Why pet food extruder maintenance saves time, money
Globally, lack of maintenance is the most common problem an extruder technician has seen.
From Mexico to Turkey, pet food manufacturers’ most common problem with extruder machines is lack of maintenance, said Gary Lierz, Extru-Tech service technician during Petfood Technology Workshop Mexico, held in Ensenada, Mexico on December 6. Reducing employee turn-over to keep a trained, experienced maintenance staff can help pet food manufacturers increase efficiency and reduce costs, Lierz said.
Pet food extruder maintenance issues can reduce cat and dog food quality while degrading the lifespan and efficiency of machinery, said Lierz. Especially in the international market, a broken part can mean long, costly delivery times for specialized parts.
“Plant managers and workers can get complacent with the ‘go-go’ production mentality,” Lierz told Petfood Industry. “Sometimes they need to go back and look at maintenance.”
Pet food extruder maintenance staff valuable
Dry pet food dominates the growing Mexican pet food market. Making that dry dog and cat food in an extruder is like baking a cake, Lierz said. Not only do the right ingredients need to be added, they need to be added at the right time, blended properly and cooked under the correct conditions. However, when pet food extruder maintenance is neglected, those factors can go wrong although a manufacturer may not realize that lack of cleaning and adjustment is the culprit.
For example, one customer in Mexico believed that his dryer was malfunctioning, so he reduced the moisture in…