Latest Manufacturing Process contents

Raising the Bar in Pet Nutrition: ANDRITZ's Twin-Screw Extruders for High-Meat Formulations
Extrusion
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4+ MIN

Raising the Bar in Pet Nutrition: ANDRITZ's Twin-Screw Extruders for High-Meat Formulations

The Rise of High-Meat Pet Food Pet owners today are becoming more mindful of what goes into their pets' bowls, and the high-meat pet food trend is a result of this growing awareness. High-meat pet food refers to formulations that contain over 30% fresh meat content. This demand stems from a desire for better digestibility and premium nutrition for pets. However, this shift presents its own set of hurdles, particularly in achieving the right cooking temperatures due to the moisture and fat content in raw animal ingredients.   Challenges in High-Meat Pet Food Production Creating high-meat pet food formulations comes with unique challenges. The variability in raw animal ingredients complicates the manufacturing process, demanding careful handling to maintain consistency. As Niels Bengt, Sales Director KA, LATAM at ANDRITZ, explains, "Dealing with the diversity of raw animal ingredients requires innovative solutions to ensure uniform processing, which is vital for preserving the nutritional quality of the final product." As a result, the production of high-meat pet food often requires the employment of twin-screw extruders, known for their superior capabilities compared to single-screw counterparts. These extruders offer advanced kneading and mixing capabilities, pivotal for upholding the desired texture in high-meat formulations. Yet, the pursuit of elevated throughput rates while adhering to compact machine dimensions adds an additional layer of complexity to the manufacturing process.   Striking the Balance Between Efficiency and Nutritional Integrity In the face of these challenges, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders, ExTS 616 & 718, emerge as a transformative solution for high-meat pet food production. Specifically designed to excel in extruding pet food enriched with elevated meat inclusion ratios, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders ensure optimal starch utilization, affording unparalleled formulation flexibility and optimized feed conversion ratios. The synchronized, high-shear twin screws guarantee the complete material discharge, minimizing waste and expediting recipe transitions. "Our twin-screw extruders are crafted to tackle the intricacies of high-meat pet food production. We are resolute in our commitment to efficiency while upholding nutritional integrity. ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders stand as the definitive solution that not only meets but surpasses the challenges of high-meat pet food production," says Niels Bengt, Sales Director KA, LATAM at ANDRITZ. "Our approach is centered on achieving a harmonious synergy between the seamless functioning of our machines and the preservation of the vital nutrients within high-meat formulations. With precise control over cooking temperatures and meticulous handling of diverse ingredients, our twin-screw extruders stand as a testament to our dedication to delivering pet food that not only excels in quality but also upholds the nutritional essence of each ingredient," Niels Bengt adds. This distinctive approach has been expertly crafted to tackle head-on the intricate challenges that arise from incorporating raw animal ingredients into recipes. By providing pet food producers with meticulous control over cooking temperatures, ANDRITZ's solutions effectively address the nuances associated with different ingredients, ensuring that each element is handled appropriately. This attention to detail serves as the linchpin for safeguarding the nutritional richness present in high-meat pet food formulations, ultimately resulting in a final product that not only offers exceptional palatability but also remains an optimal source of nourishment for our loyal animal companions.   From Conscious Consumers to Circular Economy Moreover, as societies worldwide increasingly embrace environmental consciousness, consumer interest in the food supply chain has surged due to growing sustainability concerns. Transparency in sourcing and production is no longer sufficient; consumers now demand an understanding of how food production impacts the planet. This scrutiny extends even to pet foods and treats. As the world transitions toward a circular economy, driven by the urgency to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce landfill waste, it's essential to recognize the role of rendering as a form of recycling. Rendered ingredients include proteins sourced from animal muscles, organs, and bones not suitable for human consumption but perfectly safe for animals. This holds particular significance as approximately 50% of an animal is unsuitable for human consumption, and without rendering for alternative uses, this portion would go to waste. Therefore, integrating fresh meat into pet food aligns with the principles of the circular economy, promoting resource efficiency. ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders play a significant role in advancing this circular economy in the pet food industry. By efficiently processing raw animal ingredients and minimizing waste, ANDRITZ machines contribute to a more sustainable pet food production process, while maintaining the nutritional quality that pets deserve.   The Way Forward: Nourishing Pets and the Planet Simultaneously As the pet nutrition industry evolves, the high-meat pet food trend poses challenges that require innovative solutions. ANDRITZ rises to the occasion, ensuring efficient processing of fresh meat ingredients while upholding their nutritional value. Beyond efficiency, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders exemplify a commitment to sustainability, ushering in a more environmentally conscious era for pet food manufacturing. Niels Bengt, concludes, "Our solutions not only address the demands of the pet food industry but also contribute to a more sustainable future. By providing highly efficient machinery that produces high-quality, high-meat pet food, we're meeting the needs of pets, their caring owners, and our planet." In the future, ANDRITZ aims to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation to further enhance pet food production. "Our innovations are not just products; they are promises of a brighter, more exciting future for our customers."   Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Countdown to Pet Food Conveyor Launch:  Starting Up On Time and With Confidence
Conveying Systems
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6+ MIN

Countdown to Pet Food Conveyor Launch: Starting Up On Time and With Confidence

To move delicate pet food products or powders, most processors do extensive homework before purchasing a tubular drag cable conveyor to ensure that it meets their needs in terms of function and price. After the purchase, the conveyor must be expertly assembled and tested to ensure smooth production startup and continued performance. The challenge is that the typical third-party contractors installing various plant systems might need to become more familiar with specialized pet food conveyors and, thus, are more prone to make costly errors. A more prudent choice is using the OEM's team of experienced technicians. The OEM's experts have the advantage of designing the specialized conveyor and understanding its installation, operational requirements, and potential problem areas. 'If a tubular drag cable conveyor is installed incorrectly by a third party, it often needs to be completely pulled apart and rebuilt, which is costly and time-consuming. If the conveyor is run incorrectly, damage will occur, and components must be replaced. All this only delays startup,' says Terry Derby, Director of Parts and Field Service for Automated Handling Solutions (AHS). AHS is the service-focused subsidiary of Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has been designing, engineering, and servicing enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years and is in more than 65 countries. As a solution, pet food processors seeking superior conveyor performance from the start rely on expert-supervised installation and commissioning to ensure they will be ready to run products on time, at the necessary volumes. Today, a tubular drag cable conveyor requires considerable expertise to install. These systems gently move material through a sealed tube using a coated, flexible, stainless-steel drag cable pulled through on a loop. Solid circular discs (flights) attach to the cable, pushing the product through the tube without air.  'This type of conveyor is uniquely engineered to transport delicate materials gently. The tubes form a continuous loop that must be carefully assembled for a tight fit to ensure no misalignment or gaps between sections. While the modular components lend great flexibility to system design, each component must act in concert with the rest for proper conveyor functionality,' explains Derby. After selecting and purchasing a conveyor, the pet food processor's next step is installing it, which often requires professional assistance. Reliability Starts with Supervised Installation Whether relying on internal staff members for installation or contracting the job to an outside team of millwrights or skilled pipefitters, supervised conveyor installation can ensure proper system installation. Getting expert assistance is still essential during installation, even with the manual that has detailed instructions and QR-code links to videos for each conveyor component. 'Supervised installation is important to ensure that your system is installed properly so you don't run into maintenance problems due to an improper install,' says Derby. Derby insists that 'supervised installs are probably the most important support service we offer.' This step is often neglected when a less experienced third party performs the installation, which can escalate costs. At this point, AHS is frequently asked to complete final preparations and correct any problems before production startup, a process known as commissioning.  'When a processor brings us to their facility after declining a supervised installation, we often have to work backward for a day or two to correct issues. Having us there for supervised installation eliminates the need for correction and any idle contractors waiting on us for the repair, so it pays for itself,' says Derby. In the case of AHS, the company's technicians have logged hundreds, if not thousands, of hours on-site in various manufacturing facilities worldwide. This singular focus gives them the knowledge and expertise to streamline the installation process and prevent issues that can lead to system inefficiencies, product loss, or complete system failure. As part of the supervised installation, skilled technicians ensure the correct positioning of the conveyor's hangers and the proper torque for couplings. The system is properly cleaned to remove any metal fragments or foreign contaminants introduced during installation. In addition, the technician confirms that all conveyor inlets are in place and that all discharges are functioning. Even seemingly minor gaps or misaligned areas in the conveyor tubing can become a severe issue. 'If gaps are in the conveyor's tubes, the discs will 'catch' when crossing the joint, causing excessive wear on the cable and motor. If not corrected, this could lead to premature failure, production downtime, and added repair and replacement costs,' says Derby. According to Derby, another common wear item in tubular drag cable conveyors is sweeps, areas where the tube changes direction. He explains that sweeps are where the cable is under the most significant tension and where the discs rub inside the tube. Since sweeps show the first signs of wear, proper installation can reduce the wear and significantly prolong tube and cable life, simplifying maintenance. 'With a supervised install, processors can ensure that their conveyor is assembled correctly to enable seamless startup, reliable production, optimal output, and greater longevity for the system and its parts. Our reputation is on the line to get it right from the start,' says Derby. In addition, a supervised installation includes a full report outlining actions to correct any issues found. Due to the attention to detail, a supervised installation also preserves the standard warranty for the system's components. Of course, operators also play a critical role in conveyor performance. For this reason, having experts onsite can be one of the best ways to train the operators and maintenance crew on properly running, cleaning, and maintaining the system.    Reliable Production Requires Expert Commissioning When the installation is complete, the next step is to schedule commissioning. The average commissioning visit for a single-system installation usually lasts an entire day.  The onsite commissioning process readies the conveyor for total production and identifies any immediately correctable issues to keep the startup on schedule. At this point, the system must be installed entirely, including all mechanical and electrical components. The conveyor material must also be ready for introduction to the system. This is where a botched installation by a third party can come to light without supervised installation by the OEM. 'We are often asked to 'fix' poor installations by third-party contractors. We have had to tear whole systems apart. This frequently requires a complete rebuild and replacement of damaged parts, which adds cost, creates downtime, and delays startup,' says Derby. In the case of AHS's commissioning service, the technician conducts an inspection using a camera that runs through the entire system layout to ensure that everything is correctly assembled and ready for testing. The technician then performs a test run of the product, from the inlet feed through the sweeps to the discharge outlet, and verifies that it flows at the desired speed. 'Tailoring the conveyor to the material conveyed can require adjustments to fine-tune the process. With the commissioning, the goal is to increase efficiency, production volume, and reliability,' says Derby. He adds that 'checking the system's health' also uncovers any issues that might arise, which technicians can address to prevent production downtime. He points out that commissioning also extends Cablevey's standard warranty. As a final step in the commissioning process, the technician issues a report for the processor that documents all findings from the full-system inspection. Completing conveyor installation, commissioning, and start-up is only the start of the OEM's and processor's relationship since the system's lifespan can be decades. In addition to traveling on-site for emergency service calls, the company offers an annual service visit to conduct a detailed system inspection and address any issues, identify worn parts, ensure predictive maintenance is being conducted, and provide any additional training needed. This complete system audit aims to extend the conveyor's lifespan and prevent unexpected downtime. 'Our mission is to provide conveying equipment and ensure it performs as required, with minimal downtime and maintenance. Once a pet food processor buys a system, they become part of our family. We will continue to support them every way we can, even as their needs evolve,' concludes Derby. By Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. Source All Pet Food

