July 03, 2017

04/07/2017: What does efficiency really mean?

By Matteo Agosti, Imeco, Italy

As per the main agricultural area, in the heart of the livestock Italian market, and as per its experience, Imeco has had several experiences in dealing with one of the terms often used by a plant manager


 
Image credit: Imeco
That’s the reason we would like to discuss the concept of efficiency with both data and suggestions in this article. Everybody knows how animal feeds play a leading role in the global food industry, enabling economic production of products of animal origin throughout the whole world.

They may be produced in industrial feed mills or in simple on-farm mixers. These feeds may be called ‘industrial’, ‘formula’, ‘blended’ or ‘compound’ feeds. Feed millers use their knowledge to grow or maintain animals for food, fibre and other products under a wide range of farming conditions and necessities.

Commercial production or sale of manufactured feed products takes place in more than 120 countries and directly employs more than a quarter of a million skilled workers, technicians, managers and professionals.

Currently, there are an estimated 8,000 plants for manufactured feed production with capacities greater than 25,000 tonnes per year, along with other production facilities, including premix and specialty plants producing lower volumes of high-value products. Together, these plants manufacture more than 620 million tonnes of feed products annually (FAO data).

The everyday concept
Underneath every aspect, we analyse the feed milling art with the most important word in every process stage being ‘efficiency’. The meaning of this word must be searched in its latin origin efficientia, derived by efficĕre that means “to accomplish” or “to fulfill”.

Of course, not in a general and superficial way, but at a deeper level. Using that word or even thinking to have reached it doesn’t mean that we know how to have it. It doesn’t matter if you live and work in a super industrialised area of the world or in a country whose industrial revolution is still happening: efficiency is something that needs to be reached every day, with every batch, in every slot of production.

So the question remains, how? Technology can help us all in becoming more efficient. Besides technology, the Imeco philosophy is to sit next to the client, investigating the best solution tailored to their real necessities and helping to find the correct balance.

In animal husbandry, feed conversion ratio (FCR) or feed conversion rate is a ratio or rate measuring of the efficiency with which the bodies of livestock convert animal feed into the desired output. For dairy cows, for example, the output is milk, whereas in animals raised for meat (such as beef cows, pigs, chickens, and fish) the output is the flesh.

The meaning and scope is exactly the same in order to know if the production plant is efficient. Everybody knows its output, in terms of loaded trucks, bags, liber, kilos or even bushel, but usually the knowledge of the in-load product is roughly calculated in volume or occupied space in the silos. An approximate knowledge of the in-load product gives an approximate calculation of the efficiency also.


Read the full article, HERE.
 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.


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