The Role of Digitalization and Automation in the Feed Sector and Feed 4.0

13 February 20192 min reading

Ideally, an expert would be standing by the machine all the time, checking and continuously adjusting the moisture, protein and fat levels. But this is not realistic. Tougher market conditions have forced many factories to downsize their operating staff, with less time left to monitor and fine-tune processes.

When animal husbandry practices were passed from “free-range” method to specific farms and animals were raised for more efficient performance, it became a must to offer them a “balanced” diet. Changes in agricultural production practices that began in the 18th century resulted in better approaches to animal husbandry in the early 19th century. As a result, a constantly growing feed industry was born.

When we look at the development of feed industry in general, the amount of production has increased with the increase of large-scale production areas basically as well as the effect of spreading agricultural technologies such as fertilizers, chemical pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. This began with the automation of Feed mills in the late 1970s and has since been developed to minimize the cost of feed produced per animal and maximize the production of efficient feed. Since the first automatic feed mill, numerous manufacturing methods such as logistics along with the corresponding technology and software, milled material particle size properties, particle and mixing, pellet processing, extrusion process, post-pellet procedures, process control, and feed transport logistics have been improved in addition to processing. In the last 50 years, the developments in automation elements such as PLC, operator panel, SCADA and Robot have made the production automatic and efficient; that is, it has been automated.

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