The fifth and final E.U. enlargement

by Teresa Acklin
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International grain consultant Tom Sewell analyzes the obstacles to E.U. integration of Eastern European countries and discusses probable E.U. strategies.

   To many, the European Union already seems large enough. It has been enlarged four times, and each time, there are more headaches.

   The European Union started as the European Economic Community in 1958 with six members. The United Kingdom and Denmark joined in 1972; Greece in 1981; Spain and Portugal in 1985; and Sweden, Finland and Austria in 1995.

   Legislation has to be written in eleven languages. Taking decisions is laborious, and revising a decision already made is next to impossible. Why add more complications?

   The driving force is politics, not agriculture. With the collapse of communism, no time must be lost in tying Central and Eastern Europe into a democratic capitalist framework.

   Politicians in Europe consider 10 more countries as candidates: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Cyprus, Malta and Turkey are on another waiting list. Maybe one day, the states that make up the former Yugoslavia might want to enter. And it has to be remembered that the E.U.-15 now has a common frontier with Russia.

   A European Union containing 25 members would create the most important economic body in the developed world, with 475 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product of 6,100 billion Ecus (1993 figures), or 126% of the population and 102% of the G.D.P. of North American Free Trade Agreement members.

   Enlargement is a topic in the current E.U. Intergovernmental Conference in Turin, Italy (known for convenience as Maastricht II). At the previous Heads of Government meeting in Madrid, the decision was taken that negotiations with the 10 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC-10), Cyprus and Malta should start six months after the conclusion of Maastricht II, which is expected to run until mid-1997.

   In Europe, it is envisioned that the negotiations will be finished in time for the transition to start in 2000, and total integration for all the CEEC will be completed by 2010. For agriculture, total integration would consist of complete alignment of prices, deficiency payments, set-asides and quotas for milk and sugar. Nobody has forgotten that the next negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are scheduled to begin in 2000.

   Although from the viewpoint of existing members agriculture is a reluctant partner in the process, the European Commission under Franz Fischler has shown courage in adopting a positive attitude to enlargement. For their part, the CEEC-10 countries have shown themselves desperate to join, proving the truth of the old French adage "There is always one who kisses while the other offers the cheek."

   In 1994, the European Union commissioned from well-known academics four Reports on Agriculture Policy in the E.U. and Central and Eastern Europe and followed these up with a White Paper last year. Other experts, including Claude Villain and Brian Gardner, have produced useful studies. These are the key documents for anyone wishing to analyze the situation.

      Economic indicators and agricultural problems.

   If enlargement is to be successful, the current differences between the E.U.-15 and the CEEC-10 must be reduced. Otherwise, the pressures generated could lead to disaster.

   Based on 1993 figures, the combined G.D.P. of the CEEC-10 was only 3% of the E.U.'s, and per capita income was only 11%. The CEEC-10 showed a sharp drop in production in the first years of transition from communism — production fell by 6.2% in 1990 — but production now is recovering, with a 3.6% increase in 1995. Indeed, this growth rate is greater than the E.U.-15's 3.2% increase.

   The Vienna Institute of Comparative Economics has estimated that by 2010, the most dynamic "newcomers" might outdo the "least performing" of the E.U.-15. Nevertheless, it is clear that the transition to a free market economy in the CEEC is operating at a different pace in the various states and that there is still a long way to go to catch up. The main structural problems result from disruption of production, switch in trade to the West from the former Soviet bloc economic system and the need to create proper financial, banking, administrative and judicial systems on Western lines.

   In agriculture, the greatest difficulty probably consists of low production rates and the inefficient use of resources in the CEEC-10. For example, although CEEC farmland is 44% of that of the E.U. and the CEEC employs more agricultural workers than the E.U. (9.5 million or 26.7% of the total workforce compared with 8.19 million or 5.7% of the workforce), CEEC agricultural production in real value terms only amounts to 7% of E.U. production.

   These figures illustrate the chronic overmanning in CEEC farms, as well as the social problem of what will become of the surplus labor if farms are brought up to Western standards of efficiency; this problem would be especially acute if other economic sectors do not expand fast enough to absorb those displaced from agriculture. This indication of low living standards is most apparent in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, while the Czech Republic and Slovenia more greatly resemble the West.

