INDUSTRY CASE STUDY | Food and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
MISSION TYPE: Product Enhancement
The way we manufacture and prepare food, pharmaceuticals and other products that require ultra-clean environments is becoming increasingly challenging. However, innovative thinking and advancements in computing power have presented us with new possibilities in how we solve these types of challenges and consequently, how we develop exciting new products.
When we were asked to develop a hand tool to reduce food contamination issues by some of the largest food service and preparation companies in the world, we were excited for the opportunity to help. Our development of a simple solution provided our end users with a ground breaking tool that was safe, easy to use and most importantly, decreased the potential for cross-contamination, as our mission required. This tool is called the Viper® Bag & Pouch Opener.
Since launching the Viper® there has been a substantial increase in the need for more stringent control over how raw materials are packaged, to minimize contamination of highly sensitive products, in industries ranging from food to pharmaceuticals. This need has resulted in the development and use of more rugged bags, packaging and product containers. As a result, we were asked by a number of large food service and manufacturing organizations to develop a hand tool that could cut through these heavier and tenacious materials safely, while minimizing cross contamination hazards.
Design and develop a tool that can safely cut through multiple layers and varying types of polymer, foil and paper materials and be robust enough to cut shrink wrap and strapping used to package raw materials. In addition to minimizing laceration injuries, the tool should also minimize cross contamination hazards.
After thoroughly researching and understanding the industry challenges, we utilized our Power Of Many Minds® (POMM®) development process and ultimately determined that our existing Viper® had most of the mission solution covered. The only feature missing was the multi-purpose function to address the cutting of heavier duty packaging materials.
After rigorous prototyping, testing and fine-tuning, the solution was a product that met our mission and industry goals. This product was named the Viper PRO.
The Viper PRO tool has three cutting surfaces: the central cutting edge in the front for bag opening and material slicing, and two piercing arms with additional blade channels on either side of the body to open knotted bags, strapping, boxes, and other multi-layer materials.
Additional features include NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certification, FDA compliant high-strength materials and specially formulated stainless steel blades to minimize corrosion, chipping and breaking.
The Viper PRO tool eliminates the need for scissors, utility knives and other unsafe tools in the workplace. Considering the staggering costs associated with batch contamination issues and laceration injury losses, it only takes the prevention of one incident to justify incorporating the Viper PRO into most manufacturing operations.