Customer Story: Vitelia
Dinnissen and Vitelia - decades of collaboration and innovation
The long-standing relationship between machine manufacturer Dinnissen and animal feed cooperative Vitelia is characterized by continuous development, business success, and the implementation of innovative process technologies. In this customer story, Stefan Kuijpers, director of Vitelia, Mathieu Maes, former director and owner of Dinnissen, and Wouter Kuijpers, operational director and co-owner of Dinnissen, share their stories about this collaboration.
In this interview, you will read:
- How Vitelia adapted to a rapidly changing market with machines from Dinnissen.
- How Dinnissen's automatic sieve changer revolutionized Vitelia's grinding process.
- How Vitelia and Dinnissen continue to focus on efficiency, quality, and sustainability.
Explosive growth in livestock farming
In the 1960s, the livestock industry saw explosive growth. It was more profitable to raise pigs and chickens than to grow crops. This led to the industry flourishing, but also to an increasing demand for high-quality feed, enriched with oils, fats, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Mathieu Maes, former director of Dinnissen, Wouter Kuijpers, operational director of Dinnissen, and Stefan Kuijpers, director of Vitelia.
Challenges in the livestock feed industry
"The livestock feed industry was under increasing pressure," says Stefan Kuijpers, director of Vitelia. "Depending on the needs of the livestock, farmers wanted finer or coarser feed, in varying degrees. For pigs, some of the feed was compressed into pellets for better utilization. These pellets had to be increasingly rich in nutrients. This required new processing techniques."
This is where Dinnissen came into play. "We were constantly approached with questions from the livestock feed industry. Standard machines no longer always provided the right solutions," says Mathieu Maes, director and owner of Dinnissen until 2004. "We produced a wide range of machines for livestock feed production, but wanted to offer even more and better solutions," the former director remembers. "We already had a lot on the drawing board," adds Wouter Kuijpers, operational director of Dinnissen. "Of course, we wanted to meet the industry's requirements. That has always been our top priority."
"We have had an excellent relationship with Dinnissen for many years. The machines they make align well with our quality philosophy."
Stefan Kuijpers, Director Vitelia
The hammer mill
Dinnissen's innovative power was reflected in their machines for the livestock feed process: the hammer mill for grinding grains, the paddle mixer for the mixing process, and the vacuum coater for enriching extrudates and pressed livestock feed pellets. The hammer mill was soon faced with new requirements, says Stefan Kuijpers, director of Vitelia. "With the increasing variation in livestock feed, each recipe had its own grinding process. However, changing the sieves took a lot of time with the hammer mills we used. You had to stop the whole process and restart it after changing the sieve. In addition, the mills were very noisy due to their high rotation speeds."
Automatic sieve changer
When Dinnissen's old hammer mills at Vitelia were due for replacement after thirty years of continuous use, the machine manufacturer introduced its hammer mill with an automatic sieve changer for four sieves. The sieves could be replaced within half a minute, while the rotor in the mill could continue to spin. The operator no longer needed to intervene. The corresponding sieve was automatically selected and placed for each recipe.
The arrival of the new hammer mills with automatic sieve changer at Vitelia in 2014.
Kuijpers: "This was a completely new, innovative way of changing sieves. We already had an excellent long-standing relationship with Dinnissen. The machines they make align well with our quality philosophy. This was real innovation." The new hammer mill was equipped with a frequency regulator, allowing the rotational speed to be adjusted to the desired grinding process. This resulted in a more even grinding process, less noise, less wear and tear, and lower energy consumption.
"Our collaboration with Dinnissen is based on mutual respect and trust. We challenge each other to continuously innovate and improve."
Stefan Kuijpers, Director Vitelia
Dinnissen-built grinding and mixing line at Vitelia compound feed company in Oirlo.
Innovative solutions in mixing processes and coating
Innovations were not only implemented in the hammer mill, but also in the paddle mixer, another crucial machine in the livestock feed process. With the increase in the use of oil, fats, and other additives in livestock feed, better mixing processes were needed. Dinnissen introduced its double shaft paddle mixer with a quick cleaning system. This allowed Vitelia to easily switch between different recipes, without any risk of cross-contamination.
Moreover, Dinnissen introduced the vacuum coater. This system ensures better adhesion of liquid additives to the livestock feed pellets, resulting in feed with a higher nutritional value. The vacuum coater works by first creating a vacuum in the mixer before the additives are introduced. Due to the increased pressure, the liquids are driven deeper into the pellets. This ensures an even distribution of the liquids across the pellets, leading to better feed.
Eye on the future
The collaboration between Vitelia and Dinnissen has led to many innovative solutions over the years that have improved efficiency, quality, and sustainability in the livestock feed industry. Both companies strive to continually adapt to the changing needs and demands of the industry.
"Our collaboration with Dinnissen is based on mutual respect and trust. We challenge each other to continuously innovate and improve. We look forward to continuing this collaboration and finding new solutions together for the challenges that the future of the livestock feed industry will bring," says Stefan Kuijpers.
Mathieu and Wouter Kuijpers agree: "We are proud of the long history of collaboration and innovation we have with Vitelia. We are also looking forward to continuing our collaboration and working together to advance and improve the livestock feed industry."