   Another important problem consists of the absence or slowness of establishment of a proper system of land tenure and facilities for the transfer of land ownership. The disappearance of large collective farms (or their transformation into cooperatives), the end of consumption subsidies (raising prices and reducing demand) and changes in consumption (less livestock products) are additional complications.

      Production and prices.

   Commodity forecasts of production and use for the E.U.-15 and CEEC-10 have been produced by the European Commission as a table in its White Paper. It must be emphasized that these projections, as far as the E.U.-15 is concerned, are based on a continuation of the current Common Agricultural Policy — described as the "status quo" option.

   As seen in Table 1 on page 20, the projections, based on current trends, show the CEEC grains deficit of nearly 3 million tonnes in 1989 will turn into a surplus of 11 million tonnes in 2010, with average grain yields in the CEEC at 3 tonnes per hectare compared with 4.9 tonnes per ha in the E.U. Meanwhile, the E.U.'s current exportable surplus of 29 million tonnes would almost double by the same year. This is a powerful argument for further reform of the CAP.

   Tables 2 and 3 on page 21 show the relationship between wheat and maize prices in the E.U.-15 and CEEC-10. Only Slovenia has higher prices than the E.U., although Latvia and to a lesser extent Poland were above world price levels in 1994. Support prices for wheat in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Republics ranged between 56% and 73% of those in the E.U.

   The European Commission's White Paper does not minimize the problems for the future and makes it clear that the CAP reforms have not gone far enough. It poses three possible lines of strategy for the E.U., called Options 1, 2 and 3.

   Option 1 is leaving the CAP as it is — the "status quo" mentioned above, which is dismissed for the reasons explained. Option 2 is radical reform of the CAP, including abolition of all supply management measures; this option is not favored because of the social and environmental risks it would pose and the huge sums of additional public expenditures that would be needed.

   The third option is to develop further CAP reforms in the direction of higher competitiveness, an integrated rural policy and simplification — for example, switching from yearly price support negotiations to a five-year framework on the lines of U.S. farm legislation. Speaking in London in February, Mr. Fischler made it clear that this is the preferred option.

   Specific problems that will surface in the negotiations include the question of compensatory payments to producers, the so-called "arable aid" measures, by which E.U. farmers are currently paid large sums to make up for the reduction in support prices flowing from the GATT Uruguay Round. CEEC countries would dearly like their farmers to get this too, but the E.U. adamantly is saying "no way." No doubt, large sums in the end will have to be paid over to the CEEC countries on the ground of assisting restructuring and rural development.

   Lastly, debate remains in the E.U.-15 over whether the CEEC-10 are to be seen as customers or competitors. There is much anxiety among E.U. farmers at the prospect of being out-produced and out-sold by a restructured, low-wage agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe, which those with long memories recall used to be the "breadbasket of Europe." The Commission plays down those fears, pointing out that the European Union now exports more agricultural produce to Central and Eastern Europe than it imports from them.

   Such consolation ignores the fact that much of the favorable E.U. balance is based on superior processing facilities, technology, sanitary and phytosanitary levels in the West and that the CEEC countries eventually will catch up — ironically enough, with E.U. financial help. Moreover, the CEEC is only now beginning to return to 1989 production levels and has yet to achieve its full potential.

   All in all, negotiations, when they take place, seem likely to contain bitter battles before they bring eventual accommodations.

Table 1: Grain supply balances

     

in million tonnes

     

Production

 

1989

1994

2000

2000*

2005

2010

E.U.-15

188.5

171.3

187.5

 

202.0

217.6

CEEC-10

88.3

74.0

85.7

80.1

89.6

96.7

     

Domestic use

     
 

1989

1994

2000

2000*

2005

2010

E.U.-15

159.3

154.5

157.5

 

160.4

163.2

CEEC-10

91.0

72.7

79.6

 

82.4

85.7

     

Ending balance

     
 

1989

1994

2000

2000*

2005

2010

E.U.-15

29.2

16.8

30.0

 

41.5

54.4

CEEC-10

-2.8

1.3

6.1

0.5

7.2

11.0

*applying 15% area set-aside under current CAP

           

Source: European Commission

           

Table 2: CEEC-10 wheat prices

compared with E.U. and world prices in 1994

 

Domestic price

as percent

as percent

 

Ecu/tonne

of E.U. price

of world price

Poland

98

73

104

Hungary

75

56

80

Czech Republic

88

66

94

Slovak Republic

81

63

89

Slovenia

175

131

186

Romania

81

60

86

Bulgaria

54

40

57

Lithuania

60

45

64

Latvia

121

90

129

Estonia

75

56

80

E.U.

