Grain Craft revitalise Kansas facility
After a year-long improvement project, US- company Grain Craft has announced completion of their refined Kansas milling facilities.
The expansion and upgrade have given the flour mill increased warehouse storage space and enhanced loading and packaging efficiency within the mill. This is the largest expansion in the mill"s history, their second-largest expansion being back in 1995, with the addition of their second mill.
"This mill has been a part of this town for more than a hundred years," says Clint Church, McPherson Plant Manager.
"We are proud to not only solidify its continued heritage but to also contribute to the improvement of the community through better traffic patterns and a revitalised building aesthetic to downtown McPherson.
The expansion project also includes a new wheat unloading facility, boasting a high-speed wheat receiving pit with a dump- through scale that enables trucks to both unload and weigh wheat simultaneously. This addition to the facility has now enabled Grain Craft"s Kansas facility to double their unloading capacity.
This refinement took place over two phases: phase one included the building of a new shipping area, packing line, robotic palletising line and office space, whilst phase two saw the introduction of space for multiple robotic palletisers.
During the expansion Grain Craft added new equipment in various areas of the McPherson mill to increase productivity, enhance safety for the employees and solidify the ability to meet current and future customer demands.
The modernisation also allowed Grain Craft to make environmentally-friendly improvements, such as the incorporation of insulated metal panels to reduce HVAC demand. In addition, the reconfiguration of the loading and unloading patterns at the wheat unloading building will provide enhanced safety by reducing truck volume in high traffic areas.
Another way in which Grain Craft prepares for the future, is through highly engaging internship experiences. Every year, selected students attend and work at their flour mills for placements in both Food Safety & Quality and Mill Operations. All travel expenses are paid including one trip home and one trip to an event at the Chattanooga, TN home office. Interns also receive housing and competitive pay.
American based Grain Craft produces a variety of bulk and bagged flours, suitable for a wide range of products for the baking, food service, pizza and tortilla industries.
Improving the future of flour
The Grain Craft Craft mill in McPherson, Kansas has undergone a range of changes throughout its lifetime. From humble beginnings, the McPherson mill was built in 1906, as The Wall-Rogalsky Milling Company. The mill was then sold to Cereal Food Processors in 2000, a steadily-growing company which was the nation"s largest independent flour mill, and the fourth-largest flour mill. In 2014 a merger between Milner Milling, Pendleton Flour Mills and Cereal Food Processors became Grain Craft.
"The driving factors for this important investment is Grain Craft"s strong commitment to its customers and employees", says Pete Frederick, Grain Craft President.
"The strategic improvements we have made at McPherson position us for future growth and enhance our ability to provide a high level of service to our customers."
The refinements Grain Craft have made to their Kansas mill position them as strong contenders in the flour milling industry, and their future looks especially bright. According to the 2019 Grain and Milling Annual, by Sosland Publishing Company, Grain Craft is the third-largest US flour miller with a daily production capacity of 161,500 cwts overall- and 7,200 cwts at the McPherson mill.
Their flour serves customers throughout the US, through 14 milling locations. As they continue to expand and refine their business, their role in the flour milling industry will become more and more vital, as we further strive to feed the world.