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Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

Animal diets include between 50 and 100 components. All these components have a different inclusion rate. The small components (less than 1%) cannot be dosed separately and mixed homogeneously, meaning they have to be added to the feed via a premix. Working with such small components and small volumes means that the production of premixes is a delicate business. Belgium company Bivit has taken this art to a higher level. AllAboutFeed travelled to Belgium to take a closer look.

Photo

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    In 2011, premix producer Bivit moved from Bruges to a new location Gullegum, not far from the French border. The Belgium company needed more space and a new plant was built from scratch and could therefore be designed as efficient as possible.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Also a new office was built, attached to the manufacturing plant. Fire walls between the office spaces and the plant make it a safe working environment.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Paul De Smet, CEO of Bivit since 1999, is an ambitious premix producer. He takes us on a tour through the new production unit, that has been operating since January 2012.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The factory is a compact plant. Constant cleaning (vacuum cleaning) of the premises make it a very sterile environment.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Every batch of incoming material is checked for quality. Also the label is checked. A sample is taken from the big bag. When the product is delivered in more than one big bag, a mixed sample is taken.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The sample is checked for contaminants (such as toxins, heavy metals. Bivit has experienced a phosphate batch was contaminated with cadmium. It happens around twice a year.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Raw materials that do not pass the quality or label check are stored in the ‘quarantine area’. Sometimes the batch is sent back to the producer.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Storage of the raw materials. Bivit has around 250 products in stock. Some in small bags, some in large silos.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The big bags are being unloaded in the big silos.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Almost no dust comes free because the big bag hang in a ‘cell’ in the floor. Every cell is connected to a different silo.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The cells are numbered and only the cell that is in use can be opened. The other sells are sealed for safety reasons.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Cells, as seen from above.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Products that are used a lot and in relatively large amounts (such as salts, calcium and certain amino acids) are stored in big silos. Bivit has three of them in the plant.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The plant also has medium sized silos. In total: 48.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The materials are transported to the storage container, from which they are elevated to the mixer.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    All the pipes to the storage container are linked with a medium sized silo.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The rough premix is stored in a container under the ground. Now, it still needs to be mixed and – if needed- smaller components need to be added manually.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    98% is bulk, but some components of the premix have to be added by hand. The filling station is seen here.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    A list of the total premix tells which components need to be added manually and in which amounts.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Weighing of the ingredients.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    An employee adds the extra components to the rough premix. Bivit employees can receive a bonus when they work accurately and cleanly and limit the amount of production errors.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The elevation is clearly seen on the operating screen (the green vertical line).

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    There is also an old line in the plant, from the old plant in Bruges. This line is mainly used to mix fatty products or produce more complete feed for example.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The new line uses an elevator system in which the product is transported to the paddle mixer. From weighing to a mixed product takes nine minutes. The mixing time is 90 seconds.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    In the old line, two spiral mixers are still used (mixing time is six minutes).

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    After mixing, the product is ready. Most of it is loaded in 2000-litre silos. An employee takes one of the silos to the unloading point.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The silos are being filled.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    An employee checks if the silo is filled correctly.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Storage of the silos.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The silos are easily emptied into the truck by using the unloading point in the ground.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    The silo is placed on this point, a push on the button elevates the middle part and the product is being loaded in the truck.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Some products are sold in smaller bags. De Smet wants to invest in an automated bagging machine and a robot to make this process more efficient.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Bags to be filled.

  • Photo Report: A glimpse into a modern premix plant

    Storage of the small bags and ready to bring the products to the clients. The new plant is now running for a good two years. The capacity is currently set at 50 tonnes per day, but it can be increased to 100 tonnes. The company also wants to grow bigger in Europe.

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