Champion Petfoods USA Inc. DogStar Kitchens
Shared Values, Vision Launch Long-Term Relationship.
Champion Petfoods Inc. is a worldwide leader in producing high quality, award-winning dog and cat foods. When it came time to select a partner for its first U.S. location, Champion chose Gray to design and build their new kitchens.
- LocationAuburn, KY
- Square Footage371,100 s.f.
- Operational14 months
“The design-build of DogStar® Kitchens is something that we are extremely proud of, and its success would not have been possible without our partnership with Gray,” said Frank Burdzy, former president and CEO of Champion Petfoods.
Modern Food Processing at Its Best
Champion Petfoods places the utmost importance on product quality and recognized a similar commitment in Gray’s design and construction of facilities. This 371,000 s.f. operation was purpose-built from the ground up to advance Champion’s Biologically Appropriate™, Fresh Regional Ingredient, and Never Outsourced mission.
Before DogStar® was complete, Champion also asked Gray to add a third production line in order to further its mandate and keep up with growing demand in the U.S. and Latin America. The overall operation features custom-designed kitchens for the company’s award-winning dog and cat food brands, ACANA and ORIJEN.
The kitchens also 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. 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 Gray in just 14 months—from 0% design to 100% test runs of new recipes.
Building for the Future
Process & Packaging Systems Engineering
Automation & Controls
- Champion Petfoods Design-Build Institute of America Awards
At the Design-Build Conference & Expo Awards, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) recognized Gray with a national design-build award in the Industrial, Process, and/or Research Facilities category, as well as the award for Excellence in Teaming for its work on Champion Petfoods’ DogStar® Kitchens.
- Champion Petfoods Martha Layne Collins Governor's Award
Champion Petfoods was awarded the Martha Layne Collins Governor’s Award for Excellence in International Trade by the World Trade Center Kentucky. Champion won the award in the Large Enterprise category (500+ employees) for its state-of-the-art DogStar® Kitchens facility.
- Champion Petfoods Global Food Safety Initiative Global Markets Award
Champion Petfoods won the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) Global Markets Award for its state-of-the-art DogStar® Kitchens manufacturing facility. Gray provided turnkey services for the 371,100 s.f. project in just 14 months, including design, process engineering, automation & controls, and more.
Gray is a fully integrated service provider deeply rooted in engineering, design, construction, smart manufacturing, and equipment manufacturing services for the world’s leading companies.