134

143

World

94

70

Source: European Commission

     

Table 3: CEEC-10 maize prices

compared with E.U. and world prices in 1994

 

Domestic price

as percent

as percent

 

Ecu/tonne

of E.U. price

of world price

 

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

72

52

97

 

100

72

135

 

93

67

126

 

123

89

166

 

75

54

101

 

71

51

96

 

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

138

186

 

74

34

A.O.M. — 100 years of excellence

   More than 1,000 millers, associates and guests from 47 countries celebrated the Association of Operative Millers centennial at the annual technical conference and trade show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., in May. Here are some highlights from the event, including scenes from the Buhler, Great Western Manufacturing and Latin American receptions.

   From left, Harvey McCray, A.O.M. executive vice-president, and Linda McCray; Wendy and Richard Ferrell, chairman of the 100th anniversary committee; and Jim Schroeder, Great Western Manufacturing Co., Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S.

   From left, Enrico Rizzi and Ugo Napolitano, both of Ocrim S.p.A., Cremona, Italy; and Mrs. Napolitano. Graziano Rizzi, left, Sangati-America, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.; and Ely Sotillo, Gramoven, Caracas, Venezuela.A.O.M. board members assisted President Vernon Tegeler, second from right, in cutting the ribbon to open the A.O.M. trade show.

   Heinz Baecker, president of Codema, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., received the A.O.M. Allied Trades Technology Award for research and development in milling technology. Mr. Baecker was cited for his continuous support and dedication to the A.O.M.

   The trade show featured a special historical display to commemorate the group's 100th anniversary. The display, which included group photos and conference newsletters from past meetings as well as milling memorabilia, was designed by Richard Ferrell, chairman of the 100th anniversary committee, who used items from his Flour Milling History Collection.

   Frank Lindholm, right, president of Contract Engineering & Milling, Inc., Crosslake, Minnesota, U.S., received the A.O.M. Gold Medal Award, the association's highest honor in recognition of exemplary service from Dale Eustace, A.O.M. past president. Mr. Lindholm is the 11th recipient of the Gold Medal since the award was created in 1962.

   Outgoing President Vernon Tegeler, left, Siemer Milling Co., Teutopolis, Illinois, U.S., passes the gavel to Paul Wiest, Cargill, Inc., Saginaw, Texas, U.S., the A.O.M.'s 1996-97 president.The 1996 A.O.M. trade show drew 100 exhibitors. At far left, Scott Jordan, H.R. Williams, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., discusses the company's display.Pete Matthews, left, and Pat Childress, both of Satake (U.S.A.), Inc., Houston, Texas, U.S.

   From left, Enrique Payeras, Harinera del Valle, Cali, Colombia; and Werner Baltensperger and John Schoch, both of Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland.

   From left, Shawn Gouldie, Miller Milling Co., Fresno, California, U.S.; Hans Wanzenreid, retired Buhler, Inc. vice-president; and Mrs. Wanzenreid.

   Art Hibbs, milling consultant, Wayzata, Minnesota, U.S.; and Mrs. Hibbs.

   From left, Michael Soder and Albert Soder, both of Buhler, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.; and Robert Soder, Port Harcourt Flour Mills, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

   From left, Fred Stivers, Lacey Milling Co., Hanford, California, U.S.; Bob Kice, Kice Industries, Inc., Wichita, Kansas, U.S.; and Mrs. Stivers.

   Pedro Malla, Molinos del Caribe, S.A., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, left; and Antonio Scippa, Sriboga-Raturaya, Semarang, Indonesia.