Mobile 'Smart Cart' Automates Food Conveyor CIP for Pet Food Manufacturers
Conveying Systems
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4+ MIN

Mobile 'Smart Cart' Automates Food Conveyor CIP for Pet Food Manufacturers

To promote food safety and sanitary compliance, pet food manufacturers are increasingly seeking the ability to clean-in-place (CIP), an automated method of cleaning the interior surfaces of tubular drag conveyors without disassembly. Now, with the advent of mobile tools like an innovative 'smart cart' that quick-connects to any tubular conveyor and enables simple, customizable 'single button cleaning recipes,' CIP is becoming easier, faster, less labor-intensive, more repeatable, and almost fully automated. Tubular drag conveyor systems gently move product through a sealed, enclosed tube using a drag cable and circular discs pulled through on a loop, so they are ideal for delicate items. Designed to handle a variety of different forms and sizes, from kibble to seeds or pellets and nutrients, tubular conveyors maintain both quality and proper proportions. In a wet CIP process, the system is flooded with water, flushed, rinsed, cleansed, and thoroughly sanitized. Although the process is very effective, streamlining its automation and simplifying the process for all a facility's tubular drag conveyors has been a priority for leading innovators in the industry. 'The standard system required port hookups to water lines and installing piping. The processor also had to make decisions, such as which water temperatures to utilize, or whether to use a cleaning solvent - and the correct amount to add manually,' says John Adair, Engineering and Quality Director for Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has designed, engineered, and serviced enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years, and is in more than 65 countries. To simplify the wet cleaning process, Adair and his engineering team at Cablevey have developed a small, mobile 'smart cart' with integrated water line hookups that a single technician can easily take to any tubular drag conveyor in a facility. The cart is specifically designed to be a fraction of the size of similar carts on the market to facilitate mobility. When the cart is in position and connected to water lines, the CIP process is automated and controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) that reduces the need for manual labor and virtually eliminates the risk of improper cleaning. 'Once it is set up, all you do is press a button, and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning,' says Adair. The smart cart is designed to store and utilize pre-programmed CIP recipes to flush various residual materials from the tubular drag cable conveyors in a facility before new production runs. The cleaning recipes enable even those with very little training to use the cart, which is helpful in today's tight labor market and allows the technician to move on to other tasks once the cleaning process begins. The use of easily executable recipes ensures a superior, repeatable clean that essentially 'error-proofs' the process. This is particularly important when the technician may be new or less familiar with the production equipment. 'Depending on the product conveyed, sometimes all you need is a wet rinse or a specific cleaning solvent. All that information is saved, so after the first cleaning, it can be automatically repeated. Just push a button to start the appropriate recipe, whether you have one conveyor running multiple products or dozens of conveyors running various products,' says Adair. To meet strict compliance standards, the smart cart also documents all critical CIP information, such as water volume and temperature, chemicals used, and cleaning time by date, in an easily retrievable data log. Since decreasing production downtime between conveyor cleanings is a priority for pet food manufacturers, Cablevey provides new capabilities with the cart that expedites the CIP process. Currently, the CIP process floods the tubular conveyor system but is not designed to clean the discs specifically. 'Operators would manually clean each disc and advance the system disc by disc when the discs had to be cleaned of particularly viscous substances,' says Adair.   Once it is set up, all you do is press a button and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning.   Now, as an option on the cart, a disc washer can be integrated with the conveyor turnaround to spray a pressurized cleansing solution on the discs. This helps to remove stickier substances that could remain after routine CIP cleaning. 'The disc washer sprays high-pressure water directly on the discs, so it acts like an automatic car wash. At the push of a button, the discs and cable are run through, and spray cleaned, which reduces CIP time and eliminates the need to manually clean the discs,' says Adair. To further reduce downtime, Cablevey also offers a new sanitary blower option. 'After the wet CIP process, a sanitary blower attachment on the smart cart can dry the discs and other parts of the system 75% faster than typical air drying,' says Adair. He points out that the faster the conveyor is cleaned and dried after a product change, the sooner it can be put back into service, which improves profitability. According to Adair, Cablevey's Mobile Smart Cart was already available since it was officially unveiled at Pack Expo, a premier packaging and processing show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in September. The event featured full-scale setups of machinery in action. The company also offered traveling demo smart cars to customers in September for free so clients could test drive the units. Pet food manufacturers can now purchase the demonstration unit used in their facilities, with hands-on training available immediately. While the pet food manufacturing industry is aware that automated CIP can improve conveyor system production uptime, barriers to implementation have slowed adoption. Utilizing a mobile smart cart with integrated water hookups will help manufacturers easily implement CIP in tubular drag conveyors throughout their facilities: expediting conveyor cleaning, production changeover, and sanitary compliance. By: Del Williams - Technical writer based in Torrance - California Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
Manufacturing Process
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2+ MIN

Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation

Producing high quality pet food is what your brand is known for. At NorthWind, they help you maintain that reputation through innovative and reliable automation solutions. Their goal with every project is to have your plant running as efficiently as possible.   Plant Integration Your plant consists of many different pieces of equipment working together to produce quality pet food & treats. NorthWind specializes in tying all those pieces together to create one seamless control system.This full plant automation solution provides increased plant visibility and allows you to monitor your entire plant no matter where you are. They connect your plant floor to the rest of business by integrating to your ERP System.     Formula Management NorthWind's Formula Management software has the flexibility you need with an easy to use interface. BatchLOGIX® formula management software was built to handle the dynamic processes that are common with extruded pet food and treat plants. Reach maximum product consistency with formulas that contain both process & ingredient set points and handles both batching & continuous processes.   With BatchLOGIX, your recipes can be as flexible as you need them to be. Customizable set points for both ingredients and process equipment can be configured in the system. Historical data can be accessed through easily customized reports to target specific information using filters. Once created, reports can be exported to Excel, WORD, RTF, or PDF for sharing.   Traceability Track ingredients from the time they enter the plant to the time they leave. Trace ingredients through your entire manufacturing process with lot tracking, storage, and reporting capabilities. Lot numbers for liquid and dry ingredients can be traced through multiple systems from source to finished product.   Data Management NorthWind makes it easy to collect and use the data that is already available in your plant operation so you can make better, more informed decisions. They collect information about everything from critical control points and run parameters to ingredient usage and system alarms. With this information they provide KPI dashboards and setup equipment maintenance alerts. All information is stored and ready for analysis and comparison to real-time data. Their online web reporter tool makes this easy!   About NorthWind NorthWind is an automation company in Kansas providing controls and automation solutions to manufacturing facilities around the world. Their skilled team of engineers, programmers, and technicians have extensive process experience in addition to programming and design expertise in a wide range of industries. You are invited to know more! By: All Pet Food  


Laboratory

Laboratory Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

Two essential parameters for pet food launching

The fierce competition in the pet food market not only highlights the need for differentiation and excellence in pet food formulation but also emphasizes the importance of validating their effectiveness. Carrying out digestibility tests and fecal score evaluation is one of the crucial methods for evaluating the nutritional pet food quality.   Two essential parameters for pet food launching   Digestibility test The digestibility test is a crucial tool in evaluating the efficiency with which animals use and absorb food nutrients. This method provides a deep understanding of the digestion and absorption capacity of essential nutrients, which is essential for optimizing diet formulations and ensuring adequate nutrition for living beings. By analyzing the digestibility rate of various components present in food, such as proteins, fats, and starch, the digestibility test contributes significantly to the development of more efficient and sustainable feeding strategies, benefiting pet food products. Fecal score evaluation Assessment of fecal score in dogs and cats is a practical and valuable method for monitoring the digestibility of food consumed by these animals. The fecal score refers to the consistency and appearance of feces, being a visual indication of gastrointestinal health and digestive efficiency.
This method involves assigning an appropriate score to stool, usually on a scale from 1 to 5, based on characteristics such as consistency, color, and shape. When applied to food digestibility studies for dogs and cats, fecal score plays a crucial role. Well-formed stools with adequate consistency indicate good nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, excessively soft stools, diarrhea, or other abnormalities can be attributed to poor diet digestibility. Fecal score assessment is often performed in experimental feeding studies in which animals are subjected to different diets. By comparing fecal scores over time, researchers can infer the relative digestibility of different food ingredients or formulations. Diets that result in better-formed and more consistent stools generally indicate better use of food nutrients. Visual examination of the fecal score can complement the assessment of digestibility. This approach provides a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of food on the gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats, allowing adjustments to formulations to optimize nutrition and digestibility, thereby promoting pet health and well-being. Evaluating these parameters before launching a pet food product onto the market can give you advantages in comparison with competitors, evaluating whether the processing was done correctly, and identifying in time the need for changes in formulations. A demonstration in practice would be excess carbohydrates in the diet, for example, which leads to accentuated lactic fermentation, and the feces appear pasty with a light color and acidic smell (without a rotten smell). The same occurs when the feed is poorly processed. Normally, to manufacture dry food, a process called extrusion is used, which consists of applying steam and pressure to a crumbled mass, forming those granules that we technically call 'kibbles.' In this process, starch is essential for making the feed expand. However, if it does not undergo good cooking (or gelatinization) there is a risk of causing osmotic diarrhea in the animal fed with the feed in question. (Saad et al., 2014). The use of ingredients with lower digestibility directly impacts the fecal score. Ingredients such as soybean meal, widely used in standard or economical pet food manufacturing, contain 20% non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Soluble PNAs can reduce the digestibility of nutrients and energy in the diet due to the increase in the viscosity of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the reduction in food passage time, making it difficult for digestive enzymes to access the food bolus and interfering with diffusion and transport of nutrients, resulting in loose stools and large quantities. To minimize the adverse effects of ingredients with less digestibility, their use can be restricted to small inclusions. Otherwise, additives, such as enzymes or adsorbents, can be used. In the case of diets with raw materials rich in NSP and its influence on the fecal characteristics of dogs and cats, for example, the inclusion of a zeolite-type adsorbent additive adjusts the diet fecal score, since this additive, when passing inert through the GIT, adsorbs water and gases and reduces the elimination of ammonia, which improves the fecal characteristics and odors of animals. The animal's fecal score after consuming a feed plays a significant role in consumer satisfaction and can directly influence the repurchase decision. Thus, the digestibility and consistency of the fecal score reinforce consumer confidence in the product. If the food provides healthy and regular digestion, owners tend to associate this quality with the brand, thus strengthening customer loyalty.
Brand trust is crucial for repurchase, as consumers look for products that consistently meet expectations in such a competitive market.

For Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

Laboratory Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

Quality Control in the Pet food industry through cutting-edge solutions

However, this trend presents significant challenges. Quality control and laboratory analysis processes are often slow and expensive, resulting in production delays, loss of raw materials, reprocessing of batches, and, consequently, the loss of time and valuable resources. All of this has been an obstacle to the efficiency and competitiveness of companies in the industry. The solution to these challenges lies in near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy technology, which has revolutionized the way the pet food industry approaches quality control, ingredient analysis, and process control. NIR instruments allow multivariate analysis to be performed in less than 10 seconds, providing accurate data for critical parameters such as moisture content, protein, fat, fiber, and ash, among others. As a result, not only is the quality control process significantly accelerated, but a substantial reduction in costs associated with traditional laboratory analysis is also achieved, giving companies the competitive advantage they need to stand out in the industry.   Pet food manufacturing process: critical points   Within the framework of the pet food manufacturing process, there are critical stages identified that require special consideration to achieve efficiency and productivity to obtain a final product of excellence. We cannot reach a good final result if our raw material does not meet the requirements. NIR instruments can quickly provide us with the information necessary to decide whether a batch we are receiving meets them or not. Each food has its recipe, and each variety has its nutritional composition. NIR equipment can help us confirm if the mixture or formula was correctly made prior to entering the extruder. After drying, it is common to apply coatings with fats, oils, or flavorings to make them more palatable, and, in some cases, vitamins and minerals can also be added to strengthen the nutritional content. NIR equipment can monitor the fat or oil content at this stage. Prior to packaging, and after the cooling process, obtaining an accurate reading of the humidity value of the product is essential to prevent common problems, such as the growth of mold or other types of fungi, which can cause deterioration of the product, affect its quality, and lead to significant economic losses. The ideal task for an NIR instrument will not only give us an accurate reading of the humidity value, but also allow us to verify that our final product meets the nutritional requirements we communicate on our packaging. PerkinElmer has been leading the market for years with its DA 7250 analyzer, the third generation of NIR instruments in the company's more than 60-yearhistory. This equipment combines Near Infrared Reflectance technology and a diode array (DA) detector, allowing accurate and reliable results in less than 10 seconds. Thanks to its excellent signal-to-noise ratio, large analysis surface area, and light range used with superior penetration capacity, grinding of raw materials or pre-treatment of samples before analysis is not needed. In addition to its speed in obtaining results, the DA 7250 stands out for its efficiency, simplicity of use, robustness, simple maintenance and cleaning, as well as its extremely friendly operating environment. It also has two online and inline versions, the DA 7440 and DA 7350 respectively, fully compatible with each other in terms of calibrations.     Mathematical models, prediction, and security in the results   Thanks to spectral data from more than 15,000 dry dog ​​and cat food samples from worldwide manufacturers (including kibble, biscuits, tricks, and more), calibrations have been developed to model relationships between NIR spectra and reference chemical results. This has been achieved using Honigs™ Regression (HR) types and Artificial Neural Network Regression (ANN) algorithms, as well as the application of a temperature stabilization pretreatment.

