Millers seek energy efficiency

by Susan Reidy
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With energy costs increasing worldwide, millers are demanding more efficient equipment and process optimization in new construction and expansion projects.

Millers want the latest technologies and less equipment with the same capacity and product output, all with less energy consumption, according to World Grain magazine’s annual survey of the international milling industry’s equipment and service suppliers.

Demand for mills is strong in Brazil and other areas in South America and Central America, along with Africa, Europe and the CIS nations.

Suppliers were split on whether demand is strong for new mills or expansions. One company said it is working on six large projects related to upgrades including capacity increases and renovation of existing equipment, while another supplier said 75% of its demand is new facilities.

Location is a big factor, they said, with saturated markets more focused on renovating and upgrading existing mills. But where flour consumption is being established or increasing, the trend is for new facilities. This is also true in regions where the installed facilities are out of date.

Safety also continues to be a major concern, whether it involves the flour itself or mill workers. Safety requirements for flour are stricter, so manufacturers are responding with new equipment. One manufacturer has introduced frames and sieves constructed with sheet molding compound without connecting elements such as nails or screws.

The construction with rounded edges and smooth surfaces avoids retention of product, facilitating the cleaning and sanitizing process. The raw material and manufacturing process for the new frames and sieves produces a lower environmental impact, with low energy consumption along its lifecycle.

New solutions are also being developed to improve the safety of workers, including fully automated mills.

Uzbekistan producing high quality flour

When Donmahsulotplast LLC was considering constructing a flour mill in Uzbekistan, it first considered buying an existing old building. But on the advice of Uzwil, Switzerland-based Bühler, the company decided to purchase a piece of land near Tashkent city and set up a greenfield food complex.

The entire project took 20 months. The facility was commissioned on March 19. In the future, Donmahsulotplast plans to extend the facilities with a Bühler feed mill.

The flour mill has a capacity of 150 tonnes per 24 hours, with a total grain storage capacity of 5,000 tonnes.

Bühler supplied the milling equipment including complete first and second cleaning, and grinding and finished product handling, with all capacities designed for 150 tonnes per 24 hours. In cleaning, Bühler supplied its destoner, separator, different magnets, scales, dampeners, scourer, indent cylinders and all necessary transporting elements.

Grinding includes 3 high-capacity single roller mills, 2 high-capacity double roller mills, a 150-tonne capacity plansifter, purifier and bran finishers. Finished products handling is equipped with scales, chain conveyers, vibro dischargers, magnets, flow balancers, packing equipment and a control system.

The compact flour mill is automated and all motors are highly energy efficient. The customer required an energy efficient plant, and due to the economical design and efficient equipment, Bühler said it was able to meet these demands. With the control system, the operator can monitor and control all technological processes on one touch screen.

This flour mill is using local and Kazakhstan wheat, and it produces two types of flour and bran. The facility is able to produce white, low ash content flour, according to the local state standard norms.

Brazilian mill expands in tight footprint

M. Dias Branco group, a leading company in the Brazilian biscuit and pasta market and one of the largest wheat flour producers, recently completed a year-long project to expand its Grande Moinho Potiguar mill in Natal, Brazil. The new 650-tonne-per-24-hour facility was constructed alongside the existing mill. This is the first project among many others already confirmed by M. Dias Branco in partnership with Sangati Berga, Fortaleza, Brazil. The project, completed in the second quarter of 2014, took one year to complete.

Faced with a small amount of available space — total area of the facility is 3,000 square meters but the mill is installed in 180 square meters per floor — unique solutions were required. Sangati Berga, which provided all the main equipment and mechanical accessories, said the roller mills had to be divided into two different floors.

The first wheat cleaning section includes: scale weight loss, model AccuFeed; magnetics; a vibrating separator model Vibroblock VB with air separator recycling; stoner model SGS-T; an optical sorter with four channels and NIR system; intensive scourers with air separator recycling; and an ACQUA RATE automatic dampening system with the new intensive dampener model AcquaMix. This provides a better homogeneous absorption of water by the grain, decreasing the resting time of the wheat and reducing energy consumption.

After tempering, a second cleaning line receives the grain. It includes an intensive scourer with open air separator, resulting in a very clean wheat to meet the high quality standards of M. Dias Branco flour. Before going to roller mills, the wheat goes to an electronic scale, model POND 013, and magnetics. All circuits are aspirated by new high-efficiency filters FMS with open-top compartments for easy maintenance.