   From left, Janice Marsh, Cereal Ingredients, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.; Carlos Paz, Harinara del Valle, Cali, Colombia; and Fred Norwood, Cereal Ingredients, Inc.From left, Giacomo Calabrese, Molinos Guacara, Guacara, Venezuela; Andrea Saturno, Escuela Latinoamericana de Molineria, Puerto Cabello, Venezuela; and Paul Herre and Chuck Sicard, both of Boston Gear, Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.Past presidents of the A.O.M. Top row, from left, Donald Taman, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Vernon Tegeler, Teutopolis, Illinois, U.S.; Ted Bownik, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.; Ralph Wolffing, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.; Robert Hare, Mission Woods, Kansas, U.S.; Peter Aizlewood, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Jack Higginbotham, Mankato, Minnesota, U.S. Bottom row, from left, Dwaine Nault, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.; Arthur Hibbs, Wayzata, Minnesota, U.S.; Frank Lindholm, Crosslake, Minnesota, U.S.; Ronald Copley, Los Angeles, California, U.S.; Robert Reid, Fostoria, Ohio, U.S.; Dale Eustace, Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.; and Gerhard Pickelmann, Frankenmuth, Michigan, U.S.

   The Turkish Millers Association presented a silver and copper plaque to commemorate the A.O.M.'s 100th anniversary. From left, Ismail Alapala, Alapala Machine, Corum, Turkey; Harvey McCray, A.O.M. executive vice-president; Vernon Tegeler, 1995-96 A.O.M. president; and Sevket Kurt, Alapala Machine.

   From left, Mike Ragsdale, Larry Groce and Bill Winchell, all of Butler Grain Systems, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.From left, Leif Abdon, Abdon Flour Mills, Helsingborg, Sweden; and John Schoch and Rudi Guttman, both of Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland. From left, Gene Rydlund, Amber Milling Co., Huron, Ohio, U.S.; Ted Bownik, A.O.M. treasurer; and Art Henry, Creason Corrugating & Machinery, Wichita, Kansas, U.S.

Cargill c.e.o. describes keys to successful future for flour milling.

   What will it take for the Association of Operative Millers to reach its 200th birthday?

   That was the question posed by Ernest S. Micek, chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill, Inc. The keynote speaker at the A.O.M.'s 100th technical conference, Mr. Micek cautioned the group against resting on its laurels; instead, members and the milling industry must push themselves to prepare for a successful future.

   "I see a lot of reasons for optimism — if we're smart enough to capitalize on them," Mr. Micek said.

   The outlook for flour milling is quite promising, based on expected growth in world food demand, Mr. Micek said. Population increases and rising incomes will push up demand, not just for more food, but for the better diets that are provided by grain-based foods.

   "There is a bright future out there, full of opportunities," he said. "But it won't be handed to us. We will have to work for it.

   The first key to success is a commitment by the milling industry to maintain its technical and operational efficiency, Mr. Micek said.

   "We will need to make massive investments in the development of our global agricultural production, handling, processing and distribution systems," he said. "We will have to grow more food, process it where it is consumed in greater volumes and distribute it to more people in more forms than ever before."

   Another key is a focus on serving the customer, Mr. Micek said, and a companion concept is that of "value added." He noted that the term signified more than a process of refining raw commodities, it also reflected the idea that flour milling existed to add value for its customers.

   "The people who preserve a role for themselves in this industry over time will be those who adopt this kind of value-adding philosophy," he said.

   Mr. Micek said the milling industry should continue to commit resources to develop the skills and capabilities of personnel. Safety is another area in which continued investment is critical.

   The current supply/demand situation is as tight as "we have ever seen for food and feed grains," Mr. Micek said, and the underlying culprit is past farm policy that failed to account for the demand growth that was developing.

   He expressed optimism that if farmers produced for the market rather than for government programs, the milling industry would be able to serve the coming growth in demand. Consequently, farm policies demand vigilance, he said.

   "In the years ahead, we will need to work together across all segments of the agricultural industry to make sure we maintain this market-oriented focus," Mr. Micek said.

   Indeed, teamwork may be the most critical element in the industry's future success, Mr. Micek said.

   "We can make it to 200 by working together as an industry," he said. "By working together ... we can turn the prospect of a dynamic world marketplace into the reality of prosperity for the flour milling industry into the 21st century."

1996 Milling Operative of the Year

      Forty-year milling veteran receives honor.

   Robert Hare, plant manager at the Wichita, Kansas, U.S., flour mill of Cereal Food Processors, Inc., Mission Woods, Kansas, U.S., was awarded the 1996 Milling Operative of the Year honor at the 100th technical conference and trade show of the Association of Operative Millers in May.

