• Ridley believes that the newly formed Technology Center is another big step forward in its growth strategy to become the industry’s leader in delivering self-fed nutritional supplements for production livestock, wildlife and companion animals.
The livestock feed industry is under constant pressure from ingredient scarcity, increasing costs and often a limited supply of conventional feed stocks.
Ridley Block Operations (RBO), a division of Ridley Inc., has recently invested significant resources to help better manage the ever-changing ingredient landscape by opening the RBO Technology Center at its Worthington, Minn., manufacturing plant this past winter.
Traditional low-cost, high-volume by-products from grain and other food processing facilities are finding alternative uses and thereby continue to put pressure on commercial feed and supplement prices.
Feed manufacturing companies such as Ridley Inc. continue to adapt and make changes in order to remain relevant and competitive in the feed industry. Inventing new ways to keep costs down, introducing novel feed ingredients and adding value to their products are several areas of primary focus.
The RBO Technology Center includes an R&D laboratory and a pilot plant facility. The RBO Technology Center provides RBO a reliable testing environment for all of its product forms. RBO is now able to perform tests from the laboratory bench up to production scale.
A pilot plant facility is also part of the Technology Center, furnished with new and restored equipment that is capable of modifying and testing existing and acquired technology before going into full scale production.
RBO has made several acquisitions during the last decade. From these acquisitions, RBO has gained access and experience working with several new technologies. The underlying goal is to merge acquired expertise with existing manufacturing knowledge and equipment in order to realize “the best of the best” in new technologies. Research and development associated with modifying and improving acquired know-how to suit current demands is a major priority of the newly formed Technology Center.
The manufacturing facility at Worthington provides a perfect location for the Technology Center, since it produces most all forms of block products marketed by RBO. Having the Technology Center adjacent to the Worthington manufacturing plant also provides prompt feedback in both directions and provides the production environment for rapid implementation of new technologies.
The mission of the Technology Center is to provide technical support for RBO’s production facilities to evaluate new feed ingredients across the wide variety of block forms that are manufactured, introduce new processes that may help bring down production costs, improve existing processes that support employee well-being and safety, develop new products and improve the quality of existing products.
The RBO Technology Center will support the research and testing needs of RBO’s eight plants nationwide by developing a practical environment and research protocols to fully evaluate ingredients and finished products. RBO’s main products include self-fed animal feed blocks such as low-moisture blocks (LMB), poured, composite, pressed and compressed blocks.
Manufacturing facilities can send samples of new potential ingredients (or non-conforming products from a production line) and request the Technology Center do analyses or feasibility studies. Suitability of new ingredients can be determined to help reduce the time needed on production lines for successful implementation into production.
The Technology Center will also routinely verify new batches of current feed ingredients and finished products while providing recommendations for any adjustments.
The Technology Center has already achieved significant accomplishments for increasing the use of new ingredients as well as the reduction in nonconforming products.
Also, the Technology Center has contributed to a number of patent applications based on the information gained from research and experimentation generated within the facilities as well as in conjunction with other locations.
Further expansion of the Technology Center will help grow its future research capabilities by collaborating with major agricultural, engineering and research universities as well as independent facilities across North America.
The final goal of establishing the RBO Technology Center is to provide high quality animal nutrition products and services to help Ridley’s customers achieve business success and personal satisfaction.
Ridley believes that the newly formed Technology Center is another big step forward in its growth strategy to become the industry’s leader in delivering self-fed nutritional supplements for production livestock, wildlife and companion animals.
For more information, see www.Ridleyinc.com.