Developments in milling equipment

by Emily Wilson
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Milling equipment research and development is an ongoing process, one that must respond to continually changing market demands. As needs for increased automation, system control and sanitation dominate milling operations, advances in these fields can be seen in the introductions by almost all of the milling equipment suppliers. Read on to learn about the latest advancements and improvements in milling technology and equipment.


The new Automatic Moisture Control System MYFC, introduced this year by Buhler AG, ensures the precise continuous measurement and control of grain moisture. Incorporating the proven microwave measuring principle for accurate moisture control and Buhler’s flowbalancer for flow control in feed-forward applications, the MYFC ensures consistent product moisture and standardized system control. The moisture control system also can incorporate Buhler’s new water flow rate controller MOZF to regulate the required water addition for the entire capacity range. Buhler offers standard control system units with capacities up to 60 tonnes per hour.

For intensive wheat dampening, Buhler has created the Dampener Turbolizer MOZL with a newly developed bi-rotor whirling system to ensure high water penetration and uniform distribution of water throughout the wheat kernel while reducing power requirements. Water addition rates up to 7% are possible with minimum abrasion and breakage of the wheat. Featuring a compact design and low maintenance, the Dampener Turbolizer MOZL has capacities ranging from 1 to 48 tph.


For millers needing a portable, lightweight and inexpensive solution to fitting sieve cloths, Norvell developed a simple and economical manual sieve cloth stretcher. Designed for low-volume, synthetic cloth applications, the stretcher does not require the use of air lines or electricity, and it is available for all sieve sizes. Its lightweight design makes it portable to use, but still gives excellent stretching capabilities.

With the manual adjustments, operators determine the optimum screen tension desired, allowing for complete control in each application. Designed with the miller’s convenience in mind, the stretcher uses only a limited number of parts to simplify assembly and disassembly.

In each kit, Norvell supplies all the parts, tools and instructions necessary. The stretcher is available for standard sieve sizes, or it can be customized to fit special needs.


To further enhance the standard quality of finished products, Ugur Makina recently unveiled its updated single-deck Rollmatic rollermill, featuring quick and easy roll change, high capacity and extraction, quiet operation without vibration, low working costs and a PLC-controlled feeding system with easy calibration.

Now, Ugur is launching a double-deck version of the Rollmatic roller-mill with all the features of the single-deck. The easy calibration of feeding rolls helps ensure homogenous and finished flour, while the double-deck
allows higher capacities to be reached. The new Rollmatic models are produced according to top hygiene


The newest Vibronet GmbH equipment is the On-line Passage Control, a logical development from its On-line Color Controller, which monitors the color of the flour continually. As flour color corresponds to a certain degree with mineral content, the ash content can be monitored and checked continuously during the production process.

Using the fully automatic passage control, an operator can easily and effectively monitor the grinding process. On-line monitoring can be indispensable, particularly in lights-off plants.

Easily adapted into an existing mill diagram, the On-line Passage Control consists of prefabricated plexiglass pipes with integrated infrared detectors. These measuring pipes can be installed for every passage just before the collecting screw conveyor (flour A, B, C, etc.). The infrared sensors constantly check the brightness of the flour passing them, and they are connected to a central PLC unit that evaluates the different signals. When the predefined minimum and maximum values are exceeded, an alarm is given immediately. Thus, the maladjusted passage can be detected very easily and the time necessary to adjust the grinding process is reduced to a minimum.


United Milling Systems’ unique Type MHA600 Discmill has benefited from a number of detail changes in recent years. The machine body, which houses the drive motor, is now manufactured from laser-cut panels with flush-mounted access doors at each end.
This gives a smooth appearance and eliminates bolt heads and ledges for easy cleaning. The grinding elements contain special alloys to provide two to four years life on most whole-wheat applications in continuously operating mills. In addition, a wider range of element configurations has been introduced, and a composite-stone ring at the entrance to the grinding zone is available for customers wishing to offer stone ground wholewheat products.