    As an example, the following table shows data from calibrations carried out for samples of dry food for dogs and cats:   The great product variability incorporated in the calibrations, added to the aforementioned characteristics and virtues of the instrument, guarantee accurate and robust measurements over time. The models can be used for whole and ground pet foods with similar prediction accuracy. In parameters such as humidity, protein, fat, fiber, and ash, these models are very precise, with similar differences to the deviations obtained between the two reference laboratories. In conclusion, in a market with increasing demands in terms of quality, nutritional value, and cost, NIR instruments are a powerful solution that offer fast, accurate, and robust results for all stages of the production process, reducing costs and leading to the efficiency and quality of our product at optimal levels.   By: Leonel Fulcheri - PerkinElmer
Source: All Pet Food Magazine


Dosing

Dosing Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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2+ MIN

KSE ALFRA Equipments: The perfect fit for every plant

A high precision dosing and weighing system is crucial to produce quality products. KSE's ALFRA equipment has over 90 years of experience in food and related industries, ensuring optimum production flexibility in your plant while maintaining high consistency of quality and safety.
These equipments incorporate solutions to dose both macro and micro components for ingredients with different densities and flow characteristics.
Raw material dosing: Precise component measurements
The quality of animal feed essentially depends on the precision of dosage and weighing of the components of the formulation. ALFRA equipment is designed to measure each component with maximum precision.
Micro-component dosing: The most precise measurement of the smallest components With ALFRA equipment, the smallest amounts of components are measured with extreme precision to ensure that micro-dosing and weighing are no longer the bottleneck in the factory. Automating the micro-dispensing process eliminates the time-consuming (and error-prone) task of manual dispensing, ultimately improving quality consistency, process control, and health and safety performance.
  We invite you to learn about ALFRA equipment for micro-dosing:   ALFRA BDS: The ALFRA Box Dosing System is a modular and scaleable platform that is designed to completely automate the preparation of micro ingredients for animal feed production in boxes.   ALFRA FCCDxy: The FCCD safely doses rarely used ingredients that can spoil if they remain in the silo for too long. It uses unique exchangeable containers with dosing slides, giving efficient and contamination-free dosing of even small quantities of materials. Ingredients from up to 24 containers can be combined automatically.   ALFRA FCDxy: Combining high throughput with outstanding accuracy, the ALFRA FCDxy features our unique dosing slide, which ensures that dosing and weighing is no longer a factory bottleneck. Uniquely, it eliminates labor-intensive and error-prone hand dosing – and the alternative of a separate machine for small amounts – by handling from 50 gram right up to 100 kg in a single machine.   ALFRA KCD: is designed for dosing and weighing dry powders, granulates and pellets. The dosing and weighing system combines high throughput with excellent accuracy.     KSE was founded in 1973 as a small electrical installation company in the agricultural sector. Over the years, it has specialized in dosing and weighing systems and intelligent automation software for the feed industry. They focus on continuous innovation, passed down from generation to generation. This sector is its core market. Personal contact, excellent service and a passion for the powder and granules processing sector are the keys that have allowed them to grow from being a small company to an international company with activities all over the world. LEARN MORE about their equipment, services and solutions.

By: All Pet Food

Dosing Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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5+ MIN

Dosing slide vs. screw feeder

It is a challenge to find the most optimal solution for the silo discharge system within a specific process installation. In many cases, it is a question weighing up a dosing slide against a screw feeder. To make a responsible choice, insight into the operation and qualities of both the dosing slide and the screw feeder is required. Activation The dosing slide consists of a fixed upper lower grid and an upper grid that moves back and forth during the dosing process. This ensures that the product in the silo is loosened by means of a product-friendly activation. The dosing slide moves the product without transporting it. This means that the product flows straight in a vertical direction, by use of gravity. In contrast to a screw feeder (in which the material is extruded in one direction), no energy is supplied which means no product damage or compaction occurs. The simple design of the dosing slide makes it a particularly durable discharge system. A dosing slide can be in operation for decades. Mass flow The discharge system determines, to a certain extent, the silo's geometry and therefore also the flow image of the product inside the silo. It prefers to not place the discharge system in the middle of the silo funnel, to reduce the risk of product bridging in the silo. A dosing slide generally offers a much larger discharge surface than a screw feeder. The screw feeder's discharge surface is determined by the relatively small diameter and length of the screw itself. The larger discharge surface of the dosing slide ensures an equal discharge flow where mass flow occurs in the silo (the FIFO principle). For a given storage capacity (in case of an equal funnel triangle), less building height is also required. Dosing range An important feature of the dosing slide is the enormous dynamic flow range. The ratio between the minimum and maximum flow rate is easily 1:1000 (from grams to kilograms per second), with a dosing accuracy of approximately 2 grams. With a screw feeder, the dynamic flow range is no better than 1:20. An increase in speed not only translates into an increase in capacity, but also into an increase in slippage. It is true that placing a second screw under the main screw reduces the flow to, for example, 1 % of the maximum flow, however, the investment costs for materials and especially the control system will strongly increase. In addition, starting a pull-out screw at low speed requires an extra strong motor with a frequency controller. This extra power is necessary I order to provide the breakaway torque. This requirement does not apply to a dosing slide. Dosage precision With a dosing slide, minimum dosage quantities approach 0 grams; with a dosing screw, this quantity is determined by the volume in one turn of the screw. Once the dosing screw's discharge opens a screw compartment, this compartment flows out completely. In addition, there is the risk of the product's continuing to flow (primarily if the product has the tendency to become fluid). It is, of course, possible to install a shut-off after the dosing screw for more precise dosages, but the next dosage then amounts to at least that quantity of material that the shut-off held back. By contrast, a dosing slide closes immediately and completely. The dynamic flow range results in the dosing slide's being able to provide both rapid and precise dosing. With a dosing slide/scale combination, the limiting factor to precise dosage is the scale, not the dosing slide. For this, a weigher-in-weigher can be helpful. This offers the possibility of dosing both 50 g and 100 kg from the same silo in a single batch weighing system with the precision of a few grams within flow ranges up to 5 kg. Controls A dosing slide requires a greater investment than a dosing screw, but with the deployment of six or more dosing slides under a silo block, it is cheaper than using six dosing screws with shut-offs. This is because dosing slides (whether this be 4, 6 or even 24 dosing slides) are all powered by one single hydraulic cylinder. This single cylinder activates a framework to which the dosing slides can be linked at will. The power consumption of a dosing slide is extremely low. For example, it is possible to dose up to 50 kg/second with a 3 kW motor. For this same amount of effort, a dosing screw requires at least a 25 kW motor. Furthermore, every dosing screw requires its own power unit and frequency controller.   Discharge characteristics The controls for a dosing slide are more intelligent and, consequently, more complex than those of a dosing screw (for a screw, flow is proportional to RPM, within certain limits). A dosing slide, however, allows for variation in the percentage of opening, stroke length and frequency. For certain applications, the shape of the vanes can also be adjusted (more or fewer progressive openings). This allows the achievement of optimum discharge properties for the material to be dosed.   Image 1: Dosing slides have a fixed lower grid and upper grid that moves back and forth during the dosing process.   Image 2: A platform of dosing slides is operated by a single drive motor.   Image 3: A dosing slide in operation.   About KSE Partner in optimizing production processes Increasing complexity forms the biggest challenge for animal nutrition manufacturers; more recipes, a growing number of ingredients, additions that are difficult to dose and higher quality standards contribute to this trend. For over 50 years, KSE has been supplying future proof solutions to stay ahead of the trend in the form of modular machinery and smart software that fit together perfectly. We create flexible processing solutions that enable a responsive production process. Automation, accuracy and contamination control are at the basis of our future-proof innovations. Our aim is to not only improve the production process, but also to make a significant contribution to increasing margins and achieving targets. Together we create the solutions with the best results! For more information about KSE click HERE.   By KSE Source: All Pet Food 


Grinding

Grinding Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

Grinding: A fundamental point in the manufacture of extruded dry food for cats and dogs