   The award is presented annually by World Grain and its sister publication, Milling & Baking News, to recognize an active milling operative who has made significant contributions to his facility, his company and the milling industry from an operative standpoint.

   Mr. Hare, a 40-year veteran in the milling industry, began his career in 1956 as a laboratory technician in what is now the Cereal Food Processors mill at Wichita. Within 18 months, he changed positions to become directly involved in milling, where he continues as plant manager of the Wichita facility.

   Mr. Hare is active in the A.O.M. and has held a variety of positions, from district chairman, to national district committeeman to president of the organization in 1988-89. While president, Mr. Hare helped organize the A.O.M.'s Middle East/East Africa District, which was the first district outside the Americas. He also attended the first Middle East/East Africa district meeting in Jordan in 1989.

"What's New?" showcases latest in products for milling industry.

   Nostalgia was definitely in the air during the A.O.M.'s 100th anniversary technical conference and trade show, but flour millers still managed to keep an eye on the future as they checked out new developments in milling equipment. The trade show featured 100 exhibitors, including several displaying their products to flour millers for the first time.

   And the popular "What's New?" program drew a large crowd of millers eager for the latest updates on equipment and services. The annual program comprises 12 presentations on new products of particular interest; the A.O.M. program subcommittee selects the presentations after evaluating numerous submissions.

   An overview of the products introduced at the 1996 program follows.

      CHLORINATION SYSTEMS.

   Tablet water chlorination systems for grain tempering deliver accurate and consistent chlorination to temper or process water. Offered by PPG Industries, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., the system includes a patented automatic chlorinator designed for use with 7.6-centimeter calcium hypochlorite tablets.

   The chlorinator can be installed inexpensively to gravity feed available chlorine directly to the tech-novator or temper screw at rates of 0 to 300 parts per million, or it can be modified to deliver up to 1,200 ppm. The chlorinator also can be combined with a complete packaged system from Hammonds Technical Services to meet specialized needs.

   The PPG chlorination system offers several advantages over chlorine gas or sodium hypochlorite solutions, including no chlorine gas release, no liquid bleach spills and less corrosion to moisture control equipment and the temper screw. Desired chlorine ppm levels can be maintained even at low water flow, and the solid tablets are easy to handle.

      OSCILLATING MILLING SEPARATOR.

   The Vibrograin is a new concept grain separator built by Golfetto, Padova, Italy. The unit's productivity is considerably greater than traditional separators because the system of vibration acts in the vertical plane.

   The specially designed internal feeding assembly assures the flow of wheat is evenly distributed across the entire width of the machine before the wheat passes onto the upper screen. The deck inclination and vibration force the wheat through this screen, which is fitted with a perforated plate; coarser material is collected in a chute at the end of the unit. The second screen is fitted with another perforated sieve, through which finer impurities pass and are collected in a discharge hopper.

   Sieves are constructed of metal to provide strength, and because they are subdivided into sections, the sieves also are light, interchangeable and offer easy maintenance. High density rubber balls are located beneath the perforated plates, where the vibratory action frees materials that tend to get trapped in the perforations.

   The Vibrograin unit is available in three models with capacities of 10, 16 and 25 tonnes per hour for wheat cleaning and 30, 60 and 90 tph for pre-cleaning.

      HIGH-CAPACITY SIFTER.

   An in-line sifter with a capacity of up to 450 kilograms per minute on hard or soft wheat flour with 40 or 30 mesh screens is available from Great Western Manufacturing Co., Inc., Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S. The In-Line Model 631 sifter features the Tru-Balance drive, which keeps sifting motion in the machine and eliminates the need for massive foundations or supports. Product inlet and discharge are located at the top of the unit, so no floor penetrations are required.

   All product contact areas are constructed of stainless steel. The nest-together sieve rings are securely clamped for a pressure-tight seal and can be removed in minutes for inspection, cleaning or maintenance.

   Each intermediate sieve consists of two parts, the sieve ring and the lift-out tray. The lift-out tray frame has mechanically stretched and glued cloth; the frame can be re-clothed indefinitely.

   The 631 sifter comes in three models with between four and seven lift-out trays, providing a net sieving area of up to 5.6 square meters. Inlet and discharge collars, drive guards and two 1 1/2 horsepower motors are furnished with the machine.

