American Crystal Sugar Company operates five factories in the Red River Valley. We have used Sugars™ at various levels throughout our company for many years. Each factory maintains its own Sugars™ model and has a designated person who uses the model in two primary fashions. First, we use it for daily operations. It gives us an opportunity to test possibilities prior to implementing them. The model is built so it mirrors our factory conditions almost exactly. If we run into unique operating circumstances, we use the model to determine where we are straying from the norm. It also does a nice job of predicting how changes will impact the current conditions. For example, during the past campaign, we had some very difficult juice to process in one of our factories, and the factory was struggling. We used Sugars™ quite intensely to develop a plan for improving our factory performance. With it, we were able to model a unique approach to processing. The factory was modified according to the model and it exactly produced the results predicted by Sugars™. Second, we use it for capital justification. All capital projects must first be modeled on Sugars™. We are able to predict the feasibility of a capital projects as-well-as potential problems and pay back. Sugars™ helps us avoid those unforeseen problems that can occur with a new project. Also, it helps us develop a level of confidence in the potential payback. Another side benefit that Sugars™ provides to us is that all five factories use the same platform to model their processes. With a common modeling platform, it is much simpler to exchange information and compare performance and to employ outside consultants that use Sugars™. All in all, we find Sugars™ to be a very useful tool. I highly recommend it.
American Crystal Sugar Company
Hillsboro, North Dakota, USA