The Amalgamated Sugar Company has recently completed upgrades on its processing plant in Paul, Idaho.
The multi-million-dollar upgrades began in 2008, when growers voted to go forward with the plans. According to Larry Lloyd, plant manager, this decision was very brave and "very forward-thinking" of the growers because the economy was not at its best when the decision was made. The growers were looking at what the company could be rather than what it was then. To the joy of all concerned, that courage and foresight has paid off for them.
One of the first things the company did was replace two old, inefficient lime kilns with one new one, which allows them to make what they had to buy before. They also installed new computerized monitoring systems, a new cooling system, energy recovery systems, two new truck dumps, and a new loading system for finished sugar, to name just a few.
The improvements were not designed to increase the capacity of the factory. They were designed to eliminate unnecessary decreases in capacity. The new systems alleviate drops in production, so the factory is more efficient. The average goes up because they don't have to slow down for inefficient systems. They are making more sugar with the same amount of effort and lower costs thanks to improvements in technology and equipment efficiency.