A Dynamic Duo
Since joining the board in September of 2019, NWMMB has benefited from Steve Peterson’s expertise as a retired medical engineer with a background in product development planning and business strategy. He and our processing team coordinator, Paige Mattos, put their heads together to identify opportunities for improvement in our processing lab. Together, this dynamic duo is improving workflows within our milk processing space.
Steve and Paige first set out to create lightweight, stainless steel pasteurization baskets and lids. These custom-designed baskets contain a consistent number of bottles and fit snugly in our pasteurizers but allow water to flow freely throughout the machine. Our staff can easily fill the baskets, insert and remove them from the shaking water baths and move them to the chillers with very little interruption in time or risk of undue strain.
“Steve’s pasteurization basket design has helped tremendously. Prior to the manufacturing of these baskets, we were handling up to 100 bottles individually in and out of the water baths. Steve’s baskets have eliminated this tedious process entirely!” -Paige
Next, Steve and Paige set their sights on the pasteurizers themselves. Running six pasteurizers simultaneously requires a watchful eye, and maintaining water temperature is critical. Installation of a wireless LAN logger system and large monitor display has been a game changer for our milk processing staff. They can easily visualize water and milk temperature changes and respond accordingly. Steve also improved the system for emptying and draining our pasteurizers.
“Collaborating with Steve has been such a bright spot on what otherwise was a rather challenging year for everyone. I admire his commitment to learning about the different aspects of milk banking and his willingness to expand his perspective on why human milk is so important.” -Paige
Our hard-working milk processing staff pasteurizes approximately 13,000 ounces per week. They are grateful for a champion like Steve who is interested in improving workflow efficiencies and eliminating safety hazards, all while sharing their goal of bringing more human donor milk to Northwest babies.