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Feed Compounder: Continued investment brings big returns for compounders

CEO Con Lynch attributes CFE’s growth in market share to its policy of concentrating on three key areas of its business, namely:

  • Investment in die and roll refurbishing.
  • New technology from pelleting machine world leaders, CPM, for whom CFE Group are exclusive agents in the UK and Ireland and
  • CFE Process Applications Audits for its UK and Irish Customers.

Determined to deliver greater value to its customers, over 2016 and 2017, CFE invested significantly in sustainable technology by upgrading its die and roll refurbishing lines with the installation of a new Water Pressure Cleaning Unit, Grinder, Counter Sinker and Roll Washer. CFE worked closely with Danish company, O&J Hojtryk to develop a system that would add greater accuracy, efficiency and sustainability across the whole die and roll refurbishing process. CFE’s wealth of experience and expertise, coupled with the high quality and reliability of O&J’s equipment, guarantees the very best product and value on cost of ownership to its customers.

The Water Pressure Cleaning system is a fully automatic cleaning process for all types of ring dies, with no requirement to heat water or use chemical additives. The washer unit uses one nozzle to unblock holes and is designed to accommodate the largest dies in the market. Progressing from the traditional use of two nozzles to a single nozzle has led to increased efficiency and reduction in washing time and water consumption.

The CSV14 Countersinking machine is newly designed for use on hardened and non-hardened rings and can countersink from front and back and right through to the centre of the die. This machine was also designed with an eye on the super dies coming down the track.

CFE’s new state of the art Grinding machine cuts faster and takes off 20% more metal than standard machines on hardened and non-hardened dies. With this grinder, it is no longer necessary to stop, set down and change die sides. There is now greater accuracy in the process and significantly less handling required on the line.

CFE’s has also invested in a bespoke single stage spray washer for rolls. The machine is a heavy duty double skinned and insulated spray washer with twin power driven vertical doors and an 8 bar pressure pump. This washer removes oil and grease residue from all parts. This effectual cleaning at higher temperatures allows for better inspection of parts, improved decision making practices and product quality of roll assemblies.

CFE Group has been the exclusive agent for CPM in the UK and Ireland and since September 2013. Con Lynch says that CFE continues to maintain a strong presence in this market with a solid pipeline of CPM pelleting equipment and consumables. As world market leaders, CPM’s research and development into new pelleting technologies for hygienic food production has seen its introduction of new products responding to the growing demand for increased throughput in ruminant and poultry food production.

Con explains that CFE has challenged itself to provide a solution for customers to maximise machine up time and increase throughput, with the best kilowatt performance per tonne, by achieving 15-20 tonnes per hour on ruminant and 20-25 tonnes per hour on poultry. CFE’s reliability and reputation in providing a local valuable presence for future and existing CPM customers is significant in the sale of new machines such as the CPM Hot Start Conditioner, Lineator and Roll Speed Measurement.

Based on CPM’s observations, CFE feels that the biggest issues with conventional conditioners are relatively low fill of 30% to 50%, variation in filing percentage with the applied capacity, mixer paddle orientation resulting in more stirring than good blending, first product evacuating the conditioner doesn’t meet the required set point temperature and liquid additions and there is a build-up of product between the paddles of the conditioner at the end of a batch.

Optimum conditioning requires high filling percentage between 60% and 70%, a constant filling percentage at the applied capacities, extensive mixing action of the paddles to blend all particles with liquids and steam, that first product evacuating the conditioner already meets the required set point temperature and liquid additions and effective cleaning out of the conditioner barrel at the end of a batch.

In conventional conditioners paddles are adjusted to maximize the filling. This is typically achieved by reducing the thrust function, however does not result into a good homogenised product. CPM challenged this issue and developed the Hot Start Conditioner; inventing what is today the best conditioning solution on the market.

The CPM Hot Start conditioner provides a constant filling percentage between 60% and 70% at the applied capacities. This is achieved through its unique T-shape paddle design, unique paddle sequence on the conditioner shaft and the use of a variable speed drive. T-shape paddles allow for a very extensive blending of product particles. The first product evacuating the conditioner already meets the set point values temperature and liquids additions. This is achieved by a reverse- and forward sense of rotation during the start-up of a new batch. Due to the overlapping trust blades of the unique paddle design, the Hot Start Conditioner cleans out completely at the end of a batch. Leading grandparent stock suppliers are recommending feed which is decontaminated by the CPM Hygienic Hot Start Conditioner and Hygieniser. As a further development, CPM has, more recently, also applied its hot start principals to their standard conditioners. This offers the opportunity to rebuild your existing CPM conditioner with the latest conditioning technology.

The CPM Lineator and Roll Speed Measurement are unique products designed to manipulate quality and manage downtime more effectively. They deliver continuous running time with a direct drive motor, for which CPM is the world market leader, delivering a 6% to 7% more efficient performance than its belt equivalents. Maximum benefit on these innovative products is gained when they are linked to process control.

Con spoke of the kind of lines compounders are now aiming for. Drinagh Co-op in West Cork, Ireland, has built a ruminant tower with 2 X CM7936/12s coupled with 2 X CPM Conditioners giving a throughput of 18-20 tph on ruminant feed. CFE sees Drinagh as a model example for efficient production of 20 tonnes per hour, with the lowest downtime and low kilowatt hours per tonne.   CPM is also keen to introduce its 9000 series into the UK and Irish markets. This range is designed to give a 30% to 40% higher throughput than its 7900 series.

CFE has always sought to advise and guide customers when and where possible. CFE has expanded and improved its business on the basis of providing valued and sustainable solutions to its customers. Con believes that bringing experience, expertise, quality, support, reliability and product excellence to the table makes the Compounder’s journey toward best practice all the more easy.

Over the past 12 months, CFE and CPM have invested in the provision of an Applications Service to its customers. Many mills in the UK and Ireland have been in operation in excess of 40 years and many of these mills are charged with production and process issues. Con Lynch believes that troubleshooting will help CFE’s CPM customers to get the best results in the pellet making process. CFE uses highly skilled Process Engineers with extensive international experience in pellet manufacturing to identify bottlenecks, to review and analyse mill processes and to document and test systems. CFE provides a total solution based service to improve plant performance, identify opportunities and possibilities for new structures and/or expansion. ​

In continuing to invest and pursue excellence in the service which CFE and CPM bring to the market, Con is confident that margins their UK and Irish Compounders will continue to grow.

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