A food processing company needed to redesign a piece of equipment to reduce the negative ergonomic effects on its users while also improving the unit itself to meet the higher sanitary design standards implemented since the old design was created. This new design needed adjustment built in for proper ergonomic body position while in use.
These adjustments needed to be done without the use of tools and cover a large range of body structure. Paralleling the adjustability, daily dismantling needed to be accomplished without the use of tools for sanitation.
We met with safety, sanitation and end users of the unit and worked together for a concept design to address all of the challenges. With the use of the SolidWorks design platform and its three-dimensional viewing capabilities, the concepts were easily reviewed by the entire group.
One of the main challenges with this project was replacing the tool used on this unit with a completely stainless tool, something that did not exist at the time. We devised the tool requirements and went to work designing the tool to fulfill these requirements.
The next step was to fabricate a test unit and verify that all challenges were met. Through the processes of testing, shortcomings were identified and adjustments were made to eliminate them. After this process, each of the end users had a chance to test the unit and give feedback for the final design. With the addition of the innovative ergonomic design, physical stress and damage was dramatically reduced. To date, all of the plants have installed these units and are very satisfied with their performance.
• Eliminated ergonomic stresses created by the old unit
• Reduced sanitary issues with the new design
• Designed to replace the old unit with minimal changes to existing equipment, which reduced cost
• Addressed end-user concerns with solutions through the process creating a smooth transition when installing the new units