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Champion Petfoods DogStar Kitchens

Champion Petfoods Inc. is a worldwide leader in producing high quality, award-winning dog and cat foods. For the customer’s new DogStar® kitchen facilities, Champion partnered with Gray Solutions for a wide range of services, including system design, automation & controls, and process network architecture.


The kitchens include state-of-the-art technology designed to optimize processes and are outfitted with a custom-built twin extruder that is the first of its kind in North America. Located in Auburn, Kentucky, DogStar® is engineered and designed to meet the same food safety standards required for the manufacturing of human foods. To ensure quality, connection through Allen Bradley hardware and software systems allows all cooking data from start to finish to be displayed in the kitchen control center in real time. Clean-in-Place (CIP), an automated cleaning system which ensures the proper time, temperature, and turbulence for cleaning, is utilized throughout the operation.


The state-of-the-art DogStar® Kitchens were designed, constructed, and commissioned by the Gray in just 14 months—from 0% design to 100% test runs of new recipes.


Gray Solutions partnered in the development of these kitchens through business and process network architecture and design, manufacturing execution system (MES) design and implementation, control simulations during design and programming, PLC programming, HMI programming, batch management software, data historian, MDF equipment hardware and software installation, and commissioning and start up efforts.


To ensure customer satisfaction and smooth initial operations, Gray Solutions continues to provide ongoing support at the facility.

Gray Solutions is a Gray company.

Formed in 2018, Gray Solutions is a leader in automation and process integration for customers in Food & Beverage. As a part of the Gray family of brands, we continue to creatively address customer challenges in projects small to large. Whether you need a simple modification or a new facility, our services will increase efficiencies in your system through the power of data and information technology.