Document Type


Publication Date



Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Industrial Technology

Course Number and Title

TSM 416: Technology Capstone


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural Systems Technology (Kinneman, Widman); Industrial Technology (Schrad, Widman)


Joseph R. Vanstrom and Jacek A. Koziel

Problem Statement

Barilla is an international producer of pasta with locations in nine different countries. The production facility we are working with is located in Ames, Iowa. They produce around 140,000 tons of pasta per year.

The problem Barilla is having is pasta is being spilled somewhere during the process of moving along conveyors and buckets while being transported from production to the storage silos. Barilla is striving to reduce the amount of waste they experience through spillage. The main loss comes when they get mixed product in a silo and are forced to scrap the whole silo.

Barilla is not sure exactly what is causing the spillages and want to know if the losses can be reduced or eliminated completely. Reducing the amount of spilled pasta would save Barilla money in waste and delayed production. Scrapping an entire silo not only wastes all the pasta in it, but also causes Barilla to push back other pasta’s scheduled production to replace the lost.