The grinding process consists of reducing and standardizing the particle size of raw materials, increasing the contact surface, and consequently improving steam and water absorption during the extrusion process, favoring dough cooking. All these aspects affect the texture and uniformity, avoiding partially cooked hard particles in the product. Granulometry is influenced by the configuration of the mill and the parts that compose it. Before entering the mill, the presence of sieves and magnets will prevent foreign materials from reaching equipment, damaging parts, and impairing grinding quality. At the mill exit, to ensure the grinding quality, it is necessary to monitor the granulometry, which can be affected by perforated sieves or worn hammers, which will contribute to lower grinding efficiency and quality. Better steam and water absorption in extrusion, as a result of quality grinding, improves the efficiency of starch gelatinization, the process of transforming granular starch into a viscoelastic paste. Quality grinding and cooking allow better kibble expansion, formation, and structure. In general, product expansion is directly related to texture, being the products with the highest expansion, the most crunchy ones. Some of the parameters used to assess the degree of cooking of dietary ingredients that are subjected to extrusion are density and water absorption rate. Foods with high density and low water absorption are signs of poorly expanded products, with inadequate starch gelatinization and less nutrient utilization (Camire, 2000). The density of the expanded products is an important characteristic because, even indirectly, in addition to the expansion index, it indicates the degree of transformation of the starch granule. In the drying process, heat transfer is responsible for liquid evaporation, present in the food, and mass transfer by water movement from the food interior to its surface, and from there to the environment. Therefore, drying is linked to both environmental and intrinsic conditions of the material being dried, which influence evaporation and water molecules diffusion rates, respectively. Therefore, a kibble with good expansion and a uniform structure allows air to pass through it evenly, drying it properly, unlike a product that was compacted because it did not have an adequate process. Even the kibble expansion and structure, also interfere with the process of applying the liquid. The croquettes must have the capacity to absorb fat since their efficiency depends on the size and porosity of the extrudate. A well-extruded product with a good structure provides better penetration and retention of the liquid coating. Cereals (rice, corn, and wheat) are the most widely used starch sources in extruded dry food for dogs and cats. Some studies have shown that, if correctly extruded, cereal starch has an apparent digestibility greater than 95% for cats (DE OLIVEIRA et al., 2008) and 98% for dogs (CARCIOFI et al., 2008). However, starch digestibility can be affected by factors such as starch composition and physical form, protein-starch interactions, cell integrity, and the physical form of the feed. BAZZOLI (2007) evaluated the influence of milling of rice, corn, and sorghum on the apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of nutrients and fecal score in diets for dogs and found that there was a difference and interaction between carbohydrate sources in different millings. Mean starch and non-extractive nitrogen (ENN) ADCs were similar for the maize and sorghum diets, and higher for the rice-based diet. For maize and sorghum, coarse grinding had a negative effect, with values ​​lower than those of diets prepared with fine and medium grinding. Still according to BAZZOLLI (2007), regarding the fecal score, there was no ingredient effect either, only grinding. The evaluation of the contrasts shows that the higher the granulometry, the worse the fecal score for the three starch sources, and the worst score, being obtained with milled rice in a coarse granulometry. The evidence shows that the higher the granulometry, the worse the fecal score of the diets, a fact that is probably due to the decrease in the starch gelatinization index, which results in less dry matter in the feces and a worse score. In cats, KIENZLE (1993) found that the ADC of starch in a diet containing coarsely ground raw corn was 72%. When the corn was cooked or finely ground, the ADC of the starch was 100%. Starch digestibility alters and largely determines the postprandial blood glucose wave and the insulin response of the animal. In this way, the faster and more complete the digestion, the faster and more intense the triggered curve. This is an aspect that must be taken care of when thinking about food for animals with diabetes mellitus, obesity, pregnancy, cancer, and advanced age, which need greater control of the glycemic curve. Therefore, we conclude that grinding is a key point in high-quality product development. It must be standardized, according to the reality of each factory, in addition to taking into account product purpose and life stage or state of health of the pet that will consume the food.   Authors: Luana Pucca, Ludmila Barbi y Erika Stasieniuk Source: All Pet Food Magazine

For Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

Grinding Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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1+ MIN

CPM Never Stops Evolving: New Colors Coming for CPM equipment

"The color change represents a step toward unifying our brand across the globe," said Maarten Visser, General Manager of CPM Americas/EMEA. "As CPM grows, our brand must evolve with it. We want our customers worldwide to associate the CPM name with the highest quality processing equipment available anywhere." "The new glossy white, accented with shiny black-gray, gives the equipment a sleek and modern new look. What's inside, Visser said, will not change at all". All types of CPM equipment are included in the upcoming color change, but existing orders will not be impacted. Equipment with the colors will be in the market later this year.   About CPM - History   The origin of CPM can be traced back to California's Napa Valley, where, in 1883, the Toulouse & Delorieux Co. manufactured presses, crushers and stemmers for winemakers. In 1931, the company created the first pellet mill, the 30 HP Flat Bed with stationary flat die, and we became California Pellet Mill (CPM). In the years that followed, we created more pellet mill models with additional features. In the 1980s, we greatly expanded our product offerings through the creation of Roskamp Champion with the acquisition of the Roskamp Roller Mill Company and Champion Hammermills. In 2002, Beta Raven, a leading supplier of feed mill automation and ingredient scaling systems, joined the team. To learn more about CPM products, click HERE. Source: CPM


Extrusion

Extrusion Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

Raising the Bar in Pet Nutrition: ANDRITZ's Twin-Screw Extruders for High-Meat Formulations

The Rise of High-Meat Pet Food Pet owners today are becoming more mindful of what goes into their pets' bowls, and the high-meat pet food trend is a result of this growing awareness. High-meat pet food refers to formulations that contain over 30% fresh meat content. This demand stems from a desire for better digestibility and premium nutrition for pets. However, this shift presents its own set of hurdles, particularly in achieving the right cooking temperatures due to the moisture and fat content in raw animal ingredients.   Challenges in High-Meat Pet Food Production Creating high-meat pet food formulations comes with unique challenges. The variability in raw animal ingredients complicates the manufacturing process, demanding careful handling to maintain consistency. As Niels Bengt, Sales Director KA, LATAM at ANDRITZ, explains, "Dealing with the diversity of raw animal ingredients requires innovative solutions to ensure uniform processing, which is vital for preserving the nutritional quality of the final product." As a result, the production of high-meat pet food often requires the employment of twin-screw extruders, known for their superior capabilities compared to single-screw counterparts. These extruders offer advanced kneading and mixing capabilities, pivotal for upholding the desired texture in high-meat formulations. Yet, the pursuit of elevated throughput rates while adhering to compact machine dimensions adds an additional layer of complexity to the manufacturing process.   Striking the Balance Between Efficiency and Nutritional Integrity In the face of these challenges, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders, ExTS 616 & 718, emerge as a transformative solution for high-meat pet food production. Specifically designed to excel in extruding pet food enriched with elevated meat inclusion ratios, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders ensure optimal starch utilization, affording unparalleled formulation flexibility and optimized feed conversion ratios. The synchronized, high-shear twin screws guarantee the complete material discharge, minimizing waste and expediting recipe transitions. "Our twin-screw extruders are crafted to tackle the intricacies of high-meat pet food production. We are resolute in our commitment to efficiency while upholding nutritional integrity. ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders stand as the definitive solution that not only meets but surpasses the challenges of high-meat pet food production," says Niels Bengt, Sales Director KA, LATAM at ANDRITZ. "Our approach is centered on achieving a harmonious synergy between the seamless functioning of our machines and the preservation of the vital nutrients within high-meat formulations. With precise control over cooking temperatures and meticulous handling of diverse ingredients, our twin-screw extruders stand as a testament to our dedication to delivering pet food that not only excels in quality but also upholds the nutritional essence of each ingredient," Niels Bengt adds. This distinctive approach has been expertly crafted to tackle head-on the intricate challenges that arise from incorporating raw animal ingredients into recipes. By providing pet food producers with meticulous control over cooking temperatures, ANDRITZ's solutions effectively address the nuances associated with different ingredients, ensuring that each element is handled appropriately. This attention to detail serves as the linchpin for safeguarding the nutritional richness present in high-meat pet food formulations, ultimately resulting in a final product that not only offers exceptional palatability but also remains an optimal source of nourishment for our loyal animal companions.   From Conscious Consumers to Circular Economy Moreover, as societies worldwide increasingly embrace environmental consciousness, consumer interest in the food supply chain has surged due to growing sustainability concerns. Transparency in sourcing and production is no longer sufficient; consumers now demand an understanding of how food production impacts the planet. This scrutiny extends even to pet foods and treats. As the world transitions toward a circular economy, driven by the urgency to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce landfill waste, it's essential to recognize the role of rendering as a form of recycling. Rendered ingredients include proteins sourced from animal muscles, organs, and bones not suitable for human consumption but perfectly safe for animals. This holds particular significance as approximately 50% of an animal is unsuitable for human consumption, and without rendering for alternative uses, this portion would go to waste. Therefore, integrating fresh meat into pet food aligns with the principles of the circular economy, promoting resource efficiency. ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders play a significant role in advancing this circular economy in the pet food industry. By efficiently processing raw animal ingredients and minimizing waste, ANDRITZ machines contribute to a more sustainable pet food production process, while maintaining the nutritional quality that pets deserve.   The Way Forward: Nourishing Pets and the Planet Simultaneously As the pet nutrition industry evolves, the high-meat pet food trend poses challenges that require innovative solutions. ANDRITZ rises to the occasion, ensuring efficient processing of fresh meat ingredients while upholding their nutritional value. Beyond efficiency, ANDRITZ's twin-screw extruders exemplify a commitment to sustainability, ushering in a more environmentally conscious era for pet food manufacturing. Niels Bengt, concludes, "Our solutions not only address the demands of the pet food industry but also contribute to a more sustainable future. By providing highly efficient machinery that produces high-quality, high-meat pet food, we're meeting the needs of pets, their caring owners, and our planet." In the future, ANDRITZ aims to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation to further enhance pet food production. "Our innovations are not just products; they are promises of a brighter, more exciting future for our customers."   Source: All Pet Food Magazine


