Training Excellence

by Emily Buckley
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For those in the grain processing industry — as in every industry, continuing education is critical. Association trade shows and conferences are adept at keeping members abreast of mainstay topics as well as emerging industry subjects. Yet, there are times that require special instruction and practice in a more focused and in-depth setting.

Here, World Grain reviews several of the most prominent flour and feed milling training programs around the world — from the Swiss Milling Institute to Kansas State University’s International Grains Program. Read on to learn more about their history and specialties, as well as their programs for the 2003 and into 2004.



ESLAMO offers a wide variety of technical training and industry support for millers and bakers in Latin America

Located in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, is a thriving milling school for Latin America, ESLAMO (Escuela Latino-americana de Molinerìa). In 1995, the Latin American Milling Industries Association (ALIM), the Venezuelan Milling Industries Association (ASOTRIGO) and U.S. Wheat Associates provided funds to establish the Latin America Milling School. ESLAMO now offers academic programs, short courses and workshops in milling science, management, bakery, pasta and flour quality.

In its first eight years, ESLAMO has graduated an average of 200 participants from across Latin America each year.

Since 2000, ESLAMO has been working to provide a technological and academic upgrade in order to maintain high quality education and training. As a result, ESLAMO is expanding its traditional technical courses to other areas, such as cereal foods marketing, mill management, manager skills development, sales and logistics.

ESLAMO houses several laboratories and offers analytical services for grain, pasta, flour and bread products. Technical assistance activities include experimental milling, research and development projects, ingredients and additives reformulation, and specific technical topics of special interest to individual clients.

Another special service of ESLAMO is its mentoring program, which is particularly useful to junior managers or individuals taking on responsibilities for the management in self-owned or family-owned businesses. Mentoring is accomplished through technical training and assistance programs in logistics, marketing, real case studies and many other issues.

Please contact the school for the updated course program.

Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
Phone:, -61.6544
Contact: Nalia Mijares, María Teresa Ruiz or Andrea Saturno
Upcoming Courses: Contact ESLAMO.

Other U.S. Wheat sponsored schools

In addition to the ESLAMO school, U.S. Wheat Associates helps establish education opportunities, including the Egyptian Milling Technology Center (EMTC) in Egypt, and the Institute of Training in the Cereal Industry (IFIM) in Morocco.

According to Peter Lloyd, U.S. Wheat’s project director in Casablanca, Morroco, the IFIM has an ongoing continuing education program known as the Miller Outreach Program that targets the French speaking countries of Africa and Middle East. For a detailed catalog of training courses offered at IFIM, visit



The German School of Milling at Braunschweig teaches milling fundamentals

The German School of Milling, a public educational institute for millers and millwrights, offers students apprenticeship and at least two years of professional work. "During the past years, the teaching contents have been considerably changed and adjusted to today’s production technique," said the school’s headmaster, Karl-Friedrich Robohm.

The coursework for students on the milling track comprises grain processing, general processing techniques, conveying, silo and storage techniques, grinding procedures and flowsheet technique, as well as basic knowledge of electrical controls. Further essential topics include the production of animal feed and the processing of oats, barley and rice. With the rising importance and popularity of breakfast cereal, its processing is also now included.

For those on the millwright path, the main subjects include mill design, construction (surface engineering) as well as technical designing and communication (CAD).

Graduates of both divisions are equipped for positions in flour milling, food, chemical or bulk material industries.

The school does not charge any fees, and even lends students most required books. Living costs are the primary expenses. Instruction comprises four 20-week terms. A graduate diploma from the German milling school will earn a student the title of "State-Examined Technical Engineer in the Line of Flour Milling Technology and/or Mill Construction Technology."

Currently, there are 30 to 35 students in the school’s program, Robohm said.

German School of Milling

Braunschweig, Germany
Phone: 49.(0)531.69.13.12
Fax: 49.(0)531.68.28.06
Language: German, all courses
Requirement: Graduation certificate from Intermediate school, completed apprenticeship in related field; command of the German language; and two years work experience in related field.
Upcoming courses: Terms begin annually on Sept. 1
Appropriate for: Moderate-experiece level.
To apply: Send letter of application.



