Optimizing the packaging process is a constant pursuit for companies that package bulk goods and cargo. The same applies for the U.S.-based family business Kemin Industries, which has already been a specialist in additives for animal feed for nearly 60 years. More than 2,800 employees are working for the company in 90 countries worldwide. The European headquarters in Herentals, Belgium serves Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and also has a production site for animal feed additives. The partnership with Arodo also started in Belgium.
Focus on ergonomics
Kemin Industries expanded at a speed to supply as many customers as possible – half the world’s population every day – with its high-quality products. The human and animal global feed and food industries are mainly served with their solutions as well as the health, nutrition, textiles and commercial horticulture markets. The company clearly felt the need for local, innovative ingredients in the market and is now responding accordingly. To support the strong growth objectives, Kemin turned to smart technological developments at the production sites, with the first steps being taken in the ergonomic world.
“Our freshly ground powder products are very light and highly flowable during filling”, explains Dany Peeters, Plant Manager in Herentals. “This makes the packaging and stacking process difficult, and a lot of manual work is involved. Some 10 years ago, a vacuum stacking aid was tested in Herentals to make palletising easier, but the result wasn’t effective. When I saw the packaging solutions from Arodo at a fair, I was impressed. I was in search of an automated filling line specifically for Herentals, but Arodo advised us to first experiment with their semi-automatic palletiser which was a hole-in-one.”
From palletiserto complete filling line
After its first palletiser, Kemin Herentals soon opted for a second in 2012 to subsequently launch full automation with a complete filling line: new product transport, buffer silos and a fully automatic filling machine. “We looked at the competition”, continues Dany, “but Arodo stood out with their experience, the more compact techniques, the speed of their service department and the technical pricing side. We have been able to optimize the packaging processes in Herentals and the bagging issues have disappeared.”
In the meantime, we at Arodo are becoming increasingly familiar with the Kemin products, and that helps us to continue to offer packaging solutions according to the company’s requirements. Then, the Kemin operations in the U.S. became interested in our products.
Excellence centre of the world
“We had the opportunity the show the technology of our bag filling machines and closure systems to Kemin management teams”, continues Jan-Mathijs van Noort, Sales Manager at Arodo. “We presented out-of-the-box solutions and demonstrated the advantages of our vacuum system. After a series of tests we were approved to build a completely new filling line for bagged products in the U.S., vacuum technology included. By listening to their needs and integrating them in the machines, we helped Kemin to optimize their processes.”
Herentals now operates as an excellence centre for the Kemin establishments worldwide and is the signboard for Arodo’s proven technology. Between the project start in Herentals and the development of the filling line for the U.S., we supplied similar systems to the Kemin offices in China, Russia and India. Kemin now works with a total of six bagging machines and five palletisers from Arodo.