Omas, which was chosen for the project in December 2016, was able to meet the customer’s three main priorities: food safety and purity of the flour; reduced energy consumption and minimum CO2 emissions; and architectural designs with reduced impact in an area with restrictive regulations in terms of hygiene and environmental safety.
The wheat cleaning line, as well as a vibrating separator, destoner and photoseparator, will be equipped with a Giotto Sterilizer, the Omas separator that provides optimum management of the degree of cleaning of the grain, thanks to the removal of the outer layers of lignin and cellulose.
With this process, developed by Omas, the surface of the caryopsis is scraped to remove the outer layers of the husk by varying amounts (from 0.2% to 2%), purifying it by removing all inorganic impurities such as fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides, soil, sand and metals, as well as organic impurities such as bacteria, fungi, mold and mycotoxins.
Milling a grain that has had all of its inorganic elements removed will reduce the ash content of the flour, improve the color and eliminate the presence of metals that are banned in flour used to make baby food. The removal of weed killers, fertilizers and chemical disinfectants is essential since recent studies have cited them as the origin of many food intolerances and allergies, previously blamed on flour and baked goods.
Milling wheat that is free from organic impurities not only prevents contamination of the mill itself, but the result is microbiologically purified flour and bran, which can then be stored for longer periods but which are above all, free from bacteria, molds and mycotoxins.
The energy savings are achieved with a series of technologies, including the Leonardo S roller mill with “KERS“ device. This technology, for which Omas holds the worldwide patent, uses electrical regeneration of the kinetic energy created between the milling rolls, which means a 50% reduction in the roller mill’s power use.
Probes and frequency changers (VSD) are applied to the motors with higher power to make sure that only the energy required for each stage in the process is actually used. During the winter season, the mill also will recover the heat produced by the fans present in the plant, redirecting it throughout the building and therefore optimizing energy use. This will in turn allow the plant to benefit from the tax breaks available with regard to CO2 emissions and to cut production costs to the benefit of all concerned. The mill will be remotely operated and thanks to independently controlled roller speeds, it will be possible to optimize milling yield according to the type of mix and flour.
As far as the new building is concerned, the construction work will be carried out by the client, following instructions and designs from Omas, making use of cutting-edge “building economy” technology, which will cut the height of the building by a whole floor.
The roller mill motors are fitted directly to the rollers and therefore, there is no need for an expensive, noisy transmission floor, which means building weight and foundations are reduced by 25%. The roller mills will be raised above ground, making access easier for inspection and cleaning underneath the rollers, for added hygiene. This also will benefit the power supply, which will come from above, avoiding the need for excavation or channels that are always a source of infestation.
The building will be windowless, but it will have an air conditioning and recirculation system that prevents noise and dust emissions, providing energy savings and a constant temperature inside the building, which in turn prevents the formation of condensation and mold. The work areas are compartmentalized using soundproof walls and materials, making it possible to operate the plant while remaining within the limits set by noise safety standards.