The Swiss Milling School combines theory with active participation

The Swiss Milling School in St. Gallen, Switzerland, is a prominent international training facility in the field of grain milling. People from around the world come to receive training at SMS to become milling specialists. Since 1957, more than 1,000 students have graduated. SMS, which is ISO-9001 certified, holds courses alternately in German (course duration of ten months) and in English (course duration of five or ten months).

One of the school’s particular strengths is its hands-on training. Students’ theoretical knowledge is developed into practical skills in the modern training center, technological laboratory and newly constructed mill.

To fully understand the grain milling process and quality management of raw materials and end products, students need a core knowledge of science and mathematics. The basics of cereal grain science, chemistry, nutritional science, hygiene, math, and physics are, therefore, a large part of the curriculum. Emphasis is also placed on flow sheet design and equipment knowledge. Because the control center is becoming increasingly important and complex, SMS thoroughly covers control engineering, pneumatic conveying and aspiration.

In the laboratory, students learn how to test milled products and to interpret the results. With these skills, SMS graduates can determine the quality of milled products and take appropriate action, when necessary, for improvement. The baking trade is also covered, since milling specialists must know their customers’ current and future needs. Modern flour processing methods and uses are taught, from extrusion and heat-treated flours to functional foods and new products, to keep up with changes in consumer eating habits and new processing techniques. The applications and processing of various other grains such as maize, rice or oats are also covered.

The school fosters long-lasting friendships and business relationships. Most important, the open interaction between students and faculty contributes much to the success of the training.

Swiss Milling School

St. Gallen, Switzerland
Phone: 41.71.955.3058.
Ms. Beate Rampone
Upcoming Courses:
• Sept. 1, 2003 to June 2004 10-month course in English
• Jan. 5, 2005 to May 2005 5-month course in English
• Sept. 1, 2005 to June 2006 10-month course in German
To apply: Contact SMS; there are still openings.
Appropriate for: Various skill levels.



Ocrim’s school trains more than just millers

Ocrim established the Milling Technology School in 1965 to provide vocational training on maintaining and operating mills. In 1979, the company moved the Milling Training Centre inside Ocrim headquarters in the outskirts of Cremona, Italy. To date, more than 2,000 students have been trained at the school to become chief millers, laboratory analysts, maintenance foremen and, beginning this year, skilled bakers.

The training center includes a pilot mill with daily capacity of 24 tonnes; a machinery maintenance shop; an electrical laboratory; a chemical and product analysis laboratory; and a pilot bakery. The center provides courses for millers, managers, mechanical operators/technicians, chemical analysts and electrical maintenance operators. Each course lasts five weeks and is offered three times per year.

The Milling Course provides general milling principles and introduces the latest technologies and methodologies for the field. It is applicable to those even with little experience in milling plants.

The school’s Standard Course for Managers targets management practices and milling technology necessary to run the plant. The course for Mechanical Operator/Technician Course offers theoretical and practical notions on plant maintenance operations.

Milling Technology School
(Scuola de Technologia Molitoria)
Cremona, Italy
Phone: 39.0372.4011.
Fax: 39.0372.412692.
Contact: Giovanni Piccioni,
Upcoming Courses: Contact Mr. Piccioni for 2003 course schedule and application information.
Appropriate for: low to moderate milling experience.



Training — the core of the International Grains Program

The Kansas State University International Grains Program was created in 1978. With technical-training and assistance programs, the IGP works with international flour and feed millers, grain buyers, overseas governmental officials and other public and private-sector parties involved in grain procurement and use.

IGP regularly schedules four short courses every year. Additionally, custom-designed programs can be arranged. Most short courses take place at the IGP Center, located on the K-State campus, where there is access to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and equipment for hands-on learning. K-State’s grain science department also includes a feed mill, flour mill, baking laboratory, wheat quality laboratory and a value-added biotechnology center.

The Grain Purchasing Short Course, held in March and April, will be limited to 10-35 participants. This course benefits individuals responsible for buying food and feed grains. It focuses on the mechanics of purchasing raw materials and features detailed discussions on cash and futures markets, financing and ocean transportation.

The Flour Milling Short Course, held in June, will be limited to 10-24 participants. With several facility tours, hands-on experience in K-State’s pilot flour mill, experimental milling laboratory, physical-dough testing laboratory and bakery, this course studies the major principles of modern flour milling and management. In addition to those directly related to mill operations, sales, marketing and financial managers will also benefit from this course.

In July, the Price Analysis and Risk Management Short Course is limited to 10 to 35 participants. The three-day course outlines the role of the futures market in pricing grains and gives an overview of options and grain grading. The course is designed to prepare or refresh participants who are attending the following Risk Management Short Course, an advanced course that emphasizes alternative grain procurement strategies; ocean freight contracts and risk; and currency-exchange risks. Participants are encouraged to sign up for both courses.

The Feed Manufacturing Short Course in September, limited to 10 to 35 participants, will explore major elements of modern feed manufacturing and examine advances in feed technology.

International Grains Program
Kansas State University, Dept. of Grains Science and Industry
Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.
Phone: 1.785.532.4070.
Fax: 1.785.532.6080.
John Howard, IGP Program Administrator
Upcoming Courses:
• Grain Purchasing, March 31-April 11
• Flour Milling, June 9-20
• Introduction to Risk Management, July 16-18
• Risk Management, July 21-25
• Feed Manufacturing, September 22-October 3



Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering approaches its 10th anniversary

The Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering (SCGPE) was established in May 1994 following an initiative from the Satake Corporation of Japan. Based in the Chemical Engineering Department at UMIST, its primary focus is providing education, training and research at the highest academic level.

The SCGPE participates in research in food and non-food applications of grain processing; postgraduate teaching in Cereals Processing Technology; and Continuing Professional Development courses for industry.

While the majority of the Centre’s activities involve postgraduate students, short courses based on milling and cereal science are also provided for the industry, although none are planned for 2003. However, a conference-type event in Spring 2004 is tentatively planned to celebrate SCGPE’s 10th anniversary.

Graduates students at the Centre are all registered for higher degrees including MSc, MPhil, PhD and the recently developed Engineering Doctorate (EngD). These degree programs will be running through 2003 and 2004. Those wishing to study in the Centre should contact the director, Colin Webb.

Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Manchester, U.K.
Contact: Colin Webb, director



Association of Operative Millers provides courses in milling and maintenance

The Association of Operative Millers is devoted to the advancement of the flour milling, cereal grain and seed processing industries. To this end, it annually offers two training courses that focus on the operation of a milling facility, usually held in June, and two courses that focus on mill maintenance, usually held in October.

The Introduction to Flour Milling Short Course is a one-week course held at the Department of Grain Science and Industry on the Kansas State University campus. Although limited to 18 students, this course covers milling principles and is designed for newly hired mill personnel, mill administrative staff, quality control personnel and allied trade companies.

Shortly following the introductory course is the Advanced Technical Training for Operative Millers Short Course, a one-week course held at the same location and limited to 12 students. It is designed for those with one or more years of milling experience who aspire to become a milling operative. Applicants must have current knowledge basic milling procedures and equipment. As a prerequisite to this course, students must complete the first three units of the AOM’s Correspondence Course in Flour Milling.

To supplement the processing training, the Milling Maintenance Short Course I provides nearly three days of training for mill maintenance personnel who need to be familiar with the maintenance of milling equipment. Up to 24 attendees will receive an overview of mill and preventative maintenance, including various tours, education of electrical maintenance, sanitation and safety.

The Milling Maintenance Short Course II provides detailed instruction for the maintenance of milling equipment. This two-and-a-half day course, focusing on rollermills and conveying equipment, is held every other year; course size is limited to 24 attendees.

The AOM’s Correspondence Course in Flour Milling, offered in Spanish and English, is one of the association’s most popular and most flexible training options. The course consists of five units, and there is no set time to complete a unit or the course — students take the course at their own pace. Upon successful completion of the fifth and final unit, a diploma is issued.

Association of Operative Millers
Leawood, Kansas, U.S.
Phone: 1-913-338-3377. Fax: 1.913.338.3553.
Upcoming Courses:
• AOM Introduction to Flour Milling Short Course, June 2-6, 2003; course size limited to 18.
• Advanced Technical Training for Operative Millers Short Course, June 23-27.
• AOM Milling Maintenance Short Course I and Short Course II, October — check with AOM for specific dates.
• Correspondence Course in Flour Milling, Ongoing, customizable.
To apply: Contact AOM office for applications and further information.



