Lavender is a popular plant that serves many purposes. It is a decorative bush that is widely used as a garden highlight. It also produces attractive flowers that are very fragrant. Lavender farms are located everywhere to grow the plant. The result is dried lavender fragrances and oil extracts. These are used as pleasant aromas and as flavor additives in various types of foods.
One problem lavender farms have is the stripping of dried flower buds from the stalks. The most fragrant part of the plant is the tiny flower buds. Farms pick the flower stalks and dry them in bundles. When dried, they are processed to remove the buds. From there, the buds can be used for various purposes. They carry the majority of the fragrance from the plant.
Lavender flower bud stripping is often done by hand. A skilled worker rubs a bundle between their hands in order to knock the buds from the stalks, collecting them into a bin. Sometimes, the bundles can be struck against a surface in order to clean the stalks. Regardless of the manual method used, the process is time consuming and dusty. Excessive motion of the bundles releases a multitude of particles, dirt or flower bits, that float in the air. Workers should always wear filter masks and work in a well ventilated area.
The Lavender Cleaning Equipment company now sells the LCE-2100, a machine that strips dried lavender bundles quickly, easily, and cleanly. Dried bundles consisting of about 150 stems are placed into the mouth of the machine. Brushes rub the flower buds from the stalks. The lavender is collected in a hopper which is protected by a coarse screen to minimize the collection of fiber. In just a few seconds, the stripping action is complete and the worker can begin to process another bundle.
Dust produced by the lavender stripping process is collected in an exhaust system and shunted away. The exhaust hose can be positioned outside to minimize the amount of particulates in the work area. Alternatively, a dust filter can be used. This helps to maintain a very clean workplace.
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LCE-2100 Lavender Cleaning Machine
Using the LCE-2100, an experienced worker can strip many more dried bundles than they ever could manually. Where previously a worker might hand strip about 30 per hour, the LCE-2100 can approach 10 times that number. This translates into an instant savings of labor. In fact, studies have shown that the lavender cleaning machine is capable of processing over 2000 bundles in a regular day, compared to about 250 for a manual operation.
This allows a lavender farm to process more dried bundles into processed buds. It also minimizes dust in the farm and improves the production process. The worker in spared as they now need much less hand exertion. The machine does the work with rotating brushes and the worker simply places the bundle into the machine. Any operator can be instructed in minutes, becoming very adept after processing for just a few minutes more.
With an LCE-2100, a lavender farm can consider stripping more produce into buds, and they can even decide to devote more planting area to the fragrant bushes. Where a small operation might take months to process dried stalks manually, it now can do the same work in a fraction of the time. If the production is scaled up, the farm will be able to take advantage of mechanization and increase the amount of stripped flower buds. In many cases, the farm can expand, growing 50-100% more plants without affecting their processing budget.
As many farms know, the labor involved in basic operations is a significant expense. In a family operation, the time must still be factored. Laborious processes, such as stripping dried flower buds, is both time consuming, and a very boring process. This type of repetative work is best to be mechanized. Until the advent of the LCE-2100, machinery was not commercially available. There were some older machines in existance, but the Australian company ceased production some years ago. There were also some large machines which were very customized units. These were beyond the reach of most growers, and were too large for most modern farms.
The LCE-2100 strikes the balance between affordability, production, and availability. Available for order now, the LCE-2100 can process over 2000 lavender bundles in a day. Skilled manual producers can manage perhaps 250-280 bundles. As well, the machine maintains a cleaner environment and repetitive stress troubles are minimized for workers. The action of stripping becomes an easy process that even a child can perform. The need for hand strength and dexterity is eliminated. The machine performs the hard work. Increased production, and better working conditions, are the benefits for the farm.
Lavender is a wonderful plant that has been popular for ages. The fragrance is one of the most beautiful aromas available. Many people enjoy it as perfume or oil extracts. The demand for products based on the flowers is constantly high. Farms everywhere grow many varieties of the bushes to meet demand. Stripping dried flower buds has always been a time consuming process, before the introduction of the LCE-2100. Now farms can process many thousands of bundles faster than ever before.
Contact the Lavender Cleaning Equipment company to order your LCE-2100. For those farms that require a smaller unit, the company is currently developing the LCE-1100. Inquiries are welcome for this smaller, less expensive model as well. While specifications have not be finalized, this machine will likely be able to process 1000 bundles per day. It will also include dust containment similar to the larger machine. Availability cannot be determined, nor guaranteed, but is expected to be ready for shipping late in 2014.
The Lavender Cleaning Equipment produces machinery that is made in North America. Built from high quality, sealed components, the machines are designed to operate in standard farms. They withstand the presence of dust in the work place, and take active steps to improve working conditions.