PET Food Processing - December 2020 - 19

Better flow
The new plant is much more streamlined and efficient
- no offense to the Brainerd plant, which Tom said runs
great and successfully produces a lot of product but
has certain inefficiencies in its layout. Little Falls was
designed to flow better and have greater separation between processing steps.
" The process flow in Little Falls is more linear, " Tom
said. " Flour and meat start at one end and flow right
through to the warehouse dock. Also, we wanted a meat
room that had enough space so that we could do more
innovative things. Now we can do some cool blending in
there. We can chop up pumpkins if we want to. We built
this massive meat room because, honestly, fresh meat is
our calling card. It is what we do. "
In addition to optimizing the product flow through
the plant, controlling the data flow was also important.
BPI uses Plex, Troy, Mich., for the company's enterprise
resource planning (ERP) system in both facilities to capture data starting from when a crop or ingredient is received and then tracking the product quality, traceability
and overall plant efficiency all the way through to packaging and shipping.
" We can trace a bag to what minute it came off of
our production line, where every one of the raw materials came from, and which people were working on
the packaging line when it was filled, " Tom said. " Our
level of traceability is a true differentiator for us and
our customers' brands. "
Despite the fact that Little Falls was being built during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom said they did not
make any major changes to the plant's design because it
already had the space needed to provide safe social dis-

tancing within the facility and foot traffic throughout
the plant had already been strategically addressed for
food safety purposes.
" We did not have to make major changes to the design, " Tom said. " There are not many tight spaces in the
plant, packaging is in a large area and is laid out nicely to
allow for employee separation, and we manage the airflow and filtration within the plant. "

The unique design of
the vertical cooler helps
reduce the temperature
of extruded products
before they pass through
the coating system.

Bright future
With a brand new plant and mill expansion just completed in 2020, it would be understandable for Sarah
and Tom to rest a bit. Instead, they say they are exploring options to expand but, as they have done in the past,
they plan to do it within their means. Little Falls was designed with room to grow and ready to accommodate
another processing line when the time is right.
Sarah said the company's focus will continue to be super premium. Although they produce products for every
price range, the bulk of their output is in the super premium category sold in pet specialty, natural grocers and
in export markets. The company is currently working
toward EU certifications.
By continuing to meet the needs of customers and
expanding into additional product formats, Sarah and
Tom hope BPI will grow to be a generational business
they can pass down to the next Barrett and Reiner clan
- none of whom are older than six yet, so it will be a
little while.
" We got here by being the twin-screw people, " Tom said.
" We hope to take that further. Innovation is in our name.
We selected what we believe is the best equipment out there
and we think it will help bring us to the next level. "
PFP

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PET Food Processing - December 2020

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PET Food Processing - December 2020 - 1
PET Food Processing - December 2020 - 1
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http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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