Gerald Runneboom of Van Mourik Smart Milling Engineers introduces himself:

What is your relationship with Feed Design Lab and how long have you been a partner? I am a project manager at Van Mourik Smart Milling Engineers and responsible for the (partial) project management of the new second line of the Feed Design Lab. Van Mourik has realized the engineering (flow diagram and layout) and the assembly for this line. We also supported FDL in project management and technical choices for the installation. Van Mourik has been affiliated with FDL since 2014 and has since then, become an active partner and participates in the interpretation of, among other things, the introduction course and engineers course in this field.

What is your position at Van Mourik? I have been a Project Manager / Team Leader at the Van Mourik Group for almost 7 years now. However, I have been working within the feed industry for much longer, about 30 years and I have worked at various companies within the feed sector and have held diverse positions.

What does Van Mourik mean for the animal feed sector? Van Mourik is an independent partner within the feed sector. Van Mourik does not supply processing machines itself but because our employees have knowledge of the complete process, we can make optimal use of this independence. We use this experience and knowledge to think along with our clients so that together we can achieve our goal of ‘process optimization’ (for new construction and existing lines). In this way, we can deploy the machine suppliers in the areas where they are experts.

Why are you a partner of Feed Design Lab? The direct added value from FDL is mainly for the partners who supply their own processing machines. The collaboration with FDL gives Van Mourik the opportunity to be close to the source when it comes to future developments of our customer’s needs in the processes. In addition, it also enables us to test innovations that we are working on ourselves from our service and maintenance organization. We can contribute our knowledge and at the same time keep up to date with the latest innovations in this field. Knowledge is key for us; almost all of our own employees have attended an introduction course at FDL and we advise FDL on content and structure of the courses.

Which themes do you think Feed Design Lab should tackle and which topics do you personally find interesting? In my opinion, it would be good for FDL to study the applications and processing of insects, alternative raw materials, and protein sources that could be used in the feed sector. This should be studied from different angles such as nutritional value, the growth of the world population and sustainability. In addition, it is good to look at the application of medicines in animal feed, this could perhaps be further explored. As a result of scaling up, many animals are fed medicines that they do not need at that moment, with possible resistance as a result.

Another topic is process control: measurements would give us better control of the process and Innius, for example, could be of added value in providing Real Time Sensor Data for preventive maintenance and energy savings. This would be easy to apply and test at FDL.

FDL is the platform for the feed industry and can make a difference by, among other things, continuing to develop in trainings.