THURINGIAN, GERMANY — PETKUS recently completed planning and construction of a modern seed processing plant for Raiffeisen Waren GmbH Kassel in Großengottern, Germany.

The contract for the turnkey seed processing plant was signed in September 2013 with a completion date of harvest 2014. Construction started on Jan. 6.

PETKUS said it was a design challenge to accommodate all of the technology in a machine hall of nearly 4,000 cubic meters. The goal was to design a system that allows high efficiency operation with a quality end result.

PETKUS provided pre-cleaners, awners, fine cleaners, indented cylinders, gravity tables, optical color and shape sorters and batch treaters along with various production techniques such as bucket elevators or roller conveyors and automatic bagging and a palletizing system.

The smooth wall silo cell block has a floor space of 180 square meters. The smooth wall construction ensures hygienic storage of the product and complete emptying of the silo.

In the seed plant, the grain passes through different cleaning processes during its preparation. To achieve high efficiency, it is possible to operate various sub-processes at the same time. Thus, the main cleaning process can be regarded as an automatic self-sufficient process.

After the acceptance of the goods, PETKUS universal-cleaner takes over the fully automatic precleaning. This high quality of cleaning is achieved by a combination of filter systems and air separation. The PETKUS multi or fine cleaner is used for the main cleaning. Short and long grains are immediately sorted afterwards by two indented cylinders.

Two new PETKUS Gravity Tables G40 have been installed to handle the demands of specific weight of the seed. They provide for the best possible separation effect and a cleansing efficiency of nearly 100%. The two PETKUS Gravity Tables G40 have a new aerodynamic and mass-balance system. This means that all dynamic movements are dampened, thus reducing the amount of noticeable vibration to a minimum.

With modern simulation tools using the science of fluid mechanics, the design between the fan and table surface was optimized so that a laminar airflow is generated, meaning the velocity and pressure at all points of the table surface is equal and homogeneous or adjustable to requirements. This increases both the separation accuracy and performance.

In addition, the gravity tables have an air-recycling system that recovers 67% of the air required for operation, thus energy costs can be significantly reduced.

A special technical highlight of the seed processing plant is the OptoSelector OS900, which was introduced for the first time in Germany at the end of 2013. This modern machine is an optical color sorter. It combines innovation and design, provides simultaneous color and shape sorting, precision and ease of use. Using optical detection, the OptoSelector OS900 sorts for defective or damaged grains as well as extraneous matter and provides for their subsequent removal by pneumatic means.

Innovative optical-electronic and pneumatic technologies have been used to ensure the decisionmaking on "good" and "bad" based on the finest color nuances and form difference, which allows for exclusion/removal using a compressed air precision blowing system.

The highly efficient treater line at the end of the cleaning chain allows a treatment of the seed with additives. The cylinder of the PETKUS batch treater C200 has a capacity of 200kg and is adapted to process three liquid components. It provides for a uniform and complete coating of the grain surface and allows a highly accurate gravimetric ratio of seed to coating agents. This process can also be operated independently.

Adjacent to the plant, in a 900 square meter variable usage hall, the last steps can be realized, purified and/or treated seed can be placed in the automatic bagging and palletizing systems, which allows for individual selection of bag size and also includes an automated labeling system.

Powerful extraction and filtration systems minimize dust emissions throughout the overall handling and plant processing, resulting in a highly secure process and therefore preventing dangerous dust explosions. All conveyors and containers are not only closed but also connected to a central aspiration system; this allows for a slight vacuuming in the aggregates but also allows for an adjustment at any suction point.

A weighbridge and laboratories for input and quality control round out the features of the new modern seed processing plant.