Article at a Glance:
- Since 2020, the demand for Real Salt has grown at a rapid pace, and we recently made some exciting upgrades to keep up with the demand.
- The Mill Team just installed new equipment that allows them to crush and screen more than 2.5 times the salt they could previously.
- In a ten-hour shift, the mill can now crush and screen roughly 52,000 pounds of Fine grain-sized Real Salt (along with 26,000 pounds of Powder), or 26,000 of Coarse or Kosher.
- The Mill Team also invested in infrastructure that can be installed when necessary to increase production capacity even more.
- We're excited about the future, and we hope you'll continue to join us on our journey as we upgrade our systems, equipment, and processes so we can produce more simple, clean, and real products than ever before.
At Redmond, we believe in the power of small, consistent improvements. We’re always thinking about simple, practical ways to be more efficient, more impactful, and generally better at what we do.
We call this concept the “Kai Zone.” It’s based on the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen which translates to “good change.”
Every day, our team members are coming up with creative Kai Zone ideas, whether that’s reorganizing storage spaces, creating new filing systems, or moving furniture in a meeting room.
During the past few years, we’ve experienced incredible growth and the need to consistently improve and upgrade our systems and processes has become greater than ever. One of the most exciting improvements we made recently happened at our salt mill.
A Simple Change More Than Doubled Production at The Real Salt Mill
Since 2020, the demand for Real Salt has grown at a rapid pace. Cade Tebbs, the Redmond Mill Team Leader, said that around the time COVID hit, his team had to start working overtime to produce enough salt to keep up with the company’s needs.
At first, he thought the explosive growth was just temporary but as the demand continued to increase into 2021 and he spoke more with leaders across the company, he realized this wasn’t a short-term surge. It was time to make a plan to improve the mill’s output.
After a lot of strategizing, the Mill Team came up with a plan of action to keep the Real Salt flowing abundantly. But before we tell you about the plan, how it was implemented, and the amazing impact it’s already having on production, let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of the Real Salt mill and how much it was producing before the exciting changes.
A Peek Inside the Real Salt Mill
Real Salt is extracted from our salt mine using a food-grade, carbide-tipped rotary head that grinds the salt off the walls before it is scooped up and sent to our food-grade mill in a stainless steel-lined dump truck used exclusively for food-grade salt.
The food-grade mill is an entirely enclosed, stainless steel system that includes a crusher, two screens, and a metal detection system. The crusher, as its name implies, crushes the salt into different sizes. The screens “sort” the salt so the final product is the appropriate grain size. A series of magnets and metal detection system make sure no slivers from the equipment get into the Real Salt.
In a ten-hour shift, the mill used to be able to crush and screen about 20,800 pounds (over ten tons) of the Fine grain-sized Real Salt and 10,400 pounds of Powder. Production of Coarse and Kosher took much longer and we got only 10,400 pounds in the same ten hours. Now, 10,000 pounds is a lot of salt, but it still wasn’t enough.
The Exciting Update
To keep up with the growing demand for Real Salt, the Mill Team decided to expand the current, two-screen system into a six-screen system. They began working with engineers to put together a design for this upgrade around the beginning of 2022. In January 2023, all of the plans and equipment were in place to start making some exciting changes at the mill.
To prevent the mill from shutting down longer than necessary, the upgrade is being rolled out in two phases. For the first phase, the team added two additional screens, more than doubling salt production capacity. Eventually, they’ll add another two screens, more than tripling capacity, as demand continues to grow.
What do the Real Salt production numbers look like now that the first phase of the upgrade is complete? Well, about two weeks after they finalized phase one, Cade says they’re churning out 2.5 to 3 times more salt than they were before, which is even better than he expected. That means in a ten-hour shift, the mill can crush and screen roughly 52,000 pounds of the Fine grain-sized Real Salt (along with 26,000 pounds of Powder), or 26,000 of Coarse or Kosher.
The Future Looks Bright…and Salty!
We’re experiencing amazing growth at Redmond Life, and we’re excited about the future. We hope you continue to join us on our journey as we upgrade our systems, equipment, and processes so we can produce more simple, clean, and real products than ever before.