal that No One Gets Hurt.

What better time to focus on improving safety in your food processing plant?

Employee safety is an important part of any food processing facility — one that should never be “set it and forget it.” Taking time to review employee safety training, procedures, and response time should happen on an annual basis to help reduce the risk of employee injuries.

Why focus on employee safety this month? Here are three great reasons.

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