Evolving the R&D Department
The last three months have been a whirlwind of activity with the move to our new facility in Grimes, Iowa. This was no small undertaking considering we moved everything and everybody during the holidays and in the middle of winter. Things are coming together and the new place is starting to feel like home.
Having operations under one roof is great for increased efficiency and overall smoother operation. With 63,000 total sq ft this place seemed huge at first, but now, with all parts storage up and stocked, the paint booth in operation, and assembly back up and running, it all seems more comfortable rather than huge.
Now to discuss the 10,000 sq ft area (isolated from assembly) dedicated to Research & Development. This is more than double what we had at the old facility and I have to admit, it seemed a little intimidating at first. But like everything else with this move, things are coming together and being isolated from the assembly area is nice. Research projects can get messy and dust, steam and freshly painted new machines don’t mix well. We installed a new air make up system that controls most of the smells associated with extrusion operation.
The R&D area is still being completed. We are currently rewiring electrical, moving/ plumbing the boiler, installing storage racks, and completing a small lab area.
One of the biggest changes in R&D will be the implementation of three separate lines:
- Medium shear extruder with a dryer cooler and pneumatic conveying
- ExPress® research with the capability of doing typical ExPress® runs or different cold press, hot press combinations
- New equipment development
Space in the old location was limited and we could only support one line at a time. This was time-consuming and meant that for every different configuration, we were moving equipment in and out and rewiring everything every time.
Having dedicated lines allows for the equipment lines to be hard wired, while maintaining the flexibility to try new things. This all won’t happen overnight, but the ball is rolling and things will look significantly different a year from today. As of today, we hope to be able to start doing some limited testing and production within a month.
We will be open for business soon to do unique ingredient R&D work for you with more capabilities than ever before. Contact us to discuss utilizing our facility and staff. We are here to support you.