With increasing concerns about flour safety, the demands for milling equipment that can meet ever-more stringent requirements are also increasing, necessitating constant innovation by the world’s equipment suppliers.
One supplier in World Grain’s annual survey of the international milling industry’s equipment and service suppliers said it is designing equipment to provide mills the highest safety parameters, eliminating any possible infestation points of the equipment and even changing the material of some.
For example, Sangati Berga has constructed its GPF model plansifters and sieves using the new sheet molding compound technology. The frames and sieves have no connecting elements, seals, nails or screws. Rounded edges and a smooth surface avoids retention of product and facilitates the cleaning and sanitizing process.
“The raw material and manufacturing chosen for the new frames and sieves produces a lower environmental impact, with low energy consumption along its lifecycle and recyclability,” Sangati Berga said.
Safety of the workers and the environment has been a constant demand from clients and legislation, including Brazil and other countries. In response, suppliers said they are always developing new solutions.
Hand-in-hand with increasing safety is additional automation. Multiple companies have responded to this need by offering new systems that improve mill production and autonomy. For example, Ocrim introduced @Rollermills software, which allows the operators to control the mill remotely via tablet and program at any point of the mill, making it no longer necessary to use the panel on a machine.
Electrical cost continues to be a concern, so customers are always looking for an optimized process and equipment with reduced energy consumption, suppliers said.
Sales are strong in Europe, Asia, the United States, South America, former Soviet Union nations and Africa, and activity seems to be equally strong in upgrading and building new facilities.
Here’s a look at some of the recent projects completed by leading mill equipment and service providers.
M. Dias branco adds flour mill in Brazil
For its greenfield mill in Bento Golcalves, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, M. Dias Branco S/A Ind. E Com. de Alimentos wanted the most up-to-date technology, with focus on productivity, energy efficiency, reliability and food safety. The company, which is one of the largest food businesses in the country and a leader in the pasta and cookie markets, found what it needed with Sangati Berga, based in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The Grande Moinho Isabela mill started operations in August. The project took 20 months to complete.
The six-story mill has two lines with a capacity of 650 tpd and the ability to produce two types of flour as well as whole flour. Total extraction is 78% based on the first break. The facility has a total area of 7,200 square meters, including the external silos and all areas related to the milling process. Grain storage capacity is 77,000 tonnes.
Sangati Berga provided all main equipment and mechanical accessories for the two milling lines. Wheat reception has a capacity of 300 tph. Prior to storage, grain is weighed and goes through a pre-cleaning process with magnetics and air separators.
The complete section of the first cleaning has a capacity of 32 tph and includes magnetics, vibrating separator with air separator recycling, destoners, optical sorter with four channels and intensive scourers with air separator recycling. From there, wheat can be transported to the whole flour process or continue the regular cleaning process, which includes an ACQUA RATE automatic dampening control system.
After tempering, the wheat goes to the second cleaning process, complete with scourer, open-air separator, electronic scale and magnetics. All circuits are aspirated by high-efficiency filters with open-top compartments for easy maintenance.
The screening section includes weighing scale and grinding by hammermills. Sangati Berga supplied the complete milling section that includes the new PRIME roller mills, with the latest-generation electronics and stainless steel parts; FORTRESS plansifters, with special GPF plastic sieves; CLASS purifiers; bran finishers; vibrating turbo-sifters, flour detachers, centrifugal detachers, pneumatic conveying system, retreat column, and high-pressure filters.
For whole flour production, Sangati Berga supplied stone mills to ensure a high quality, natural and traditional whole flour.
The facility has a complete mixing section, with mixer and a micro-ingredients addition system made of stainless steel for maximum sanitation.
Finished products either go to the packing sections, big bags, bulk loading or are transported pneumatically to be used at the pasta factory located in the same complex.
Most of the mill’s flour production is used by M. Dias Branco for its pasta and biscuit lines. A small portion is used for bakery and domestic use. The main markets are supermarkets, chains and distributors.
Angola gets first new flour mill in 50 years
Grandes Moagens de Angola built the first flour mill in Angola in 50 years. At the time of start-up in May 2017, there where no mills operating in the country. The GMA facility is located inside the Port of Luanda and occupies a space of 30,000 square meters within the terminal, including 5,000 square meters for the five-story mill.
The $75 million project took 28 months to complete and includes two milling lines with a capacity of 600 tpd. With an average extraction rate of 78.7% (clean wheat), the facility produces 945 tpd of flour. Storage capacity is 60,000 tonnes of wheat, divided into round and square silos. GMA mostly sources its wheat from France, Germany and Russia, but it is always evaluating market opportunities with the goal of maintaining a quality product.
Bühler, with its headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland, and its local set up in Johannesburg, South Africa, provided the equipment for the facility, as well the project execution (technology, engineering, project management, automation engineering and supervision of the installation and commissioning). Equipment included a SORTEX optical sorter for wheat cleaning. The system provides high quality in the cleaning and preparation of the grain to obtain lighter flour and lower ashes.