Drying

Drying Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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3+ MIN

Frezze Drying Solutions for Pet Food

All pet owners want the best for their family friends, and rising affluence in many parts of the world has fueled the popularity of freeze-dried food for dogs and cats as a premium product. This has been particularly apparent for raw food which is increasingly seen as a healthier alternative to cooked products, retaining its natural nutrition, with lower salt and without additives. Dried pet food has enjoyed great popularity for many years, however, freeze drying is increasingly seen as a viable option for the premium market. Freeze drying removes almost all the moisture from the product under extreme vacuum conditions (down to as low as 3-5%). This significantly increases the shelf life and allows drying at a very low temperature when compared with other dried food allowing manufacturers to create new products that can be stored unopened, at room temperature, for years, without spoiling. As the product is exposed only to low temperatures, freeze drying retains more of the nutritional characteristics of the food, for a healthier product. Freeze-dried raw pet food Raw meat pet food (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF)) is also becoming popular. Users report many benefits from feeding their pets raw food including: improved digestion, better dental health, easier weight control, shinier coat, reduced allergies, stronger immune system and fewer behavioral issues.       Although many accept the benefits of raw feeding, the inconvenience of handling and storing raw food can put some pet owners off. Freeze-drying the food, however, provides a fast and simple alternative. The drying process does not cook or heat treat the food, so it is still raw. The product can be reconstituted simply by adding water. This makes the food much easier to handle both for retailers and consumers and is particularly useful for owners who travel with their pets. What's more, most pets enjoy the taste of freeze-dried raw food, even those who are fussy eaters. Types of freeze-dried pet food A wide range of dog and cat food and treats can be freeze dried. These include: raw chicken, beef, turkey, etc. (95% meat, natural or minced and formed); cooked meat; kibble; snacks – such as biscuits and mixers; and special treats including protein bars. Kibble is usually 5-15% meat with vegetables, cereals, grain and relevant vitamins and minerals.  GEA technology, pilot plant and test facilities GEA supplies equipment and complete lines for the preparation of pet food products including cutting, mixing, emulsifying, and forming; freezing and freeze-drying; and packaging. GEA know-how helps customers develop efficient, sustainable, high-quality manufacturing systems with maximum flexibility and the minimum effect on the environment.  The RAY® Pilot plant provides extensive test facilities for manufacturers to develop new products and perfect freeze-drying processes. This allows accurate data to be gathered and important process parameters to be optimized before the process is seamlessly scaled up to industrial-level production. GEA's engineers and technicians work closely with customers throughout the testing process to help them bring new products to market quickly and profitably.     For More information visit GEA Website HERE by All Pet food 
 


Coating

Coating Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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2+ MIN

MASS SPIN COATER - Revolutionary patented system

The pet has become a true member of the family and the end customer, his owner, is increasingly oriented towards high-quality food in terms of well-being, quality and pleasure. PLP takes up this challenge by developing systems that can translate market needs into real products. The treatment and coating system, patented as MASS SPIN COATER, is the new and revolutionary system for coating and adding additives onto solid products. Through an integrated torsion transducer and a processor of Coriolis force data, the MSC is capable of identifying the mass delivery rate of solid prodcts (pelets, flours , croquettes). This permits a proportional control for adding doses of additives for the process. The MSC guarantees the uniformity of the finish products and thanks to reduced dimensions and weight, installation is made easy at any point of the system, be it on the transport piping in the drop, or at the end of production directly onto the vehicle load.   It is used for applying either powder or liquid additives: - Fat : for adding vegetable oils or fat in general. For adding molasses and other products largely used on the finished products - Enzymes : for adding liquid enzymes and powder enzymes directly onto the finished product, to avoid cross contamination between the various products and to avoid waste due to degradation of the enzymes during the production of feed. - Powder condensation : Fine powders, in an environment saturated with the same, cause serious problems such as explosions and subsequent fires , as well as serious respiratory problems for personnel and, last but not least, damage to the plant. which remain in the production cycle without creating further problems - Humidification: For the treatment of humidification in raw materials with the addition of water and acidifiers with retroactive checks of humidity present in cereals - Treatment after pelletizing : The addition of medicines in the production of feed is normally carried out in the mixing pase with contamination problems and loss of active ingredients due to mechanical and thermal stresses. With the MSC it is possible to add antibiotics, coccidiostats, vitamins etc, whether in liquid or powder form. This process is possible thanks of the utilization of Seal4feed , a filming product from ARDA Innovations product of ARDA INNOVATIONS. by PLP System Source: All Pet Food 

Coating Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

5 Essential Pet Food Manufacturing Equipment Types

Being able to reliably, affordably and easily feed our pets has been an important part of our ongoing relationships with our pets. In the modern industrial era, several types of pet food manufacturing equipment have played a key role in widely distributing pet food. Let's take a closer look at the essential pet food manufacturing equipment supporting the pet food industry today. 5 Essential Pet Food Manufacturing Equipment Types Today, there are many different types of pet food. This includes a wide range of pet types, from fish to birds to rodents to cats and dogs and many more, as well as many different types of food, including wet food, dry food, canned food, fresh food, and more. Different types of pet food utilize many different ingredients, processes and pet food manufacturing equipment. In this blog post we'll take a look at a few of the most essential processes. A startling 25% of Americans added a pet to their home in 2020. This was an especially difficult year, indicating that many of us rely on our pets for companionship and comfort. During this time, US pet food sales rose 10%, with e-commerce sales rising sharply. Increasingly, pet owners are seeing their pets as family members, which can have numerous benefits, mostly linked to reduced stress and loneliness. With bonds between people and pets growing stronger, an increasing number of pet owners are looking for high-quality and speciality pet foods, including wet food and refrigerated food. However, dry pet food like kibble still remains the dominant type, accounting for 57% of pet food sales. Since cats and dogs are still by far the most popular type of pet, we'll mainly discuss the essential pet food manufacturing equipment for dry dog and cat food. Mixers Industrial mixing is one of the most important types of food processing equipment, including pet food. Large-scale mixers make it possible to mix ingredients quickly, efficiently, and uniformly, processing 5, 10, even 15 tons of material at one time. These mixers are also capable of working with a wide range of materials, including very fine powders to thick liquids and tough solids. For pet food processing, mixers can be important at several points, from mixing cornmeal and other grains to oils and fats, meat-based products, and more. Without large-scale pet food mixers, it would be difficult to process the amount of food we would need to reliably and affordably feed our pets. Extruders Extruders push mixed material, usually a dough or a paste, through a metal die to create uniform pieces. Extruders are important pet food processing equipment because they make it easy to create food that is easy to package, ship, and store. Extruders also create nutritionally uniform pellets, removing the guesswork in balancing protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In addition, these pellets are easy to work with, so they can be easily coated with flavorings and fats. Spray Coating Adding fats and flavorings to kibble is important for making the food palatable for pets, but it's also important to ensure that the pets get the right amount of fats, vitamins and minerals in their diet. Spray coating makes it easy to add liquid coatings to pellets. This process is both fast and efficient, so the pellets can move through the process quickly and get to packaging and then on to the customer and their pet. Mist Coating Mist coating takes liquid coating one step further, making it even easier and faster to apply liquid coatings to pellets. Mist coating equipment uses an atomizing system which turns liquid coatings into a fine mist, which evenly coats the material as it falls through the coating chamber. When comparing liquid coating systems, mist coating is one of the most efficient methods, since it provides more even coating, reduces waste, requires less clean-up, and tends to be gentler on the pellets, decreasing breakage and loss. Track and Tracing Track and tracing systems, which can include a wide range of equipment, are essential to all modern-day food systems, and pet food is no exception. By tracking materials and finished products through each process, and then on to retailers and customers, it's possible to detect where contamination exists, and stop contaminated products before they do more damage. Though other processes are designed to kill bacteria and tests are designed to detect dangerous chemicals, no process is 100% effective. When bacteria or other dangers make their way into pet food, track and trace systems can show where the contamination came from, and pull the contaminated goods from the shelf as quickly as possible. by APEC  Source: All Pet Food 