United Milling Systems has also introduced a smaller version of the discmill, the MGA500. Designed for coarse grinding of whole grains at capacities up to 5 tph, the MGA500 features a direct drive motor of either 15kW or 22kW and typical power consumption is less than 5 kW hours per tonne. As featured on the MGA600, the grinding gap is adjustable during operation and the exceptional parts durability results in low maintenance costs. The MGA500 is currently being used by feed and flour millers in many countries in a wide range of cereal grinding applications.


A designer of custom sifters for cereal milling, Great Western Manufacturing now offers Buhler’s patented sieve technology with the Nova sieve frame and insert tray.

The Nova’s unique design combines a removable metal insert tray that uses Buhlers’ patented combination screen and pan cleaners. Other design advantages include a large net screen area; optimum screen tension obtained with the rigid aluminum tray; and reduced hazards of backwire fatigue and loose fasteners. These features allow shorter sieve height with the same capacity. With a shorter sieve frame, the number of sieves can be increased or deeper sieves can be used that have a greater capacity.

Nova sieves are available to fit standard North American 24 11/16-inch and 28 ¾-inch full-cloth or two-side channel sieve sizes, as well as European sifters with 640 millimeter sieves.


Kice Industries, Inc., the North American representative for GBS Group, is responsible for all equipment and parts sales, maintaining an inventory of spare parts at its facilities and helping to expedite shipping of any non-stock parts direct from GBS in Italy. Kice also represents GBS’ complete milling systems and supplies the pneumatics and the automation for the GBS milling systems.

Kice recently introduced the new GBS Synthesis Rollermill that uses Allen Bradley control hardware and software. Using the Kice automation control package and built with a combination of stainless steel and extruded aluminum, the new Synthesis rollermill provides millers with a heavy-duty rollermill that is simple to operate and maintain.

Kice’s Automation Group has released the Kice Process Scales, using "off-the-shelf" Allen Bradley electrical components, allowing scales to be tied into existing plant controls easily. The scales are sold as stand-alone units or with an optional yield management package that easily communicates with existing plant control and even plant accounting systems. The process scale is an effective way to measure batches, coordinate processes within a system and increase mill output and quality.

Kice also improved its positive displacement PD Blowers, which field tests prove to run quieter, cooler and much more efficiently.

At the other side of the partnership, The GBS Group’s Research and Development department recently created an innovative system for wheat cleaning and tempering, called the vacuum short conditioning system that enables wheat tempering time to be cut to just two hours, instead of the traditional 16 to 20 hours required in soft/hard wheat mills.

The new system allows mills to save in the number and capacity of tempering bins, as well as provide easy control of cleaning rate and final moisture to first break. The shorter vacuum process reduces bacteria count, rids insects and eggs, removes sand and dirt from the kernel crease, balances moisture distribution, and enhances milling and sifting conditions for higher extraction yields and better flour quality.

The system includes a newly designed super intensive scourer; an original damper/dehuller combined with a cuticle separator; two dampening and tempering stages, each lasting one hour; and a "vacuum" conditioning system in the second cleaning stage before first break passage.

The system is now being tested in two different mills in Italy, a soft wheat mill and a hard wheat mill, both applying stringent critical and analytical procedures. GBS will soon post the results on its web site.

GBS Group Spa has also designed an "Easy Clean" filter sleeve, featuring enhanced filtering efficiency, easy maintenance and parts replacement and more air available for sleeve cleaning. The body design also complies with explosion-proof guidelines, and explosion vents are available. With sensors arranged on key positions for performance detection, a trouble shooting function will detect any misfunctioning.


The Ana Group’s "SAS Technology" for flour mills was designed to help expedite profit returns while producing market-oriented high quality product. The SAS technology is a turnkey package of a modular, patented food production facility in a single-story building. It has been installed in flour, edible oils, feed and pasta production facilities.