The mill has two cleaning lines with a capacity of 28 tph that include a separating vibro with aspiration system, destoner and SORTEX optical sorter. The milling section has two independent lines of 25 tph that can produce up to four types of flour at the same time and segregate into different silos.
After milling, the flour travels via the pneumatic system to the storage area, where GMA has 15 silos with 150 tonnes of capacity each, totaling 2,250 tonnes of flour storage.
The bagging system is equipped with three carousels with capacity for up to 1,200 bags per hour. This equipment feeds a modern automatic palletizing system, where it maintains the continuous production flow until the end of the process.
GMA has capacity for loading up to 35 trucks per day, supplying the entire Angolan market.
GMA works with three brands of flour: Madrugada and Primeira for baking and Águia do Norte, a special flour with lower ashes and a lighter color for targeted baking markets.
The bran byproduct goes through a pelletizing process and 95% is exported to countries in Africa and Europe.
The GMA team includes expatriates with extensive experience in wheat mills, from Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, Lebanon, Zimbabwe and Congo, but it also has invested and continues to invest heavily in local professionals for the development of the group and the country.
Kazakh company builds durum mill
Providing organic, safe and fully traceable product is a duty for Agrimer-Astyk, said Tair Batalov, chief executive officer. With that in mind, the Kazakh company worked with Ocrim, based in Cremona, Italy, for the design and construction of its 200-tpd durum plant in Kokshetau, Kazakhstan.
The greenfield project was tested last June. Ocrim was able to provide leading technology, as well as the attention and awareness needed for organic products. The semolina produced by the plant comes from organic durum wheat harvested in Kazakhstan and primarily is used for pasta production.
From the raw material to the consumer’s table, there is certainty and awareness of the product, guaranteed through Ocrim’s @mill management system and providing traceability of the production lots.
“Our customers and, in general, consumers, are our first interlocutors,” Batalov said. “We relied on Ocrim to build our plant because we want to be sure that organic semolina is of high and guaranteed quality.”
Sarl Meta Grain Erects mill in Algeria
Sarl Meta Grain recently completed a greenfield wheat mill in El Oued, Algeria, with equipment supplied by IMAS, based in Konya, Turkey. The project was completed this July.
The five-story mill has two lines with a capacity of 250 tpd and an extraction rate of 80%. Grain storage capacity is 40,000 tonnes.
All the roller mills supplied are Milleral’s latest MML Multimilla model with diameters ranging from 250 to 300 mm. The facility also has eight compartment-type, 8-passage plansifters and a cleaning unit with a capacity of 25 tph.
Wheat is purchased from France and Russia. Products include flour and bran.
Belgian mill expands within its footprint
Vanderschrieck, a family-owned milling company being run by the third generation, recently expanded its capacity by 60 tpd without having to replace the existing mill building in Herne, Belgium. The mill now has an extraction rate of 79% to 80% with capacity of 150 tpd, up from 90 tpd.
Alapala, based in Corum, Turkey, fitted the upgraded mill into the existing concrete building. The project layout and design was very specific due to the existing limited space. The old milling machines were removed and replaced with new equipment.
This included seven DAVG Similago II roller mills; two Aurora new generation plansifters in six sections; one Arion new generation purifier; four bran finishers; a complete cleaning section; and complete aspiration and pneumatic lines.
The Alapala engineering office provided special motor power calculations and chose protected zone motors.
The pneumatic and mechanic transports are in line with E.U. standards and rules.
Japanese cooperative completes facility
The Japan Agricultural Cooperative hopes to reduce its operation costs, including maintenance and labor expenses, with its new grain processing facility in Yanagawa, Japan. The new facility, which started operations in September 2018, integrates four older facilities in the area.
Satake, based in Hiroshima, Japan, supplied the project, which took 10 months to complete and cost 3.6 billion yen ($33.8 million). The facility includes 10 wheat silos with a total capacity of 6,000 tonnes and nine rice silos with a capacity of 4,500 tonnes.
Receiving capacity is 120 tph for wheat and 58 tph for rice. Located outside of Hokkaido Island, the grain processing plant is one of the largest facilities in the nation.
Product is received at two truck scales with four 30-tph receiving hoppers. The two wheat processing lines have a capacity of 12 tph and include aspirators, thickness graders and gravity sorters. The two rice processing lines also have a capacity of 12 tph and include aspirators, oscillation-type separators and awn removers. One optical sorter with a capacity of 8.4 tph handles wheat and rice.
The facility is designed to reduce the time required for shipments and the labor force needed in order to increase agricultural income.
For example, the truck scale system can weigh grains while they are still on the truck. Use of mesh containers and a forklift with fork rotator make it possible to unload the receiving products in half the time.
Processing equipment is arranged at the lowest possible level of the plant to improve the efficiency of the facility’s operations.
All of the products handled at the facility come from the Yanagawa jurisdiction. In 2017, about 7,900 tonnes of rice and 9,500 tonnes of wheat were produced in the area. About 60% of that output can be stored in the new facility alone.