Conveying Systems

Conveying Systems Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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6+ MIN

Countdown to Pet Food Conveyor Launch: Starting Up On Time and With Confidence

To move delicate pet food products or powders, most processors do extensive homework before purchasing a tubular drag cable conveyor to ensure that it meets their needs in terms of function and price. After the purchase, the conveyor must be expertly assembled and tested to ensure smooth production startup and continued performance. The challenge is that the typical third-party contractors installing various plant systems might need to become more familiar with specialized pet food conveyors and, thus, are more prone to make costly errors. A more prudent choice is using the OEM's team of experienced technicians. The OEM's experts have the advantage of designing the specialized conveyor and understanding its installation, operational requirements, and potential problem areas. 'If a tubular drag cable conveyor is installed incorrectly by a third party, it often needs to be completely pulled apart and rebuilt, which is costly and time-consuming. If the conveyor is run incorrectly, damage will occur, and components must be replaced. All this only delays startup,' says Terry Derby, Director of Parts and Field Service for Automated Handling Solutions (AHS). AHS is the service-focused subsidiary of Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has been designing, engineering, and servicing enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years and is in more than 65 countries. As a solution, pet food processors seeking superior conveyor performance from the start rely on expert-supervised installation and commissioning to ensure they will be ready to run products on time, at the necessary volumes. Today, a tubular drag cable conveyor requires considerable expertise to install. These systems gently move material through a sealed tube using a coated, flexible, stainless-steel drag cable pulled through on a loop. Solid circular discs (flights) attach to the cable, pushing the product through the tube without air.  'This type of conveyor is uniquely engineered to transport delicate materials gently. The tubes form a continuous loop that must be carefully assembled for a tight fit to ensure no misalignment or gaps between sections. While the modular components lend great flexibility to system design, each component must act in concert with the rest for proper conveyor functionality,' explains Derby. After selecting and purchasing a conveyor, the pet food processor's next step is installing it, which often requires professional assistance. Reliability Starts with Supervised Installation Whether relying on internal staff members for installation or contracting the job to an outside team of millwrights or skilled pipefitters, supervised conveyor installation can ensure proper system installation. Getting expert assistance is still essential during installation, even with the manual that has detailed instructions and QR-code links to videos for each conveyor component. 'Supervised installation is important to ensure that your system is installed properly so you don't run into maintenance problems due to an improper install,' says Derby. Derby insists that 'supervised installs are probably the most important support service we offer.' This step is often neglected when a less experienced third party performs the installation, which can escalate costs. At this point, AHS is frequently asked to complete final preparations and correct any problems before production startup, a process known as commissioning.  'When a processor brings us to their facility after declining a supervised installation, we often have to work backward for a day or two to correct issues. Having us there for supervised installation eliminates the need for correction and any idle contractors waiting on us for the repair, so it pays for itself,' says Derby. In the case of AHS, the company's technicians have logged hundreds, if not thousands, of hours on-site in various manufacturing facilities worldwide. This singular focus gives them the knowledge and expertise to streamline the installation process and prevent issues that can lead to system inefficiencies, product loss, or complete system failure. As part of the supervised installation, skilled technicians ensure the correct positioning of the conveyor's hangers and the proper torque for couplings. The system is properly cleaned to remove any metal fragments or foreign contaminants introduced during installation. In addition, the technician confirms that all conveyor inlets are in place and that all discharges are functioning. Even seemingly minor gaps or misaligned areas in the conveyor tubing can become a severe issue. 'If gaps are in the conveyor's tubes, the discs will 'catch' when crossing the joint, causing excessive wear on the cable and motor. If not corrected, this could lead to premature failure, production downtime, and added repair and replacement costs,' says Derby. According to Derby, another common wear item in tubular drag cable conveyors is sweeps, areas where the tube changes direction. He explains that sweeps are where the cable is under the most significant tension and where the discs rub inside the tube. Since sweeps show the first signs of wear, proper installation can reduce the wear and significantly prolong tube and cable life, simplifying maintenance. 'With a supervised install, processors can ensure that their conveyor is assembled correctly to enable seamless startup, reliable production, optimal output, and greater longevity for the system and its parts. Our reputation is on the line to get it right from the start,' says Derby. In addition, a supervised installation includes a full report outlining actions to correct any issues found. Due to the attention to detail, a supervised installation also preserves the standard warranty for the system's components. Of course, operators also play a critical role in conveyor performance. For this reason, having experts onsite can be one of the best ways to train the operators and maintenance crew on properly running, cleaning, and maintaining the system.    Reliable Production Requires Expert Commissioning When the installation is complete, the next step is to schedule commissioning. The average commissioning visit for a single-system installation usually lasts an entire day.  The onsite commissioning process readies the conveyor for total production and identifies any immediately correctable issues to keep the startup on schedule. At this point, the system must be installed entirely, including all mechanical and electrical components. The conveyor material must also be ready for introduction to the system. This is where a botched installation by a third party can come to light without supervised installation by the OEM. 'We are often asked to 'fix' poor installations by third-party contractors. We have had to tear whole systems apart. This frequently requires a complete rebuild and replacement of damaged parts, which adds cost, creates downtime, and delays startup,' says Derby. In the case of AHS's commissioning service, the technician conducts an inspection using a camera that runs through the entire system layout to ensure that everything is correctly assembled and ready for testing. The technician then performs a test run of the product, from the inlet feed through the sweeps to the discharge outlet, and verifies that it flows at the desired speed. 'Tailoring the conveyor to the material conveyed can require adjustments to fine-tune the process. With the commissioning, the goal is to increase efficiency, production volume, and reliability,' says Derby. He adds that 'checking the system's health' also uncovers any issues that might arise, which technicians can address to prevent production downtime. He points out that commissioning also extends Cablevey's standard warranty. As a final step in the commissioning process, the technician issues a report for the processor that documents all findings from the full-system inspection. Completing conveyor installation, commissioning, and start-up is only the start of the OEM's and processor's relationship since the system's lifespan can be decades. In addition to traveling on-site for emergency service calls, the company offers an annual service visit to conduct a detailed system inspection and address any issues, identify worn parts, ensure predictive maintenance is being conducted, and provide any additional training needed. This complete system audit aims to extend the conveyor's lifespan and prevent unexpected downtime. 'Our mission is to provide conveying equipment and ensure it performs as required, with minimal downtime and maintenance. Once a pet food processor buys a system, they become part of our family. We will continue to support them every way we can, even as their needs evolve,' concludes Derby. By Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. Source All Pet Food

Conveying Systems Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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4+ MIN

