Latest milling technology

by Arvin Donely
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The global flour milling industry and the equipment and service suppliers that support it are continually searching to improve technology and methods to process wheat into flour and other byproducts.

The Product Showcase program at the 2015 International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Conference & Expo in Palm Springs, California, U.S., featured some of the most recent technological advances in the industry. Five new products were unveiled during the showcase, offering breakthroughs in areas such as sanitation, safety and quality control.

Here is a look at the products and services that were presented during the showcase.

Insect egg destruction

Bühler’s new impact machine, Matador MJZH, has been developed for the mechanical destruction of insect eggs in flour and semolina.

More than 99% of insect eggs are completely destroyed at a high throughput due to multiple impact in cross-flow principle. The Matador MJZH has high mortality rates (independently validated) with minimal operation and maintenance costs.

In order to meet individual needs, the Matador comes in five closely graduated sizes, with throughput capacities ranging from 1 to 45 tph.

The Matador can be integrated in existing systems with great ease and flexibility – standing, lying or suspended. Depending on the direction of flow, incorporation is possible in gravity spouting at atmospheric pressure or in pneumatic pressure lines up to 1 bar of positive pressure.

The small machine sizes can also be mounted to the ceiling.

Color sorter

With eight individual models ranging from a 0.5 chute to a high-capacity 7-chute unit, the Cimbria SEA Chrome offers the latest in sorting technology.

The system perfectly suits the needs of modern food processing systems that demand the optical sorters ability to detect and reject products of similar colors but with different shades. Machine adjustment can be carried out easily due to the real image setting, and as with all SEA sorters, the SEA Chrome allows for Internet connection for remote control.

Each unit features standard TRU color cameras with 0.1 mm resolution and the ability to add NIR and InGaAs cameras, making it a very versatile color sorter for milling applications.

Key features include:

• High capacity feeding chutes with robust in-house vibratory feeder design;

• Proprietary software for defect size analysis as well as shape based on geometric characteristics;

• Program for storing of up to 16 families of defects; LED lighting for long life and low heat dissipation;

• Versatile flow configuration with re-sort and reverse re-sort;

• Specially designed ejectors to prevent delays and pressure drops;

• Vortex pressurized optical boxes to purge dust;

• 15-inch color touch screen; and

• Rotating optical boxes to provide easy access for maintenance and service.

Loading spout

Vortex said it has made several design changes to its loading spout after 2014 IAOM show attendees shared concerns about durability and contamination. The company said it immediately challenged its engineers to develop solutions that would combat those concerns.

Vortex’s outer sleeve is now rivet free and utilizes cable guides rather than less durable plastic. Vortex also redesigned the cone harness cable to eliminate the possibility of misaligned cones, drill shavings and broken hardware, thus reducing the potential for contamination.

These loading spouts are designed to capture fugitive dust, prevent material waste, and ensure plant and environmental safety, with low maintenance and service expenses. From the retractable loading spout attached to the bottom of a silo/hopper or located at the end of an air conveying system, to the dust collecting filter system, to the loading spout positioner, the company offers a complete line of versatile loading spout systems for your loading process.

Vortex loading spouts are unique for loading bulk materials into open and/or enclosed vessels because of their four-cable lifting design providing maximum stability, compared to the standard 2- or 3-cable systems. The in-line drive system also incorporates special 3-piece CNC-machined pulleys that feature chamfered edges and precision cable grooves to significantly reduce cable wear and back lashing as the loading spout extends and retracts, especially during the misalignment of the hatch opening. Because the cables do not fray, cable failure is nearly eliminated and so is costly downtime for repairs.

Flour packer

FAWEMA’s servo-driven FA 217 packer has been redesigned to run flour bags from 2 lbs (.9 kg) to 10 lbs (4.5 kg) in either single, double, or triple fill mode, offering unmatched flexibility in terms of fill rates and bag sizes that can be run by just one packer.

Servo technology throughout simplifies operation, changeovers, and maintenance.

The FA 217 is a flexible high-performance system that combines the traditionally proven packaging process with the latest design and automation technology.

The packer works in a highly energy-efficient manner with a high packaging performance. This is achieved using energy recovery within the electrical drives as well as low mechanical friction loss. At the same time, the maintenance costs are significantly reduced as fewer wearing parts are used. Further savings arises through the high compaction of the product using integrated vibration, so that a minimum of package material is required per bag.

The FA 217 optimally meets higher hygiene requirements in that the depositing areas for product dust have been significantly minimized. In addition to these hygiene requirements, accessibility to the system parts is significantly improved based on an ergonomic construction.

Wireless hazard monitoring

HazardPRO Wireless Hazard Monitoring System from Electro-Sensors is a comprehensive solution to combining sensors, advanced technology, and intuitive software at a lower installed cost than traditional wired systems.

The goal is to protect facilities and people by providing the fastest alerts when they happen and transmit the alerts via the most convenient method.

Consistent operation is ensured with self-diagnostics, transmission logging and redundant receivers. It allows millers to invest this savings in more accurate sensors, better displays and more intelligent controls that provide increased system reliability, ease of use and fewer false alarms.

On the HazardPRO status screen, an operator can quickly view the complete operation, including what machines are running and the status of each. The operator can instantly spot a problem and then touch the display screen to bring up specific information for that equipment.

Because the HazardPRO intelligent transmitter nodes send information when a change is detected, there are no polling delays. When an event occurs, it is automatically logged. An operator can view a graph of the event and, after investigating, can document the cause and resolution.

With HazardPRO, determining the condition of a rub block alignment sensor does not require shutting down the belt and performing a visual inspection. A warning will be displayed at the control panel if a block is wearing down to a point where it should be replaced.