Reducing energy costs in feed mills

by Arvin Donley
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In a business, such as feed milling, where profit margins are often narrow trimming away unnecessary costs can mean the difference between success and failure.

At the 2016 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., Charles Stark, associate professor in feed technology at Kansas State University, gave a presentation on ways to improve efficiency and reduce energy costs in a feed mill.

Stark said addressing these issues will “improve your bottom line, increase your competitiveness in the marketplace, protect your business from rising energy prices, reduce carbon emissions and help you stay ahead of government regulations.”

Having visited many feed mills during his years in the industry, Stark said facilities that are not energy-conscious are missing opportunities to improve profitability.

“I’ve seen mills where you go into the warehouse and every light is on,” he said. “Or you go to do a steam trap audit and the steam traps are sticking open. All they’re doing is wasting energy.”

While the idea of creating an energy management program might seem overwhelming, Stark said a good place to start is using the American Feed Industry Association’s energy savings guide.

“It’s a very good way to begin the process,” he said. “You can go through and highlight which items have the potential to save you the most money. We’re not asking you to create a form because it already exists.”