Mobile 'Smart Cart' Automates Food Conveyor CIP for Pet Food Manufacturers

To promote food safety and sanitary compliance, pet food manufacturers are increasingly seeking the ability to clean-in-place (CIP), an automated method of cleaning the interior surfaces of tubular drag conveyors without disassembly. Now, with the advent of mobile tools like an innovative 'smart cart' that quick-connects to any tubular conveyor and enables simple, customizable 'single button cleaning recipes,' CIP is becoming easier, faster, less labor-intensive, more repeatable, and almost fully automated. Tubular drag conveyor systems gently move product through a sealed, enclosed tube using a drag cable and circular discs pulled through on a loop, so they are ideal for delicate items. Designed to handle a variety of different forms and sizes, from kibble to seeds or pellets and nutrients, tubular conveyors maintain both quality and proper proportions. In a wet CIP process, the system is flooded with water, flushed, rinsed, cleansed, and thoroughly sanitized. Although the process is very effective, streamlining its automation and simplifying the process for all a facility's tubular drag conveyors has been a priority for leading innovators in the industry. 'The standard system required port hookups to water lines and installing piping. The processor also had to make decisions, such as which water temperatures to utilize, or whether to use a cleaning solvent - and the correct amount to add manually,' says John Adair, Engineering and Quality Director for Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has designed, engineered, and serviced enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years, and is in more than 65 countries. To simplify the wet cleaning process, Adair and his engineering team at Cablevey have developed a small, mobile 'smart cart' with integrated water line hookups that a single technician can easily take to any tubular drag conveyor in a facility. The cart is specifically designed to be a fraction of the size of similar carts on the market to facilitate mobility. When the cart is in position and connected to water lines, the CIP process is automated and controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) that reduces the need for manual labor and virtually eliminates the risk of improper cleaning. 'Once it is set up, all you do is press a button, and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning,' says Adair. The smart cart is designed to store and utilize pre-programmed CIP recipes to flush various residual materials from the tubular drag cable conveyors in a facility before new production runs. The cleaning recipes enable even those with very little training to use the cart, which is helpful in today's tight labor market and allows the technician to move on to other tasks once the cleaning process begins. The use of easily executable recipes ensures a superior, repeatable clean that essentially 'error-proofs' the process. This is particularly important when the technician may be new or less familiar with the production equipment. 'Depending on the product conveyed, sometimes all you need is a wet rinse or a specific cleaning solvent. All that information is saved, so after the first cleaning, it can be automatically repeated. Just push a button to start the appropriate recipe, whether you have one conveyor running multiple products or dozens of conveyors running various products,' says Adair. To meet strict compliance standards, the smart cart also documents all critical CIP information, such as water volume and temperature, chemicals used, and cleaning time by date, in an easily retrievable data log. Since decreasing production downtime between conveyor cleanings is a priority for pet food manufacturers, Cablevey provides new capabilities with the cart that expedites the CIP process. Currently, the CIP process floods the tubular conveyor system but is not designed to clean the discs specifically. 'Operators would manually clean each disc and advance the system disc by disc when the discs had to be cleaned of particularly viscous substances,' says Adair.   Once it is set up, all you do is press a button and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning.   Now, as an option on the cart, a disc washer can be integrated with the conveyor turnaround to spray a pressurized cleansing solution on the discs. This helps to remove stickier substances that could remain after routine CIP cleaning. 'The disc washer sprays high-pressure water directly on the discs, so it acts like an automatic car wash. At the push of a button, the discs and cable are run through, and spray cleaned, which reduces CIP time and eliminates the need to manually clean the discs,' says Adair. To further reduce downtime, Cablevey also offers a new sanitary blower option. 'After the wet CIP process, a sanitary blower attachment on the smart cart can dry the discs and other parts of the system 75% faster than typical air drying,' says Adair. He points out that the faster the conveyor is cleaned and dried after a product change, the sooner it can be put back into service, which improves profitability. According to Adair, Cablevey's Mobile Smart Cart was already available since it was officially unveiled at Pack Expo, a premier packaging and processing show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in September. The event featured full-scale setups of machinery in action. The company also offered traveling demo smart cars to customers in September for free so clients could test drive the units. Pet food manufacturers can now purchase the demonstration unit used in their facilities, with hands-on training available immediately. While the pet food manufacturing industry is aware that automated CIP can improve conveyor system production uptime, barriers to implementation have slowed adoption. Utilizing a mobile smart cart with integrated water hookups will help manufacturers easily implement CIP in tubular drag conveyors throughout their facilities: expediting conveyor cleaning, production changeover, and sanitary compliance. By: Del Williams - Technical writer based in Torrance - California Source: All Pet Food Magazine


Packaging

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Siegwerk’s new coatings enable recyclable monomaterial pet food packaging

Printing ink and coatings leader Siegwerk has announced a breakthrough in sustainable pet food packaging. Partnering with printing machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher and bag-making and machine producer B&B, Siegwerk has developed a fully recyclable monomaterial pouch for dry pet food using its CIRKIT functional coatings. This innovation addresses increasing pressure from EU regulations on packaging circularity.   'New approaches are needed to meet the upcoming regulatory requirements for circular packaging,' said Belal Habib, head of Brand Owner Collaboration at Siegwerk. 'The challenge is to find a recyclable design that also meets the respective performance requirements of the packaging.'   Pet food packaging needs to be food-safe and have specific barrier properties such as grease resistance, in order to maintain freshness and structural integrity. Traditionally, these requirements meant complex, non-recyclable multimaterial structures with metallised layers.   'The problem: they are not recyclable,' added Habib. 'This is where innovative barrier coatings applied in thin layers and inline with regular printing inks can help to switch from an incompatible multimaterial structure to a fully recyclable monomaterial solution in the sense of a circular economy.'   The solution utilises two CIRKIT coatings: CIRKIT GreaseBar: An inline-printable grease barrier coating. CIRKIT HeatGuard: A coating that enhances sealing efficiency and heat resistance on film surfaces, also inline-printable.   These coatings, combined with full polyurethane inks suitable for mechanical recycling, enable the mono-polyethylene bag to achieve the same performance as traditional multimaterial structures while being fully recyclable. Importantly, the inks and coatings are solvent-based, deinkable, and inline-printable without sacrificing print quality.   'Together, we have succeeded in developing an innovation that is circular, delivers on performance and maintains current process efficiencies due to inline and high-speed conversion,' said Habib. 'This shows that, by joining forces, we are in a position to make recyclable monoplastic packaging a reality and thus counter the still wide presence of multimaterial laminated structures with future-oriented flexible packaging solutions made for circularity.'   Siegwerk's expertise spans the entire packaging life cycle, from raw material selection to recycling. This allows it to partner with companies to redesign packaging structures for sustainability according to current guidelines.   Source: Packaging Gateway.

Packaging Northwind´s expertise in pet food automation
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STATEC BINDER: A PIONEER IN THE PACKAGING INDUSTRY

Foundation and Company History   The company was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between two renowned companies, BT Wolfgang Binder, and BINDER+CO AG. Both companies had already been active in the packaging and processing industry since the 1970s and brought many years of experience and expertise to the partnership. The merger created a new player in the packaging industry, STATEC BINDER. Over the years, STATEC BINDER has impressed with over 1800 successfully installed plants on all continents and in over 85 countries, underlining its global presence and expertise. The company continuously expanded its product range, from stand-alone machines to complete solutions for customers. Thanks to innovation, teamwork, and the pursuit of perfection, STATEC BINDER has always been able to meet the requirements of global markets and provide customized solutions for its customers.   Innovation and Product Portfolio   A key factor in STATEC BINDER's success is continuous innovation and the development of customized solutions for its customers. The product range of STATEC BINDER includes fully automatic as well as semi-automatic packaging systems for bags from 5kg to 50kg, BIG BAG filling stations, palletizing systems, and bag closing systems, which are developed specifically for customers' needs. Whether it is bulk materials such as grain, animal feed, fertilizer, plastic granules, or other materials, STATEC BINDER offers solutions for a wide range of industries.   Quality and Customer Service STATEC BINDER places great emphasis on the quality of its products and services. The packaging solutions are manufactured in a production facility and are subject to strict quality controls to ensure they meet the highest standards. The company is ISO 9001 certified, which underlines its commitment to maintaining high-quality standards. In addition to product quality, customer service is another key factor that distinguishes the company. STATEC BINDER's customers appreciate the personalized advice, individualized customer services, and comprehensive support the company offers. Working closely with customers enables the company to better understand their specific requirements and challenges, and to offer customers an all-around carefree package once they have purchased the equipment.   International Success STATEC BINDER's reputation extends beyond Austria, reaching a global scale. The company exports its packaging solutions to over 85 countries worldwide and maintains an extensive network of distribution and service partners across various regions, ensuring exceptional onsite support and guidance for its customers. This international presence reflects the trust customers worldwide place in STATEC BINDER's products and services.   Conclusion STATEC BINDER is a company that stands out in the packaging industry for its innovation, quality products, and dedicated customer service. With a strong focus on the needs of its customers, STATEC BINDER remains a major player in packaging technology and will continue to play a significant role in the industry in the future.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine