'What's New?'

by Teresa Acklin
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From conveying grain to “debugging” flour mills, products and services at this year's A.O.M. ‘What's New' program satisfied a wide range of milling industry needs.

   Every year, scores of new or updated products and services for flour milling come on the market. One place millers can easily obtain information about these items is the Association of Operative Millers' Annual Technical Conference and Trade Show.

   Whether veteran or first-time participants, millers say one of the event's key benefits is the chance to see numerous products and services and discuss them with suppliers and colleagues. A special feature of this information exchange is the annual “What's New?” program, which consists of 12 suppliers chosen by the A.O.M. program subcommittee to present papers on products or services of specific interest.

   World Grain summarizes the presentations given at this year's “What's New?” program, held in May at Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.


   With common fumigants coming under increasing restriction, heating up flour mills to kill insects is drawing much interest. Aggreko, Inc., New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S., provided information on this option, including the use of temporary, portable heat sources.

   The capital costs of installing a permanent heat source can be high, often making temporary systems more cost effective. Aggreko's portable heat sterilization program provides complete services, including fume-free electric heaters, silenced containment generators, distribution and cable lines and set up and tear down work.

   The mill may remain in operation during set up, which takes about eight to 12 hours. Depending on the desired temperature and pests to be killed, the heat up period requires six to 12 hours, the hold period takes six to 24 hours, and the cool down period takes four to eight hours. The mill may begin operating as soon as cooling is complete, even during the tear down stage.


   Avoiding product contamination is imperative for flour millers, and Blower Engineering, Lewiston, New York, U.S., featured a combination base silencer to meet this requirement.

   The base silencer is made without packing or sound-absorbing material that could result in product impurities. Instead, expansion and compression chambers in conjunction with ported tubes flatten sound waves and smooth out air pulsations, decreasing sound levels.

   There are no pockets or voids to collect dust, and cleaning is simple and quick. The construction also allows for a greater clearance under the equipment, and discharge pipes may be located out the end, top, bottom or sides.


   Attention to quality and economy are critical at every stage of processing, including wheat cleaning. To facilitate elimination of impurities with the lowest possible energy input, Buhler, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., presented its MTKB Combi-cleaner, which is equipped with an air-recycling unit.

   The Combi-cleaner joins the functions of four machines in one unit that employs a minimum of power and space. These functions consist of grading according to size (separator), grading according to specific gravity (concentrator), separation of stones (destoner) and separation of dust (aspirator).

   In new installations, the Combi-cleaner allows the size of the aspiration system and its filter and fan to be reduced; in facilities that are being rebuilt or are undergoing capacity increases, the Combi-cleaner eliminates the need to expand the filter system.


   Separations based on differences in kernel length are featured in the design of the Heid Segmented Cylinder Separator. Offered by Cimbria Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, an affiliate of Cimbria Unigrain, Thisted, Denmark, the machine comes in a wide range of sizes, with cylinder diameters from 400 mm to 900 mm and lengths from 1,000 mm to 4,000 mm.

   To achieve accurate separation, Heid developed its own tooling to produce three different indent pocket designs — teardrop, spherical and drilled. Each pocket style is made to perform specifically for different product separations; for example, the spherical pocket is best suited for long grain separation, such as removing wild oats and barley from wheat.

   The high capacity design reduces the number of cylinders needed; the smallest model handles 1 tonne of wheat per hour, and the capacity of the largest model is 20 tph. The system also includes reclaim cylinders, designed to recover any good product of either the long or short material in the screenings on stream.


   Monitoring and controlling mill processes and output can improve product consistency and mill profitability. The new MillView Yield Management Instrument presented by Comptrol Computer Control, Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is a microprocessor system that provides live data in graphs and reports to help millers observe and adjust various milling processes.

   MillView is a highly enhanced, user friendly version of Comptrol's original Extraction/Split Monitor. The Mill-view's many features include detailed charts summarizing data for each scale; display and print capability for available reports, including data by production run, shift, day or month; the ability to change production, set alarms and monitor extraction trends; and various administrative functions, including customizing a setup table to label flour and streams.


   Advances in packaging equipment and components have led to greater operator efficiency. Fawema Packaging Machinery, Inc., Sarasota, Florida, U.S., described advanced servo motors and controls that are reliable and easy to program. Incorporating servo systems in machine designs eliminates wear parts and enables quick changeover. Servo systems can be easily enhanced to suit the application.

   Applications in Fawema bag packagers include the auger filler drive, replacing clutch-brake systems and improving speed and accuracy, and indexing, which eliminates cams and followers and allows adjustments to maximize machine speed.

   Fawema also provides interactive control panels that can be programmed to suit specific machine applications. In addition to normal operator controls, the interactive panel includes an LCD readout and a serial interface for access to reports, machine status and maintenance schedules.


   The Kleen-Masse self-cleaning enmasse conveyor was the subject of the presentation by InterSystems, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

   The Kleen-Masse conveyor is adaptable because it may be configured in numerous horizontal or inclined segments of up to 60° with bend sections. This flexibility enables the system to convey 45% to 100% more material in the same amount of space using less horsepower.

   Liners are quickly replaceable without parting or removing the chain, and liner fasteners are positioned clear of material flow. Lid clips allow immediate access to any conveyor section without tools. The Kleen-Masse system is totally enclosed for a clean enviroment.


   Since its commercial introduction a few years ago, the Kice KSU 1000 shortflow flour mill unit has been commissioned successfully at 10 locations in North America and Europe. Kice Industries, Inc., Wichita, Kansas, U.S., manufacturer of the KSU Shortflow Unit, unveiled a new shortflow mill, the model Kice KSU 2000, so named for its base nominal rated daily capacity of 2,000 cwt, or about 91 tonnes of flour. The KSU 2000 can produce two types of flour and one or two feed products.

   The shortflow unit's compact design and modular construction ensure low building costs and capital investment and reduced power consumption and operating costs. Its modular construction enables easy expansion with the addition of more milling units.

   The shortflow unit is a complete flour mill, fully equipped with PLCs, cyclones, pneumatic conveying systems and sifters. Other features include storage, conveying, cleaning and tempering systems for grain, as well as conveying and storage systems for finished products.


   To meet the increasing demand for small, economical flour milling units for remote or isolated areas, Ocrim America, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., a subsidiary of Ocrim S.p.A., Cremona, Italy, presented the PKF compact milling unit for wheat, maize, barley and other grains. The unit, measuring 12 meters long, 2.45 meters wide and 2.9 meters high, is easily transported on a low-bed trailer.

   Updating the concept begun with its earlier UMM mobile milling unit, Ocrim used the latest technology based on an eight-passage flow diagram. The mill is supplied totally pre-assembled and is equipped with central control board, compressed air system and electrical and pneumatic connections.

   The milling unit consists of a cleaning and a milling section built over a fixed metal structure; tempering bins are installed over the structure. The unit includes turbosifters and a two-section plansifter. Power consumption totals about 43 kilowatt-hour per tonne of processed wheat.


   Economical production of low fat, high quality flaking grits, brewers and meal was the inspiration for a new maize degerminator described by Johnson Sangati, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S., affiliate of Sangati S.p.A., Padova, Italy.

   The machine combines the functions of hulling and separating germ in the same unit and is well suited for production of coarse hominy grits. The machine's features include a rotor configuration that reduces power consumption and a design that allows easy inspection and quick replacement of wear parts.

   The design also enables the operator to increase the extent of degermination and retention time. Adjustments can be made on the outside of the degerminator by means of socket bolts.


   A newly designed rollermill, debranning technology and compact mill engineering have come together in the PeriCom system introduced by Satake U.K., Stockport, U.K. The system is designed to meet the demand for pre-engineered design, modular construction, containerized delivery, rapid entry into production and quick return on capital investment.

   Among the new Rollermill SRMA's features is a compact Rollpack module, for which a patent is pending. The design enables removal and replacement of the Rollpack unit in a minimum period of downtime; the current record is 15 minutes.

   The VCW two-step debranning machine removes up to 10% of bran, enabling simplification of subsequent breaks without compromising performance. Power consumption in the VCW unit has been reduced by 25% from the previous debranning system model.

   The PeriCom system comes in a variety of units for different end products and capacities, ranging from 27 tonnes per day for high extraction flour to 91 tonnes for soft wheat milling.


   Product damage from in-transit shifting and movement can be avoided with proper bracing. Shippers Paper Products, Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, U.S., presented information on its Space-Brace reusable bulkhead that can withstand forces in excess of 23 tonnes.

   The Space-Brace allows center loading for equalized weight distribution and ensures truck or railcar shipments are secure. The reusable bulkhead disassembles for handling ease and flat storage, can be recycled and is 100% biodegradable.

   The company's reusable Fill-M3 void fillers are designed for use with the Space-Brace. Because the filler's inside core is not exposed, it retains its strength, avoiding spring-back. The fillers also disassemble for flat storage.