Holistic Automation Approach in Feed Factories

06 March 20227 min reading

When automation is mentioned in feed factories, only automation of production processes comes to mind. Today, however, a holistic approach to automation is needed when global competition and costs are considered.

Yavuz İlik
General Manager

Automation describes a wide variety of technologies in factories that reduce human intervention in processes. Human intervention is reduced by predetermining decision criteria, sub-process relationships, and related actions, and embodying these pre-determinations in computers and machines.

Automation has been achieved in a variety of ways, including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, often in combination. Complex systems such as modern factories, airplanes, and ships typically use all these combined techniques. The benefits of automation include labor savings, waste reduction, savings in electricity costs, savings in material costs, and improvements in quality, accuracy and precision.

In a modern feed factory, it is necessary to automate all processes from the entry of feed raw materials into the factory to the delivery of the finished product to the customer, thus transferring the data to the next processes accurately and quickly, thus minimizing the occurrence of human-induced errors.

When we say Holistic Automation Approach in Feed Factories, we come across a 3-legged structure. These are Feed Ration Formulation System, ERP System and Production Process Automation System.


Thanks to the automation of production processes, modern feed factories do not need people to control the equipment and manually operated keys and relays to use the system. In fact, feed factory production process automation is a SCADA application that includes various automation modules and enables them to work in an integrated manner. These can be summarized as dosing, micro dosing, liquid dosing, mixing, pelleting line and packaging automation.

With the SCADA application, the mimic diagram of all parts of the feed factories, such as dosing, crushing, mixing, adding different solid and liquid additives, starting from the withdrawal of raw materials from the silos, can be viewed on the computer screen. Thanks to sensors and software suitable for the process and needs, all points of production can be monitored and controlled.


ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a process that companies use to manage and integrate important parts of their businesses. ERP software applications help companies to realize resource planning by integrating all their processes with a single system. An ERP software system can also integrate planning, purchasing inventory, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, and more. The majority of ERP systems have been developed for general production processes and additional software and module development may be required to adapt them to the feed industry. While these processes can be done by the feed factory software and IT personnel, there are also ERP systems developed specifically for the feed industry and covering all processes (See

Thanks to ERP systems, all processes, starting from the weighbridge at the entrance of the factory to the delivery of the finished product to the customer, can be followed, and it is possible to process and improve the processes without errors, with interventions when necessary.

ERP systems should be able to transfer the recipe of the product to be produced to the automation system. Similarly, the production order to be produced should be able to be transferred automatically from the relevant accounting program. After the production, it should be possible to transfer the entry receipt from the production and the consumption to the ERP system. It should allow the calculation of the actual costs by automatically calculating the raw material prices and the comparison of the ration cost with the actual accounting cost.

It should be possible to determine whether the relevant order makes a profit by calculating the raw material, maturity and operating costs on the order, even before the sale is made. If there are deficiencies/errors related to the order before the products are shipped, they should be detected immediately. For this process, the data coming from the existing feed ration formulation software and automation system should be analyzed.

Thanks to ERP systems, the process from the raw material purchasing stage to the sending of the order is kept under control and the profitability of the feed factory is clearly under control with instant financial information. When sales are in order status, net profits/losses as a result of all costs can be seen. In addition, transactions that require approval such as raw materials, technical materials and sales orders can be approved in line with the authorities and processes can be monitored.


Feed ration formulation is the process of determining the amounts of feed raw materials that need to be mixed to form a product (feed) that meets all the nutrient needs of the target animal group. When the expenses of cattle, sheep and poultry (broiler and egg) enterprises are analyzed, it is clear that the cost of feed to animals is the most important expense item in the main cost. For this reason, it is very important to keep the cost of feeds fed to animals to a minimum. While animals are fed with minimum cost, they are expected to survive, improve and increase their productivity. For this, they need to take certain nutritional values so that they do not fall short of their needs.

At this point, feed ration formulation software emerges as a tool that we can use to ensure that animals are fed both in a balanced way and at low cost (See

There is a wide variety of software used for feed ration formulation. However, if it is desired to establish a holistic automation system in the feed factory, some of the features that the feed ration formulation software should offer are as follows:

•It should be able to offer a Multi Blend solution. Thanks to Multi Blend, more than one formula is solved at once and collectively, with the lowest cost, taking into account the production quantities.

•Should be able to make suggestions so that formulas can be solved more cheaply.

•Should be able to change the limitations of raw material and nutrient values on all formulas, change existing raw materials with a different raw material in all formulas, test alternative raw materials, etc. very quickly.

•It should be able to work with the existing ERP system or other systems (Laboratory, etc.) to automatically receive data from these systems (raw material prices, raw material analysis values, stock/maximum raw material usage amounts, etc.) and provide the necessary information to these systems (the recipe resulting from the ration solution, tag information, etc.).

•It should be able to work in integration with the existing automation system and send automatic data (production recipes) to these systems.


Today, feed factories have to transform into modern structures in order to maintain their existence and profitability. Automation of production processes is a very important milestone. However, it is imperative that the processes before and after production are automated accurately and quickly. In this way, all processes in the feed factory can be controlled, monitored and improved. In a structure where stock quantities, raw material analysis results, production recipes are entered manually, customer processes are followed only through the accounting program, and most of this information is entered manually, it is inevitable that human-induced errors will occur and therefore factories will suffer losses.

It should be noted that any process that is not measured and controlled cannot be improved. Thanks to the Holistic Automation Approach in Feed Factories, all processes and data can be taken under control and monitored, and profitability can be increased by detecting and eliminating problems.

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