Pet Food Co. is a multi-billion dollar pet food producer located in the US. One of their products is a kibble pet food for dogs, which involves extruding kibble meal into perfectly sized bits. At the beginning of each batch, plant operators must run some calibration tests to get the right product shape. This results in misshaped pieces that cannot be packaged for quality control reasons. Even after calibrating the machines, periodic misshaped pieces come out of the extrusion machine which must be caught by light sorters before they’re packaged. Because production managers do not want to waste any product, they return all misshaped pieces back with the kibble meal to go through the extrusion process again.
The old way of moving this misshaped product back to the extruder was challenging though.
Pet Food Co.’s Needs
Prior to Chain-Vey engineers stepping in, Pet Food Co.’s workflow was to collect the misshaped pieces into mobile totes. Workers then wheeled over the totes to a bucket elevator, which then fed into a screw auger conveyor for reentry into the kibble meal mixer. The entire process overall is labor inefficient and required cleaning of two separate conveyor systems and mobile totes. Plant operators wanted a turnkey conveyance solution that would be low-maintenance, easy to clean, and reliable.
Chain-Vey engineers designed a system comprising:
- (4) 3″ systems to replace the totes, freeing up labor and reducing production times
- (1) 3″ system to replace a bucket elevator and screw auger which previously fed surge bins atop of a kibble meal regrind process
Pet Food Co.’s five Chain-Vey systems have delivered on great expectations. In the words of one plant manager, “the Chain-Veys are running so well and we haven’t experienced any issues 6 months in.” Plant operators are saving on labor not having to worry about moving large totes around the system. Chain-Veys are also easy to keep clean and this saves the headache of having to disassembly of screw auger conveyors for cleaning.