      AIR SUPPORTED CONVEYOR.

   Air supported conveyors, introduced 25 years ago, offer benefits for grain handling and processing, as the dramatically lower friction level enables climate-controlled loads, reduced load agitation and lower maintenance costs. Until recently, such systems have not been widely used in the industry because of several disadvantages, such as uneven air flows, faulty seams and prohibitive installation costs.

   A newly designed plenum with air-tight seaming techniques has eliminated many of the problems previously associated with this type of conveyor. Designed and manufactured by Grisley Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., the Airmax ASC air supported conveyor uses a low horsepower centrifugal fan to force air through a series of holes in the plenum. The thin film of air will support loads up to 3 kilograms per centimeter at high speeds, and a single fan supports up to 182 meters of conveyor at an even airflow.

   Grisley also has developed a method of retrofitting an existing troughing roller conveyor to an air supported system that complies with current conveyor standards. The cost of this technology is comparable to replacing the old troughing rollers.

      HIGH SPEED HAMMERMILLS.

   In 1992, Roskamp Champion, Waterloo, Iowa, U.S., began a series of projects to improve hammermill efficiency and reduce operating costs. One result is the Champion HM High Speed hammermill.

   In a hammermill, fineness of grind is influenced primarily by the energy transferred during impact, which is in turn affected by hammer speed. By increasing the tip speed, it is possible to attain the desired product fineness with a larger screen perforation.

   The series of Champion HM High Speed hammermills attains tip speeds of up to 7,500 meters per minute, for a hammer moving at more than 456 kilometers per hour. A specially designed rotor assembly safely contains these high loads, and the rotors are dynamically balanced in the hammermill frame.

   The Champion HM High Speed hammermill offers improved grinding efficiency and reduced maintenance costs because the high speeds allow the use of a coarser screen to obtain desired grind size. Coarser screens are made from thicker materials, offering longer life and greater resistance to blow outs. Coarser screens also offer higher transmission rates, for more tonnes processed per horsepower per hour.

      NEW CONCEPT ROLLERMILL.

   The need for a simplified manufacturing process to minimize maintenance, for automation to reduce operator intervention and for compliance with safety and sanitation standards inspired the development of the AUTORO/E rollermill by Sangati, S.p.A., Padova, Italy. The unit reflects new concepts in manufacturing and operations in that it does not require compressed air, hydraulics, chain or gear differentials or oil baths.

   Roll differential is achieved by a three-section toothed belt with Multi-V back. This method, successfully used for the past eight years, facilitates constant power transmission and provides low noise, vibration free operation and has a proven life expectancy of approximately 35,000 hours, or five years, of operation under normal conditions. In a Canadian mill, some belts are continuing to operate six years after installation.

   Roll replacement can be done singly or by using a cartridge type arrangement in pairs with pre-mounted bearing assemblies. Access to the roll chills is achieved by removing the roll stretcher and corner pieces, which are clipped in place.

      AUTOMATIC MOISTURE CONTROL.

   An online moisture tester that analyzes the wheat stream on a continuous basis and permits regulation of the water metering rate is one of five components in the complete automatic moisture control system by Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland. The automatic moisture control system features direct control of the specific product moisture, accurate water metering and recording, calibration independent of variety, digitally processed data, high reliability and operational safety.

   The MYFB moisture tester is installed in a bypass adjacent to the main stream of cleaned wheat. All parts in contact with the material are made of stainless metals, and all elements through which grain passes are streamlined to minimize

      VERTICAL DROP ASPIRATOR.

   The six-pass aspiration column is a patented feature of the Vertical Drop Multi-Clean Aspirator by Carter Day International, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Material falls freely through the aspiration column, which by its design expands the product stream allowing for more efficient cleaning. The aspirated light materials are pulled through the column into the liftings chamber and either settle out in the closed circuit model or are discharged to an outside collection system in the open circuit design.

   The unit features a system of removable full-view acrylic windows and light-weight removable inner panels for visibility, easy clean-down and weight replacement. The panels are fabricated in 71 cm segments that can be stacked together to form a machine of up to 284 cm in width. This system requires no tools, which permits complete cleaning or replacement in minutes.

