Boy was that a busy Christmas season. Of course we decided to renovate the manufacturing facility during our busiest time of year. When it rains it pours.
Since we’ve revved up our batch size, we have seen a real need to reconfigure our production space. We’ve made a dedicated place for extracting the soap from the soap molds, and we now have three large sinks in place solely for washing molds (having dedicated sinks makes it easier to avoid contamination). We’ve also added a much bigger counter for cutting the soap and stacking it in the drying trays. Because of the increased batch size, the pots of oils and milk have become unmanageable. To remedy this we’ve turned to the use of simple machines to make our production easier and safer. We’ve created a winching mechanism to lift the heavy pot for us, and we’ve also built a pot tipper to make it easier and safer to pour.
Although the new production space isn’t complete yet, I’ve used it several times to make soap and it is a very nice setup. Not having to spend so much energy on lifting pots and pouring and aiming (yes, we’ve developed a new mold system that is much easier to pour into) enables me to concentrate even more on heating my oils, mixing the ingredients evenly, and the chemical reaction that is going on inside my soap pot. Another nice feature of the large batch size is that the chemical reaction happens more quickly (this is because it retains heat better than a smaller batch heat expedites the chemical reaction). This just means I spend less time mixing the batch, which I think helps me pay more attention to what I’m doing.
I’m pretty excited about the new production space. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll have pictures available when everything is finished.