Custom Pneumatic Control System Helps Pet Food Plant Increase Production

Custom Pneumatic Control System Helps Pet Food Plant Increase Production

IMG_9174When Simmons Pet Food was ready to expand their facility in Emporia, Kansas, they asked IBT Industrial Solutions for help. The plant processes a wide variety of premium meats, including poultry, that goes into dog and cat food.

“This is an extremely busy facility,” said David Leffert, the Fluid Power Specialist at IBT. “This plant runs nearly 24 hours a day, almost 7 days per week. It’s a non-stop production facility.”

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IMG_9177IBT worked with Simmons Pet Food to design a custom pneumatic control system that could route the uncooked food to the right place—whether it was to the kitchen, the filling lines, or other destinations. The system uses ¼” and ¾” Festo valves that control pneumatically actuated ball valves that are 2”, 3”, and 4”.

“These control the direction of the product flow through the plant,” said Phil Schutter, the Senior Account Manager at IBT. The system also uses food-grade stainless steel piping to prevent corrosion and bacteria build-up.

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The pneumatic valves are controlled by a PLC. Simmons Pet Food has the flexibility to write programs for the PLC to make up their many special recipes exactly the way customers want them.

The new custom pneumatic control system, with an increased number of valves, combined with other new equipment as part of the overall plant expansion, has allowed Simmons Pet Food to increase their production by as much as 35%, Schutter estimates.IMG_9178

“We based the design on an older system IBT designed for them with only 30 valves that they really liked, and is still in production today,” Leffert said. “We’re already planning another panel for future expansion, with even more valves.”

About Simmons Pet Food

Simmons Pet Food is a leading producer of dry and wet pet food and treats. They are the largest canned pet food private label and co-branded manufacturing business in the U.S., and employ over 1,000 people.

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Would a Custom Pneumatic Control System increase your production?

Contact Brent Hanson, the Business Group Director of Fluid Power at IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2125 or


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