NABIM committed to industry development

The National Association of British and Irish Millers places a high priority on milling education and training. For more than 70 years, NABIM has run correspondence courses for students across the world.

NABIM’s courses are offered in seven different training modules — known as the "Seven Steps to Success." Offered annually, the course serves multiple functions — an industry introduction, refresher, or continuing education.

The first module covers hygiene, health and safety, including fire and dust explosions and the dangers of infestation. Wheat and the screenroom are the main topics for the second module.

The third course addresses the history and practice of the modern flour milling operation; mill machinery and processes; the manufacture of different flours and co-products; the importance and achievement of mill balance; and improvement of mill performance.

In the next module, students will learn about materials handling, storage and distribution. This course considers the flour blending; handling and packing of flour; warehousing; transportation vehicles; and pest control.

Flour itself is the subject of the fifth module, discussing functionality and types of flour commonly milled; flour treatments; quality measurement and control; laboratory tests; and flour uses.

Because power and automation are critical in mill performance, that is the focus of the sixth module course. In the seventh and final module, milling management is addressed, including a background to the U.K. flour milling industry. The course covers location and design of flour mills; the responsibility to protect the product, people and environment; and financial considerations.

Per module, every student is allocated one tutor, who is an expert in their field and who will provide guidance and advice on the coursework. When the student completes all seven modules, they are awarded the prestigious Advanced Certificate in Flour Milling from the world-renowned City and Guilds of London (Institute).

Course fees are charged per module.

Phone: 44.0207.4932521
Upcoming Courses:
• Seven-Module Correspondence Course September 2003 to May 2004
To apply: Enrollment forms can be found online.



The Swiss Institute of Feed Technology trains feed milling engineers with diverse practice and theory

In 1979, the owner of Bühler AG, Dr. René Bühler, recognized a need for training and established the Swiss Institute of Feed Technology (SFT). From 1979 to 1987, eight courses were successfully completed in German and English. During this period, 90 graduates earned the title of "Feed Milling Engineer."

In effort to be more accessible to the industry, the SFT in 1988 relocated to Uzwil and began a Specialized Course on Feed Manufacturing Technology and a number of short courses on topical subjects. In the 15 feed courses conducted to date, 285 students from around the world have completed the course. Another 300 feed industry specialists have attended the roughly 30 short courses. The course is offered annually and alternates between German and English.

To minimize absence from the workplace, the program is made up of preparatory courses that are performed on a correspondence basis, followed by a nine-week intensive course in Uzwil.

The preparatory course is intended to refresh existing basic knowledge and teach new findings. From October to April, 22 subject-specific documents are sent out to students at weekly intervals. Students must maintain a minimum average grade in order to attend the intensive course in Uzwil.

In the following nine-week course (May through July), participants are trained specifically in all aspects of modern compound feed engineering. The nearly equal parts of practical training offered with the theory study makes it possible to understand the operating principles of machines, to discuss trial results and to become acquainted with modern laboratory methods. Graduates are awarded a diploma as "Feed Production Engineer."

SFT also offers several one- to two-week short courses every year. Primarily, they are limited to process technology and the associated machines. They are taught in German, English and French. On request, the SFT is also able to organize customer-specific courses with interpreting into a requested language. Participants are limited to ten.

Swiss Institute of Feed Technology
Uzwil, Switzerland
41.(0)71.955 33 63.
Fax: 41.(0)71.955 20 97.

Upcoming Specialized Courses:

Preparatory course

Main course


October 2003 - April 30, 2004

May 3 - July 07, 2004


October 2004 - April 30, 2005

May 2 - July 06, 2005


October 2005 - April 30, 2006

May 2 - July 06, 2006


October 2006 - April 30, 2006

May 7 - July 06, 2007


Registration deadline: September 30.

Upcoming 2003 Short Courses:

Feed Milling Technology
Language: Russian. Length: 1 week.
Visit web site or contact SFT for more details.

Feed Milling Technology
Language: Spanish. Length: 1 week.
Visit web site or contact SFT for more details.

Machines and Process Technology for Feed Milling Industry
Language: English. Length: 2 weeks. Date: November 10- 21, 2003.
Maximum eight people.