In Ephrata, PA, a feed mill has undergone a transformation that promises to redefine efficiency and productivity in the agricultural industry. Imagine a state-of-the-art facility capable of producing thousands of tons of feed in a single shift, powered by cutting-edge technology and innovative design. This remarkable project showcases how innovative thinking and strategic collaboration can turn an ambitious vision into a tangible success. Let’s dive into the details of this project and discover how it all came together.

The Vision: A Fully Automated Feed Mill

The project’s primary objective was to construct a fully automated feed mill capable of producing 2,000 tons of feed per week in a single shift. This ambitious goal required integrating new receiving, loadout, and mill buildings with advanced material handling and feed manufacturing equipment. GroffJulius, renowned for their innovative design and visionary approach, took on this challenge with confidence and expertise.

Building on Trust and Expertise

The collaboration with the customer was built on a foundation of trust and a proven track record. Leveraging their extensive experience, GroffJulius recommended Chief Agri’s comprehensive range of products. Chief Agri’s Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings, material handling equipment, Lemanco Loadout Structure, and hopper bins were selected for their reliability and superior performance.

Comprehensive Lemanco Solutions

At the heart of this expansion is Chief Agri’s Lemanco Modular Bin Systems, a complete dry bulk storage solution designed for reliability and efficiency. The modular design of Lemanco bins allows for easy expansion and modification to accommodate evolving storage needs. Constructed with high-quality materials, these bins ensure longevity and withstand the demands of bulk material storage. Optimized for smooth and reliable material flow, Lemanco systems significantly reduce downtime and enhance overall productivity.

For the Ephrata facility, a range of Lemanco equipment was utilized to ensure optimal functionality and safety. This included:

  • Lemanco Bins: For efficient and secure feed storage.
  • Structural Steel (Arrowhead): Providing robust support and durability.
  • Mezzanine Floors: Creating additional workspace and storage areas.
  • Catwalks and Stairs: Facilitating safe and easy access to various parts of the facility.
  • Safety Equipment: Ensuring the highest standards of workplace safety.
  • Adaptors: For seamless integration of various system components.
  • Structural Enclosure (Building Components): Protecting the feed mill’s critical operations.
  • Head House Steel: Adding structural integrity to the facility.

Additional Equipment Provided by Chief Agri:

  • Two 17 x 17 Horizontal Drag Conveyors
  • 15 x 17 Curved Incline Conveyor
  • Chief Bucket Elevator with 24” Pulley, 115’
  • Two Chief Bucket Elevators with 16” Pulley, 54’ and 64’
  • Chief Bucket Elevator with 30” Pulley, 38’
  • Chief Commercial Hopper Tank, 15’6” Diameter, 5,681 bu. Capacity

Project Execution: From Groundbreaking to Completion

With a tight timeline, the project broke ground in September 2023, aiming to produce the first batch of feed by April 2024. The schedule was aggressive, but GroffJulius and Chief Agri worked diligently to ensure timely delivery and installation of all equipment and materials. Chief Agri’s commitment to providing quality products on schedule was instrumental in maintaining the project’s timeline and budget.

Seamless Installation and Execution

Thanks to meticulous planning and the high quality of Chief Agri’s products, the installation process was smooth and efficient. The integration of the new systems into the existing facility proceeded without significant challenges, a testament to the thorough preparation and collaboration between GroffJulius and Chief Agri.

Customer Satisfaction: Exceeding Expectations

The customer’s satisfaction with the completed project was evident. The new, fully automated feed mill not only met their requirements but exceeded expectations in terms of construction quality and operational efficiency. The advanced material handling systems and automation significantly enhanced productivity, underscoring the success of the project.

Impact and Benefits

The fully automated feed mill has provided the customer with several key benefits, including increased production capacity, streamlined processes, and reduced operational costs. The facility’s enhanced efficiency is a direct result of the high-quality equipment and materials supplied by Chief Agri and the expert implementation by GroffJulius.

Reflecting on the Partnership

Taylor Groff, a partner at GroffJulius, reflected on the collaboration: “GroffJulius recently built a feed mill expansion in Ephrata, PA utilizing a large portion of the Chief Industries portfolio. GJ utilized Chief Buildings, Chief Material Handling Equipment, Chief Storage Bins, and Chief Lemanco Square Bin Cluster for Loadout. Chief provided all material on or before estimated delivery and was instrumental in providing a quick and quality installation. Everyone involved was pleased with the quality of the Chief lineup.”

Looking Ahead: Future Collaborations

This project has reinforced the strong partnership between GroffJulius and Chief Agri. The seamless integration of Chief’s products and their timely delivery were crucial to the project’s success. Both companies are looking forward to future collaborations, continuing to push the boundaries of agricultural engineering and feed mill operations.

Learn more about Chief Agri’s innovative solutions: Chief Agri