High quality calls for adequate capacity09/26/2007 The innovative Honeywell Flour Mills Limited company commenced milling business in 1998 and has quickly risen to become one of Nigeria’s major milling businesses. Its four flour mills with a total capacity of 1610 tons per 24 hours were all supplied by Bühler. Nigeria’s flour market has two peculiarities: On the one hand all the wheat is imported, and on the other hand demand for flour depends heavily on the season. Christmas time and the months from May through mid-September are the high season for Nigerian flour mills. During the remainder of the year, yam and corn (maize) are the staple foods.
Aiming at new products
“Honeywell – does it well.” The company slogan says it all: The focus of the Nigerian Honeywell Flour Mills Limited company is set on the production of high-quality flours. Honeywell Flour Mills’ quality-oriented policy has allowed it over the past nine years to rise to rank three in the Nigerian market in terms of volume, generating sales of about 160 million U.S. dollars. But Managing Director Folaranmi Babatunde Odunayo emphasizes that the strategy of Honeywell Flour Mills does not primarily aim at volume growth, but the development of new products at the well-known high quality. “We are already strong in the production of bread flours and intend to increase our market share in semolina. More-over, next year we will roll out a number of new valueadded products.” With its entry into Chinese noo-dle production, Honeywell has also made a step into the next flour processing stage. With its high-quality products, Honeywell Flour Mills will continue to limit its activities to the domestic market. F. B. Odunayo: “In the near future, we plan to focus especially on the needs of the Nigerian market. We expect exports to be of secondary significance although an informal export trade on the company’s products already exists across the West African region.”
Four flour mills
The milling plants operated by Honeywell Flour Mills Limited are ideally located in the Nigerian sea port of Tin Can Island near Lagos, the country’s largest city with a population of about 10 million. With their current total capacity of 1610 metric tons per 24 hours, the four Honeywell grinding lines are ori-ented toward satisfying the demand.
The flour milling engineers from Bühler are highly appreciated in Nigeria. The country’s most important mills have all been equipped by Bühler. The four flour mills operated by Honeywell Flour Mills Limited are also all from Bühler.
Marcel Fischer, Bühler Area Manager Nigeria, remembers that the first mill with a capacity of 200 met-ric tons per 24 hours was built in 1998. Its capacity was increased in the year 2000 to 360 tons, and in 2001 a second milling line of 250 tons was added.
Capacity increased by 1000 tons per 24 hours
Soon after the second milling line had been started up, the management of the Honeywell mill – still a young company compared with others in the country – decided to increase the capacities further still. On Christmas Day 2002, they verbally ordered two additional milling lines with a capacity of 500 metric tons per 24 hours each. The facilities reflect the state of the art of flour mill design and are equipped with a cutting-edge Bühler WinCos control system.
Installation of the two milling plants started in the summer of 2004. Marcel Fischer: “Installation of the equipment in the buildings provided by the customer was completed without a glitch. We were able to start up the third Honeywell mill in May and the fourth facility in July 2005.” All four plants are running smoothly and to the entire satisfaction of the Honeywell management.
Training in Uzwil
The mills of Honeywell Flour Mills Limited are humming so smoothly not least thanks to F. B.Odunayo’s commitment to an outstanding level of training and excellent morale of the company’s workforce. Marcel Fischer praises the Honeywell Director: “Honeywell under the management of Di-rector Odunayo is for us an innovative customer that invests a lot in the training of its people.” Thus, the shift managers and operators of the Honeywell mills undergo regular training in the Bühler Training Center in Uzwil, quite apart from tailor-made training programs for their staff which also take place in Uzwil.