Provimi has recently opened its new premix and blending plant in Dalton, UK. With this new facility, the company kicks off its new approach to consolidate its premix activities. General Manager for North West Europe - Yoram Knoop - says this “simplification” of the activities means that the company can specialise and serve the market better. Emmy Koeleman visited the plant and finds out what it holds.
By Emmy Koeleman
Two million UK pounds (€2.3 million) and 18 months is what it took to complete the production site in Dalton, North Yorkshire. The investment includes a dedicated tote production plant for specialist high value products for the pet and equine sectors and a new dry powder blending plant that will produce premixes and minerals for inclusion in pig and ruminant diets. The tote facility is housed in a newly built room within the plant and is equipped with technology that ensures zero cross contamination risk. All raw materials are bar coded and checked throughout the manufacturing process using state-of-the-art traceability and tracking features. The restructuring programme and the major investment in a new production facility, coming as it does in the midst of the economic downturn, has been possible thanks to the backing and resource available from SCA NuTec’s parent company Provimi.
Dry powder blending
The dry powder blending plant produces premixes, meals and minerals to supply directly to farm for home mix, to merchants, wholesalers, distributors and feed compounders. Quality control is assured and cross contamination minimised through automated process control, bar coded raw materials and batch traceability. “We now have a highly efficient and up-to-date plant that goes beyond the required legislative requirements and offers high quality assurance to our customers,” says SCA NuTec managing director Mark Cole. Part of the global Provimi company that has 87 production plants in 30 countries, SCA NuTec has two manufacturing sites in the UK. This latest development is part of a restructuring of the UK operation that consolidates animal nutrition activities at Dalton and the production of animal health products at its Lichfield site. “Provimi is committed to the UK business and to the SCA brand – a brand that is synonymous with speciality young animal feed worldwide,” adds Dr Cole.
Despite its global reputation, Provimi is keen to keep production of SCA products close to its core market – the UK and export to north west Europe. But, says Yoram Knoop: “global doesn’t mean we have to do everything”. We focus on consolidation of our activities to make the organisational structure simpler and therefore more specialised. Products from the new plant can be produced to customers’ specifications and we can offer great flexibility in production. The tote plant, for example, has packing options from five to 25kg bags through to 1000kg tote bags, and the new blending plant is capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of premixes and minerals a year in a single eight-hour shift. The new facility incorporates two gravity mixing lines designed to minimise cross-contamination, two high speed stainless steel mixers with liquid injection facilities and two high speed packing machines incorporating automatic bag placement. Furthermore, it has fully automated operation with full process control, bar coded raw materials addition and batch traceability.
Minimal interruption time
“A critical aspect of the project was to keep customers supplied during the build,” says Dave Jones, operations and supply chain manager, who oversaw the design and build of the project. “The existing plant kept running during the removal of old equipment, laying of new foundations and erection of the new tower structure – quite a task but expertly executed by an experienced team of company employees working in conjunction with specialist contractors.” As a result, plant downtime was minimised to less than two weeks and continuity of supply to customers maintained throughout.