Steel construction makes transportation and erection simple. Capacities range between 5 to 1,000 tonnes per day, and capacity can be easily increased.

All SAS Technology machinery and equipment complies with International Food Production Standards. As a unique benefit, the location of the plant can be changed quickly and easily. In addition, specialty products can be produced to adapt product characteristics suited to local market demands.

Rapid build-up is possible due to the turnkey facility-setup, allowing the owner/investor to concentrate on basic planning, such as suitable assembly location, raw material acquisition, power sources, and other utilities.

The Ana Group will also train staff to run the plant. With the entire facility on a single floor and the automatic control system, production is easy to monitor.


Satake recently introduced its rollermill differential DuroDrive as a conversion for most types of existing ‘European’ rollermills. The product concept is derived from the double-sided toothed belt arrangement originally developed by Henry Simon and the Uniroyal belt manufacturer.

Patent-pending features of the DuroDrive conversion will further improve belt tracking to extend operating life. Improvements in materials, tooth profiles and the geometry of the drive provide a robust arrangement that can be used to upgrade existing equipment to meet current food industry standards.

There are several advantages over alternative belt drives and traditional gear or chain arrangements. The DuroDrive features slip-proof engagement, as the belt teeth mesh with pulley grooves on both sides to prevent speed variations. And unlike chain or gear drives, this drive never needs lubrication because there is no metal-to-metal contact. High tension is eliminated and bearing life extended, as these belts do not rely on friction for their pulling power, unlike flat and V-belts. These features contribute to efficiency, allowing the drive to reduce heat generation and energy consumption.

The unique tooth configuration engages and clears each pulley groove in a continuous flow. Thus, angular velocity of the driven pulley is constant. There is no jerking or vibration caused by rise and fall of the pitch line, as occurs in chain drives.

DuroDrive conversion kits are designed for easy installation to minimize downtime and retain the integrity of the rollermill.


In response to market demand for consistent performance, profitability and hygiene, Alapala has developed its DAVM generation of rollermills.

The DAVM’s precision roll adjustment is now more efficient: when the rollermill is loaded, automatically engaged rolls open and come to a pre-adjusted position by means of pneumatic pistons. Roll brushes are located at a parallel position to extend wear-life. Feeding rolls provide infinite capacity adjustments via electronic systems at every passage.

Product flow volume and speed are controlled automatically. Product flow speed is continuously monitored by a sensor mounted on the inlet glass.

Aiming for silence and anti-vibration, noise and heat are isolated, preventing condensation and flour bind.

Construction has been designed to provide all hygiene and security conditions. The rollermill’s front panel opens completely for easy maintenance and cleaning.

Alapala used the same concepts to solve condensation problems on its semolina purifier. All "dead" areas that collect dust have been eliminated. The purifier provides efficient sieving with a precision adjustment system and a special air channel.

Alapala’s Research and Development department continues to pursue the objectives of low energy consumption, high efficiency and capacity, and minimum maintenance.


The Ocrim "@Mill" family of control systems represent a significant step forward, not only in terms of remote internet access, but also in terms of integration with a new and advanced informational database system for the management of plant data.

These systems allow you to connect to the internet from any location to check on the status of your mill, receive production reports to your email address, be informed via Instant Messenger on your cell phone in the event of an alarm, check the plant inventory and daily maintenance preventative program, and much more.

The Ocrim automation systems are built on the basis of the Control@MILL system, which uses either Siemens or Allen Bradley PLC and MMI hardware. The systems use the modular Management@MILL software package for information management, stock control production lot retrieval and maintenance management, based on the powerful Oracle database, or in more simple applications, MySQL programming.

For the convenience of the North American market, Ocrim is also now
offering its RMX rollermill fully equipped with Allen Bradley hardware. In fact, in the automatic version this new rollermill will become an integral part of the powerful and flexible Ocrim control system.

An on-line demonstration of the Ocrim @MILL system is offered, where visitors can interact with a simple plant in full simulated operation.