The New Blending Innovation Center Takes Shape
20 September 2021
By Robert Boss, Project Manager
In May 2021, Trouw Nutrition broke ground on the $12.1M Blending Innovation Center in Highland, IL to better serve the growing pet food industry. As we hit the midpoint of construction, let’s take a deeper look into the progress achieved so far.
Trouw Nutrition selected The Korte Company to construct the new facility. Not only does The Korte Company’s headquarters sit just down the road from the new construction site, but the two companies collaborated previously on the construction of Trouw Nutrition’s Pilot Plant. Both Trouw Nutrition and The Korte Company operate with safety as its top priority.
In line with this safety objective, we’re pleased to report that all labor and activity on the project site has been executed safely. The attention to safe working practices has generated a high level of confidence in the construction project team. Safety is not just a set of rules, but a culture, and we couldn’t be happier with our construction partners with regard to the safety culture on our site.
The Blending Innovation Center utilizes tilt-up precast construction, where structural concrete wall panels are poured in advance and put into place over just a few days. Day one of installation attracted spectators from both Trouw Nutrition and The Korte Company as the project went vertical.
The project has not been without challenges, much like the obstacles experienced across most industries in these unprecedented times. Building materials have been subject to limited availability and marketplace volatility across a number of commodities. In effort to limit the risk to project objectives during the construction phase, the project team proactively secured material, equipment and labor resources needed. When unexpected challenges arise, the project team responds, adapts and regroups to maintain a clear and achievable path forward.
A Growing Campus
The Trouw Nutrition campus has taken on a different look since shovel was put to ground four months ago. Drawings and renderings have taken tangible form, and concrete and masonry structure give the shape, size and feel for the facility that will become our Blending Innovation Center. While the progress to date gives us the look and the scale of the facility, it’s all that goes inside that puts the building to work. In this phase of the project, we’re quickly approaching important milestones that will measure us for progress toward those longer-term production goals.
In preparation of answering customer questions after the Blending Innovation Center comes to fruition, the nutrition and formulation team has begun educating key Trouw Nutrition employees about the services offered and the science behind them. Internal training also includes explaining operational efficiencies and the benefits to customers.
A Bright Future
Following validation trials, Trouw Nutrition will begin offering enhanced services to pet food manufacturers. Four months of construction remains at this halfway point, but I maintain every confidence in the team that the exceptional work we do today sets us on the path for success tomorrow.