Planning, design and implementation in one of the world’s most difficult times

In 2020, India-based animal feed producer Sunanda Feeds contracted Andritz to design and implement a feed plant with a capacity of 400 tons per day. However, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a period of unexpected heavy rainfall, there were challenges at the outset of the project that could not be foreseen. The partnership remained strong, and once conditions allowed the new plant was completed and put into service. Sunanda Feeds is now ready to serve its customers with its new dairy feed plant. The details are explained by the company’s Managing Director Nandan Goli.

Planning, design and implementation in one of the world’s most difficult timesIn 2020, Sunanda Feeds Pvt Ltd, a new producer of animal feed products based in the state of Karnataka in south India, came to Andritz in search of a plant solutions partner to drive its new venture forward. The goal: To design and implement a state-of-the-art animal feed plant with a capacity of 400 tons per day to supply the second largest dairy co-operative in the country – the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

When Managing Director Nandan Goli set out to build his next-generation feed plant, he could not have anticipated the challenges that lie just around the corner. Just months into the partnership with Andritz, in March of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, followed by a period of three and half months of consistent heavy rains. This led to a period of seven months in total where work all but ground to a halt.

“Andritz was very supportive, and fully understood us and the challenges we were facing,” said Goli. “Covid-19 and the inclement weather were not accounted for in our plans of course. The delay was out of our hands, but Andritz maintained a family like relationship, especially with me. It was very smooth – and their flexibility and understanding meant we were able to continue to move forward when the time was right. Essentially, what should have been a 15-month project period was extended to 24 months.”

The plant was designed, commissioned and installed as soon as restrictions allowed – going into production in February of 2022. Following a short period of stabilization, throughout which Andritz were present at all times to ensure complete optimization, the plant was soon running at 300-tons per day capacity as specified by KMF.

“We have experienced no issues at all,” said Goli. “The machinery is perfect, the product is perfect, and our customer is very happy. KMF has five feed plants in-house, and the feedback we are receiving is that the feed we are able to deliver is of a better quality. Of course, we are using state-of-the-art systems and technology, as opposed to the comparatively older plants they have, but this feedback is very pleasing to us.”

Goli had considered a number of potential partners, and before finalizing his decision to select Andritz he visited a selection of Andritz plants to get some first-hand insight. His peers in the industry had also recommended the company as a partner not only in terms of solutions but also in terms of relationship and aftersales service, which was an important factor in the decision-making process.

“The Andritz service was one thing that we were really looking at, and they delivered,” said Goli. “The second most important thing is the power efficiency they can deliver per ton of feed. Their plant solutions are more energy efficient than competitors we considered. The process of working with the team has been very smooth. They gave us a complete 10-month timeline, broken down by day in terms of what we can expect, and they stuck to this entirely. Expectations were clear from the outset and managed so well and their support and understanding was superb. They are more of a partner than a supplier to us.”

With the initial capacity requirement being 300 tons per day, the recommendation was to plan for a 400 ton per day plant solution with a 20 ton per hour capability. As the company runs just a single formula as per KMF specifications, optimization was a smooth process that has led to significant positive benefits.

“Andritz has exceeded our expectations,” said Goli. “It’s a 20 ton per hour capacity plant that is actually able to deliver 22 tons per hour. That’s a full ten percent increase on the installed capacity we outlined at the beginning of the process. As a result of this capacity increase, we have more time for scheduled maintenance, and sometimes we do not need to run a shift so we can give our staff extra time off. The additional 100-140 tons we are able to produce has opened the door for other opportunities and we hope to be able to sell this to another customer in the near future.”

Sunanda already has plans to move forward, building in space for additional capacity at the outset of the project in order to allow for future increases. There is space to increase to an extra 10 tons per hour, and the line is already built – requiring only additional equipment.

Goli concluded: “Andritz has its due diligence process on every customer, and once you enter into a partnership you become a part of the Andritz family. We have experienced this approach from day one, and are very happy to be a part of this. Given the success of this enterprise I can see that our business will expand in the future as a result of this collaboration. We are looking forward to our next project.”