   The V.D.M.C. aspirator also has an individually metered six-pass air inlet control damper module for controlling air entering the column. The dampers allow precise distribution of the air at each of the air passes.the risk of material deposits. The MYFB moisture tester relies on microwave measuring techniques rather than hazardous gamillimetera rays.

   Other components of the complete system include the MOZE moisture flow rate controller, which comes in capacities of 10 to 2,500 liters per hour, and the MYEB control unit.

      BUCKET ELEVATORS.

   Cracks and splits can damage fragile grain and erode its value. To meet the need for gentle handling, Universal Industries, Cedar Falls, Iowa, U.S., developed its "P" Series bucket elevators. The model's special design and slower handling speeds provide minimal product damage.

   The gentle chain speed of 18 meters per minute reduces product damage and machine wear, as the product is carefully poured into the discharge chute. The chute can be installed on either side for preferred direction, and other discharge options are available.

   The "P" Series bucket elevators feature welded assembly. This design is dust- and weather-tight, provides a precise fit and greater rigidity and requires a minimum of assembly time. Angle irons welded on outside edges strengthen and protect the corners.

   The assembly includes roller chain drive with a factory-set torque limiter. The interior design is self cleaning, promoting maximum cleanliness during operation and minimal operator clean-up. The "P" Series comes with capacities up to 75 cubic meters per hour.

      OPTICAL BULK SORTER.

   The ScanMaster optical bulk sorter, offered by the Satake Corp., Tokyo, in conjunction with E.M.S. International, Houston, Texas, U.S., uses Enhanced Detection Technology and is so sensitive it handles high capacity sorting challenges with ease. Milling applications include foreign materials reclamation, glass sorting from grains, sorting of entire cleaning house stream for dark objects and ergot sorting.

   The 80 channel unit uses nearly 4,000 individual sensing sites with 16 Charge Coupled Device (C.C.D.) cameras on the two-view model; this arrangement means each site is capable of detecting spots smaller than 0.3 mm. One-fourth of the channels may be reserved for the resorting of rejected product from the first-pass sort.

   With the flick of a switch, the ScanMaster can sort in a variety of modes, such as front and back lighting for normal inspection or only back lightly for removal of opaque and darker spots. The ScanMaster also incorporates a patented circuit that gives the user control over the size of the spot as well as the color.

   The lighting system uses an electronic feedback system that automatically adjusts the driving current on the lamp, and as the bulb ages, the current increases automatically. The ScanMaster is computer compatible and may be connected to a programmable logic controller or personal computer.

      CLOSED MILLING SYSTEM.

   A grinding mill with its own air recycling eliminates the need for cyclones or air filters. The Ferkar Universal Mill, from Jaymark, Division of B.D.I. Canada, Inc., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, comes in three models.

   The Ferkar Universal Mill can grind all types of grain, as well as spices and flavorings. The closed system means that 100% of the ground products' essential oil is retained and product waste is eliminated.

   The mill needs no special base or fixing, as the largest model weighs only 360 kg. Heights of no more than 3,000 mm mean the unit fits easily in most milling facilities.

   The Ferkar Universal Mill operates efficiently, with power consumption to quantity running three to five times less than other mills. Grinding and sieving occur at the same time, and sieves and parts are simple and quick to change. Because it is self-contained, the Ferkar Universal Mill also can be used for special applications, such as a mobile mill.

      LEVEL SENSOR/INVENTORY CONTROL.

   A continuous level monitoring and inventory management system designed with the flour mill in mind is available from Celtek Electronics Inc., Port Huron, Michigan, U.S. The LM7000 will work in all materials, such as flour, wheat, tempered wheat and screenings, and in all types of bins and multiple bins.

   The LM7000 uses Celtek's patented "Phase Tracking" technology, which is a radar signal traveling on a high frequency line to measure the empty space in a vessel. Because it uses radio waves, the signal is unaffected by dust, turbulence or noise in the bin.

   The LM7000 equipment can be read at all times, even during the dusty filling cycle, and it works in the tall, narrow bins typical in flour milling operations. Its measurement accuracy is not affected by dust, temperature or humidity fluctuations, and the unit is self calibrating.

   With an accompanying software inventory package for personal computers and local area networks, the system provides graphic inventory display, numerical inventory display and historical trends in one minute increments. The system can be integrated easily into overall process control systems.

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