This major meat processor had a rendering operation which was the single largest user of steam on site and a significant user of electricity and water.  The rendering plant as a whole has excess capacity compared to what is required to produce their average daily Meat and Bone Meal and Choice White Grease quantities and it was also determined that the operators were not utilizing the installed equipment efficiently.  Objective is to work with client to improve use of installed equipment to improve throughput and reduce excess capacity online.


  • The cooker operators were not operating cookers at designed levels which left steam pipes uncovered in the cookers ans severely limited heat transfer and cooking capacity
  • The thermocouples that controlled the steam flow to the larger cooker was not functional so the operators were using a “best guess” method to determine final product temperatures
  • A severe lack of attention to operations and maintenance issues by management led to a steady decline in rendering performance and morale
  • Common practice to use all available equipment, such as presses, even if the intended purpose of equipment is as an installed spare.  This led to excess capacity online and wasted energy
  • Despite being the largest steam user, there were no logs to track energy use, temperature, maintenance issues etc. in the cooker control room
  • Misconception with management that the cookers weren’t cooking because we didn’t have enough boilers online.  Both boilers that were online were only loaded to approximately 60-70% of available capacity
  • Brown grease system has a choke point due to a single pump that has caused a back log all the way to the DAF collection tank


  • Develop start up procedure for the installed cookers
  • Improve operation of all critical installed equipment
  • Reduce excess capacity online
  • Improve maintenance and repairs of rendering facility
  • Improve managements involvement in the day to day operations and maintenance issues and improve their understanding of how cookers actually operate
  • Work daily with operators to bring product level up in cookers to manufacturer’s specification to improve heat transfer capability and cooking capacity.  This will significantly reduce steam demand
  • Install log systems to track cooker and rendering plant significant metrics
  • Work daily with senior management on developing a process for improving maintenance practices as well as general plant understanding
  • Develop a staggered start for the cookers to match product steam inflow.  The reduced the excess cooking capacity that was online during the day and significantly reduced electrical demand
  • Work with operators to reduce the number of running product presses to only number required and shut off the installed spares.  this is also tracked in the log
  • Develop a system where senior level management can input daily metrics and see a daily, weekly and monthly performance evaluation of the rendering operations
  • Develop a Rendering Manual that management can use as a reference and quick training guide for current and any new operators


  • An aligned management & operator team better equipped and more involved in the day to day performance of the rendering facility
  • An average purchased natural gas reduction of 17%
  • Improved rendering operations
  • A significant amount of excess capacity was taken offline making a material difference in the electrical spend of the entire plant
  • Improved communication between operators and management because of an improved system installed to report operational or maintenance issues
  • Trained all management levels on changes made to the rendering operation and their vital role in its continued success
  • Trained all management levels in the use of the indicators that measured the results of the system implemented
  • Conducted one-on-one training with operators to understand and use the system to its fullest capabilities and to take appropriate action when indicators displayed less than full compliance