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How to improve your cashflow in meat byproducts rendering plant

Published on: 7/28/2021
Author/s : Ing. Wilki Ramón Santander Ovalles / Ingeniería 3AG C.A, Integral solutions for rendering plants.
This article will make a similarity of both companies from the perspective of the meat byproducts rendering plants. Walmart is the largest and most successful retail company in American history and Kmart was its direct competitor in its early days. Walmart focused on improving its process not only in technology, but it also trained its employees so that they understood the importance of reducing costs without deteriorating the quality and their service, focusing in details. Kmart invested in big advertising campaigns with TV big stars. The rest is history Walmart is by far the leading retailer in the American market history and has long behind no only Kmart also emblematic and traditional companies such as Sears. Here is my humble point of view from meat byproducts rendering plants perspective. I am going to use a hypothetical plant that receives 10 TM/Day of meat byproducts (visceral and bones) to produce meat and bone meal.
1.- Raw material
This is the neuralgic center of the whole process if you don´t invest in training your staff in the important that is stage for the overall process you will lose money, They must understand that velocity with their receive raw material must be as quickly as possible and the control of the mixture of soft (visceral) and hard (bone) you may be producing a meat and bone meal with high variability in their protein level with its impact in profitability, the different price between a meat and bone meal from 45 protein level versus 50 protein level in percentage is around 55 $/TM. If you work 5 days per week, 4 weeks a month, 12 month per year, you must process 2.400 TM of meat byproducts and you produce 720 TM of meat and bone meal and 240 TM of tallow. In the worst-case scenario, you are failing to earn 39.000 $ a year.
2.- Prebreaker mill
In this stage the most important variable is grinding time, this time must be strictly necessary if the operators increase the grinding time fines are produced, these fines are deposited in the tallow this is because the centrifugal couldn't work efficiently, these fines increase its acidity which the price will go down. Under this scenario that you lose 10 % of tallow, 24 TM you're failing to earn 19.200 per year.
3.- Cooker batch or continuous
For this equipment, if your equipment is batch you must watch two variables cooking time and final temperature of cooking. This last is true if your gases extraction (humidity) from material is carried out by natural draft (without extractors). If your cooker is continuous you must add two additional variables for control process. The internal pressure and fat level inside the cooker. This equipment is the neuralgic center of whichever plant a bad operation or misunderstanding of turn these variables can turn into a nightmare. I have personally witnessed new plant where the process performance goes from 10 TM/hr to 1TM/hr because a plant manager, director or contractor made a modification in the extraction pipelines without being clear about interrelation of the variables mentioned above. The impact on downstream equipment is deadly, The screw press doesn't separate the meal from tallow, the centrifuge doesn't separate fat from water. Any slip in this stage costs a fortune. This equipment is the Tom Brady of the plant if the cooker is wrong, the upstream teams (logistics, Hoopers, Suppliers) will also go wrong and the downstream equipments (presses, hammer mill, centrifuge will not able to carry out their work with their impact on the fulfillment over customers.
4.- Screw Press
The Screw press has two mechanical variables, the first measurement is the motor amperage that tells us how much resistance the material is making inside the pressing chamber and the second variable is feeding speed that indicates how well the material is passing through the mentioned chamber. Additionally, there are physical variables that correspond to the material being processed, temperature, viscosity of the fat, each material has its press point. A bad pressing obtaining meat and bone meal whose percentage of fat of 15%, only improving the pressing until obtaining a meat and bone meal with fat percentage of 9 % you recover 6 % from 240 TM of tallow per year for a monetary value of 12.900 dollars per year.
5.- Centrifuge
The centrifuge is the most complicated equipment to understand for me. It has 3 fundamental operational variables, The first variable feeding speed, the second variable is temperature of the tallow to be centrifuged and the third the relationship speed between the external and internal drum. Just to give you an idea, the essence of this equipment for the tallow process, a decrease only of one point in the viscosity of the tallow to be centrifuge, increases the separation speed of the machine by 1800 times. A bad operation of this equipment if it represents thousands of dollars in losses which can be between 10 and 30% of the tallow without obtain.
6.- Boiler
The heart of the plant without this equipment does not work at all, as Cesar Rabellino an ALAPRE manager for whom I feel a lot of respect and admiration told me 18 years ago, when I entered the world of meat byproducts rendering plants and came from a transnational sausage company where the fashionable topic was to talk about the Core of the business, and I asked him what was the core of the business of meat byproducts rendering plants and he turned serious towards me and told me, our business is to evaporate as much water as possible, then over the years I understood how wise these words were, if you want to master any plant, no matter the capacity, if you learn well the evaporation process you will have no problem handling batch or continuous, or a cooker of 10 TM / Hr or 20 TM / Hr. Your process must be able to evaporate water well, for this happen your boiler must work at maximum capacity and with efficient saturated steam, the water must be chemically treated and its operators must clear when they must purge and regenerated the softener, all these procedures at the correct time to avoid additional costs in chemicals and fuel.
With this article, we have walked through the most important equipments of a meat byproducts rendering plant and how much is failing to perceive for not using resources efficiently. Being benevolent around 85,000 dollars a year in a plant that process meat byproducts of 10 MT /day. This amount represents a rebuilt screw press in the USA. If your plant processes 40 MT/ day this becomes 340,000 dollars a fishmeal plant brought from China.
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