The complete milling section, with a capacity of 650 tonnes per 24 hours, includes: PRIME Roller Mills, designed with the most advanced concepts in the food industry; and the FORTRESS plansifters, with a new concept of sieves and drawers, made of reinforced polyester resin. They are built in a single structure, thus eliminating the need for any connecting elements, like nails, screws and bonding materials, providing elevated safety and hygiene parameters for the product.

The mill also includes high-performance CLASS purifiers, vibrating turbo-sifter and centrifugal detachers.

Sangati Berga also provided the whole system to transport the flour/bran to the silos, via pneumatic lines. The flour passes through safety plansifters, magnetics, electronic scales model POND 013 and a flour infestation destroyer before reaching the silos.

The mill produces two types of flour. Most of the flour production is used by M. Dias Branco for its pasta and biscuit lines. A second fraction is used for bakery and domestic use, with the main markets consisting of supermarkets and distributors.

Wellington builds on relationship with Ocrim

Since 1982, Wellington Flour Mills (WFM) has worked with Cremona, Italy-based Ocrim S.p.A. on mill construction and expansion. The Manila-based facility was the first Ocrim installation in the Philippines. In the mid-1990s, WFM expanded its milling facility with its second milling line, which was contracted to Ocrim.

For its third and most recent venture, WFM again turned to Ocrim. WFM is the food manufacturing subsidiary of Wellington Investment and Manufacturing Corporation (WIMC). The mill division was founded in 1960 and today is considered one of the leading companies in the Philippine flour milling market for premium quality flour.

The recently commissioned swing mill was designed to produce hard and soft wheat flour and has a capacity of 520 tonnes per 24 hours. The mill was installed in an existing building that previously accommodated a Simon milling line.

Particular emphasis was placed on sanitation, food safety, mill efficiency and performance and quality of finished product by implementing innovative technological solutions and the latest-generation of equipment.

Ocrim said it implemented technologies and solutions that could guarantee food safety, such as color sorting technology in the cleaning section. The mill diagram was developed considering the latest requirements from the Philippine milling market. It includes flexibility in producing a large variety of flour specifications, with an eye for potential future market trends and requirements.

Stainless steel is the dominant material utilized throughout the plant, from spouting to the main processing equipment. Given rising power costs in the Philippines, energy-saving solutions were crucial aspects of the project. These included frequency converters on fans, closed air cleaning equipment, and double high roller mills with intermediate sifting.

In addition to the milling equipment, Ocrim supplied the automation system to control and manage the new milling line.

Turkish mill built with expansion in mind

In May, Yurtsevenler Un Fabrikasi San. ve Tic. Ltd. finished building a new mill in Ankara, Turkey, with an initial capacity of 300 tonnes per 24 hours. The seven-story facility was built and designed for two 300-tonne capacity lines, for a total capacity of 600 tonnes. The company would only need to add cleaning and milling equipment to double the current capacity.

The project took eight months to complete. The flour extraction rate is 80% with all of the bran extracted.

Molino Makina, based in Konya, Turkey, supplied the equipment, including the grain storage, which consists of four steel silos with more than 3,200 tonnes capacity each and a diameter of 16.4 meters and 18 concrete silos with about 90 tonnes capacity each. The facility has 12 dampening silos with a capacity of 86 tonnes each.

After receiving wheat, mostly from the domestic market, it is carried with elevators to the silos and pre-cleaning, which has a capacity of 65 tph. There is an interaction between the silos and pre-cleaning. In the cleaning section, the wheat goes through a variety of cleaning equipment like dry stoner, drum magnet, indented cylinder etc. Capacity for the first and second cleaning is 25 tph.

After rest and humidity balance in the dampening silos, it is sent to the milling section. The wheat is grinded first at cracking level for separation and bran extraction. It then goes through the roller mills in interaction with the plansifters, which sift and classify the flour.

Molino supplied two double deck roller mills with a 10-meter total cylinder grinding length and 12 single deck roller mills with a 24-meter total cylinder grinding length.

The facility has two Type 828 plansifters and two Type 628, for a total sieving surface of 202 square meters. The purifier has a 21-square-meter sieving surface, and the mixer (with load cell) has a 2,000-liter capacity.

For reducing the load of both the sifters and the roller mills, Molino added VALEK patented equipment to the mill. At the end, flour blends are sent to their respective silos by means of pneumatic transport. Finished flour is stored in 15 silos, each with a capacity of 64 tonnes, and five bran silos with a capacity of 32 tonnes each. Placement area for the flour and bran silos is in total about 192 square meters.

