Can you innovate the way we shape kibble, treats, and snacks for pets?
engineering design manufacturing machine design product ideation
top 50%
13 months ago
Small pic dog food for extruder challenge

Our company uses extruders (click on the link) to produce dry dog kibble, treats, and snacks. After a smooth slurry of proteins, water, and other ingredients is pumped through the machine, pressure and heat make it more solid until it reaches the outlet, where it is solid enough to hold its shape but flexible enough to be cut, bended or pressed into.  It becomes completely solid very shortly. There are currently a limited number of shapes we can create and we do not have any surface decorating post-extrusion.

We want creative ideas for how the extruded kibble, treats, and snacks can be made more interesting. Here are some thoughts starters:

  • • Weaving or twisting as the product comes out of the extruder (there could be more than one extruder opening at the end)
  • • Different ways of cutting the product
  • • Coating, coloring, printing and other non-contact decorating of the solidified product
  • . . . and more is open!

Tell us how you'd creatively make our extruded products more interesting. Please be comprehensive and make sure you answer all parts of the challenge. Specifically, answer the following:

I. Shape

  1. How could the shape of the product be manipulated to make it more interesting? Consider the shape of the product as it is extruded (circle, star, triangle, ...any other shapes?) and how your idea would manipulate it after it is extruded (weaving, twisting, etc.).
  2. What would this product be? Your options range from small kibble pieces to 6-inch chews.

II. Cutting Technique

  1. How could the cutting technique be manipulated to produce an interesting product? Currently, we can only make a straight cut and can only control the distance the blade moves. Think about the potential for a curved cut or something else! 
  2. What would this product be? Your options range from small kibble pieces to 6-inch chews. 

III. Decoration

  1. After the product comes out of the extruder, how can we provide coloring, decoration, or other aesthetic changes to the product? We can currently create colors like orange, green, or brown by changing ingredients prior to making the product. Potential ideas could include depositing something on the product, indenting something into the product, printing onto the product, or more!
  2. What would this product be? Your options range from small kibble pieces to 6-inch chews. 

AVOID: While laser cutting is an interesting field, the topic has been explored by solvers already.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
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