48 3 Our tools When your production involves a lot of machines like ours in Diepholz it will naturally evolve over time There are various reasons for this Sometimes a given technology becomes obsolete other times new specifications must be met And then there are times when you simply have a brilliant idea for doing things better The greatest technical achievement of our pioneering years was a kind of semi automatic filling machine that we nicknamed the one armed bandit because it had a big lever that you pulled to fill individual bags Today the bandit wouldn t thrill anyone At the time it was a huge improvement over the previous method when we only had little scoops to fill the bags with tea Today s cutting edge technology can look rather dated tomorrow For many years we kept buying the same type of teabag machine It may have been a little slow but it was very reliable In 2014 we acquired the sports car of teabag machines a veritable high performance beast In 2017 we added a somewhat smaller model These investments marked a new teabag era More machines naturally generate more dust especially when they are used for filling dried herbs teas and fruit So the suction equipment in the production hall where teabags are filled had to be upgraded too In the resulting virtually dust free environment the remaining traces from production that still clung to the conveyor belts and powdered the box es of teabags became glaringly noticeable But we found a solution Little brushes positioned just before the film packaging machines under the con veyor belts continuously brush them off to ensure that the boxes are dust free before being wrapped in the wood fibre cellophane that protects the final product But product cleanliness is not the only issue of course the Of little brushes and big machines machines themselves must be regularly cleaned as well Some parts have to be dismantled and it used to be a chore to clean them by hand In 2018 we put an end to the toil of scrubbing We acquired an industrial washing machine to per form this tiresome task It s like a dishwasher for machine components And what s really clever The waste heat from the hot water used in one wash cycle immediately heats new water for the next cycle One of our smaller acquisitions is the camera we decided to install the same year at the station where glass jars are filled It helps our employ ees inspect the rims of glass jars used for spice mills to see if they are chipped and it immedi ately reports any damage This way damaged jars are efficiently and accurately detected and our employees can remove them from produc tion directly Another humble acquisition though much larger than the camera is a raised platform that helps us take samples from what we call big bags These are huge sacks that can hold more than 500 kilos and like all products in our warehouse we need to take samples from them The trouble is it can be hard to reach the opening The new platform is about two metres high and makes sampling easy Big bags are raised by forklift to the level of the employee on the platform who can then effortlessly take samples Innovations needn t be high tech even in the 21st century The main thing is that they make our work easier or our products even safer

Vorschau Sustainability Report 2019 Seite 50
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