With two cottonseed plants located right here in Lubbock, Texas, PYCO Industries Inc., is at the forefront of its growth. Deemed of the largest cottonseed cooperative in the Southern U.S., PYCO proudly serves its local agricultural community by providing cottonseed sales and processing for its members.
With a goal of maintaining the utmost modern and efficient processing facilities in the industry, PYCO rebuilt their lint room to maximize efficiency and create a safer environment. A long-time project in the making, this new renovation will drastically improve lint output, quality and environment, while decreasing energy and labor used in the process.
Les Howell, General Superintendent, has had a hand in previous remodels completed over the years, but nothing has come close to the project that has just been completed.
“This is the largest lint room ever built. No one moving forward will be building anything to this size because of the demand for cottonseed,” he said. “With the support of all our co-op members, PYCO is the biggest cottonseed crushing oil mill in the world.”
The sole purpose behind the reconstruction of the lint room at PYCO was to install high-quality filters, which creates a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere.
Alex Gonzalez, Engineer, commented on the outcome of the new facilities and what their effects are going to be.
“Just to give you a rough idea, there’s over 1,1000 motors inside of that building on 150 different machines,” Gonzalez said. “With the miles of aeration pipe in the building, we end up cleaning up the environment a lot more. You end up exhausting air that’s cleaner than the atmosphere.”
From the improved efficiency, the total amount of seed available to run at one time has increased to 2,000 tons per day from the 1,500 previously processed with the old facilities. Not only does the new lint room process 500 more tons of seed per day, it does so by operating at the same 10 megawatts of electricity as before. In addition to the greater, cleaner output of lint produced while decreasing the amount of energy used, labor input is reduced as well. The latest machines installed are fully automated, which lowers the workforce needed by about 25%.
Through his years working at PYCO, Howell can testify to just how much labor is needed to run the mill.
“With all the new construction and as fast as Lubbock is building and growing out here, it’s hard to find personnel to work here,” he said. “There’s not a lot of people who want to work in this industry due to the exposure of being outside in the West Texas extreme elements.”
The new lint room will help decrease labor needs due to its enhanced capabilities. With the number of machines available to run seed now, finding the manpower to run the machines won’t be as much of an issue. Howell said they will continue to strive for quality over quantity.
Moreover, PYCO and its members will benefit in the long-run from the new lint room. Howell mentioned the main benefit from the new facilities is the cost decrease and producing better products.
“Another thing is it’s going to cost us less in government fees because we did this for the improvement of the filtration system,” he said. “It actually reduces our emissions by over 50%.”
With the emphasis on energy conservation and environment protection, the astounding improvement to its lint room empowers PYCO to continue being a leading force in the cottonseed oil industry.