The mill is fully automated and PLC-controlled so that each phase of the process can be observed. Molino said the mill is energy efficient due to its design and the use of efficient electric motors. The building and interior facilities comply with highest degree of sanitary requirements. It also features a laboratory with a high level of technology, Molino said, and a vast range of equipment.

The facility produces various types of wheat flour which can be packaged at a rate of 27 tph and bran which can be packaged at a rate of 10 tph.

The flour is primarily for the export market, but depending on demand, domestic markets are also considered.

Eltayseer builds mill in Egypt

Eltayseer Company, which is part of Ghareeb Group, recently completed the construction and commissioning of its 220-tonne-per-24-hour-capacity mill in Cairo, Egypt. The greenfield project took 18 months to complete. It was handed over in June after field training was completed.

Eltayseer contracted with Eskişehir, Turkey-based Selis Company to build and supply the flour mill, which has 30,000-tonnes of raw wheat storage capacity. Selis installed Fortimus roller mills, which helped save space in the building.

Eltayseer’s engineers and technical team made positive contributions in the start-up of the mill, Selis said. Ongoing maintenance work will be needed to run the mill continuously with high efficiency.

The mill has an extraction rate of 78% and produces different flour types, which are automatically packed in 50-kg bags to supply the local market. The mill is also designed to produce semolina, which will allow Eltayseer Company to supply its new pasta plant investment.

New Zealand mill supplying Japan

Farmers Mill, the largest cooperative of wheat farmers in New Zealand, commissioned in August 2014 a 300-tonne-per-24-hour mill. It can process soft or hard wheat into biscuit or high starch flour for any bakery purpose.

Wheat storage already existed, but during the 14-month project a new mill building and flour warehouse had to be constructed. The mill can produce very fine flour for the stringent Japanese market, said Omas Srl, based in Padova, Italy, which supplied equipment for the facility.

The debranning process removes any bacteria and mold from the wheat before milling. Heavy grinding rolls (300 mm) and water keep the milling temperature low to preserve the bakery attitude of the flour protein.

High-efficiency motors and pressure monitors on the pneumatic fan were installed to reduce the power consumption. The mill is fully automated and managed by two operators, and it was designed to withstand earthquakes, Omas said.

New mill in Kazakhstan

TOO Akmola Biday completed in July a seven-month project to build a new mill in Kokchetav, Kazakhstan. The 200-tonne-per-24-hour facility has an extraction rate of 75% and 24,000 tonnes of storage, with room for further expansion.

IMAS, based in Konya, Turkey, supplied 12 single-deck MMR Millennium roller mills and three MQP quadro plansifters with eight passages and two MSP Supersense purifiers. Capacity for the cleaning lines is 12 tph and 25 tph for the flour packing line.

The facility primarily sources its wheat from Kazakhstan. It produces flour for bread and baklava, with primary markets in Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Mildawon adds C mill in South Korea

Mildawon Co. Ltd. in Sejong, South Korea, will open its C mill this December, its second expansion in the last three years. The company’s A mill, which was a greenfield project, opened in January 2011. It followed with an addition of the B mill, which started operation in December 2012.

Mildawon is a subsidiary of the SPC Group, based in Seoul, South Korea, which operates about 3,200 stores under the brand “Paris Baguette” in South Korea. The group is the largest confectionery and bakery company in South Korea, being first in the sales of FC bakeries for a consecutive 25 years. It has about 80% of the market share, and 180 stores in China, the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore and France.

Satake, based in Hiroshima, Japan, was contracted for all three of Mildawon’s mills, starting in 2009. The A mill has a capacity of 480 tonnes per day of hard wheat flour, while the B mill has a capacity of 360 tonnes per day of soft wheat.

To expand production, Mildawon planned construction of a 160-tonne-per-day hard wheat flour facility in 2014. Satake received the order for the C mill as a result of the successful operation of the A and B mills. The C mill will mainly produce bread flour, and will mill rye and durum a few days per month. For the C mill, Satake supplied a debranning machine, 12 roller mills, four purifiers, three plansifters, and four optical sorters. In the B mill. it provided 22 roller mills, seven purifiers and seven plansifters. Equipment in the A mill included two debranning machines, 23 roller mills, 10 purifiers and 10 plansifters.

The debranning machines in the A and C mills remove surface contaminants such as bacteria, mold and agricultural chemicals. The PeriTec process, incorporating the Satake VCW debranning machine, provides quality products at higher extraction rates, with less milling equipment on all wheat varieties.

Mildawon sources its wheat from the U.S., Canada, Australia and France. Total grain storage capacity is 12,000 tonnes.