Ridley to expand low-moisture block capacity

Ridley Block Operations to expand low-moisture block manufacturing capacity with new facility adjacent to existing Kentucky plant.

Ridley Block Operations (RBO), a division of Ridley Inc., has announced plans to expand its low-moisture, livestock feed supplement block manufacturing capacity in the eastern U.S. with a new manufacturing facility to be constructed on property adjacent to RBO's existing block, tub and mineral supplement facility site in Flemingsburg, Ky.

The project, which is budgeted at approximately $8 million, is scheduled to be completed and in operation by the end of October 2015.

RBO president Bob Frost noted that Ridley acquired the Flemingsburg plant and business in 2008. Frost said, "This has been a very good acquisition for Ridley Inc. due to the efforts of the employees in Flemingsburg and its customers. The new Flemingsburg facility will help reduce freight costs for RBO customers and improve RBO's ability to respond more quickly to customer demands for low-moisture blocks in the eastern U.S. and Canada. These customers are currently served by RBO facilities located in Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas."

Frost added, "The additional production capacity at Flemingsburg will enable RBO to maintain consistent service levels during changing market conditions, such as the recent drought. It will also allow RBO to accommodate exceptional customer demands without interrupting normal delivery schedules."

RBO's ability to reach new customers in the livestock-growing markets surrounding the facility in Kentucky will also be enhanced. Besides the freight savings from closer proximity, the new facility will enable customers to source a broader selection of RBO feed supplement products from a single location and thereby realize the benefits of full truckload orders.

The batch production technology used at the new facility will be comparable to the systems at other RBO facilities. The batch low-moisture block process is a key part of Ridley's LEAN manufacturing principles, which standardizes consistent production practices that drive out waste. Batch low-moisture block technology is important to customers who source low-moisture blocks from multiple RBO facilities and expect consistent product performance. As a result, RBO will continue to provide high-quality, consistent products, regardless of the originating facility.

By constructing the new facility adjacent to the existing Flemingsburg facility, RBO expects to realize efficiencies in ingredient handling and storage, base-mix blending, manufacturing personnel, office support and customer service staff.

Ridley president and chief executive officer Steve VanRoekel said, "This new construction in Flemingsburg is among four major, exciting growth projects currently underway at Ridley Inc., including a $4.5 million expansion of our Ridley Feed Ingredients plant in Mendota, Ill., a $7.6 million rebuild and expansion of the Humboldt, Sask., plant of our joint venture partner Masterfeeds LP, and the relocation of our head office to a new building in downtown Mankato, Minn."

Ridley Inc. is one of North America’s leading commercial animal nutrition companies. RBO is the largest manufacturer and marketer of low-moisture blocks in North America and a manufacturer and marketer of pressed, composite and compressed blocks, poured tubs and loose minerals. The company is a leader in research, formulation, manufacturing and marketing of self-fed supplements for beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wildlife and bison.

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