wheat flour
Millers want the flexibility to be able to work with wheat from different regions and suppliers, according to World Grain magazine’s annual survey of the international milling industry’s equipment and service suppliers.


The increasing need for flexibility will allow millers to adapt to different market requirements.

Millers are needing more varieties of end products to meet changing demands from their customers, survey respondents said.

Demand for new flour mills and expansions remains strong in Africa and Asia, and is continuing an upward climb in Europe.

One supplier noted that the focus in Europe tends to be more on upgrading existing facilities. In comparison, projects in Africa and Asia are trending toward the construction of new facilities.

No matter the location, food safety and high quality finished products continue to be important to millers. The same is true of energy reduction and overall plant efficiency, survey respondents said.

Clients are asking for concepts that allow for the lowest overall production costs along with intelligent automation solutions and online production/quality control.

Turnkey options also are popular as millers want to work with a single, reliable partner for the optimization of project execution times.

Ocrim constructed a high capacity flout mill in limited space for Harinas del Sureste, S.A. de C.V. in Mérida,  Yucatán, Mexico.
Photo courtesy of Ocrim.
New mill, small space


Despite working with a small space inside an existing facility, Harinas del Sureste, S.A. de C.V. wanted a new flour mill in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.

Ocrim, based in Cremona, Italy, studied the space and designed the project to best utilize the limited space with the highest capacity possible.

The result was a 400-tpd capacity, four-story mill for both hard and soft flours with a 77% to 78% flour extraction rate. There is no additional room for expansion since the available space was used and optimized for the new mill.

Equipment included the latest generation machines such as RMI roller mills, SFI/L plansifters and SDC purifiers, with the highest automation possible. It is a highly automated and energy efficient plant and includes plastic sieves to meet high sanitation standards.

These are focal points and a “must” for Ocrim projects, the company said.

Harinas del Sureste sources most of its wheat from the United States and sells its flour and byproducts all over southeastern Mexico.

Bakex Millers Limited recently completed a second mill next to its exsisting Bühler-constructed mill not far from Nairobi, Kenya.
Photo courtesy of Bühler.
Increasing demand leads to new mill for Bakex


With demand increasing for its high-quality flour, family-owned Bakex Millers Limited needed another flour mill in Thika, about 40 kilometers from Nairobi, Kenya. Bakex’s first mill was a Bühler-equipped plant that ran for nearly 30 years at a capacity of 150 tpd. It was replaced in 2012 by Bühler with a modern 250-tpd capacity mill.

The newest mill, which took five months to complete from delivery of the equipment, was built alongside the existing Bühler mill and has a capacity of 300 tpd. Total project cost was $8 million and included the steel structure mill building, wheat and flour silos, the bulk loading and packing sections.

Bakex has several silos with a total storage capacity of 24,000 tonnes that will serve the new and older mill. The company will be adding new silos next year, which will have a capacity of 16,000 tonnes, thereby increasing the total storage capacity to 40,000 tonnes. The mill is a five-story composite building occupying a total area of 1,300 square meters. It was constructed to accommodate an upcoming 75-tpd Atta mill that Bühler is installing next year.

Bakex sources wheat locally and internationally from several wheat-producing countries depending on their specific requirements. Bakex flour is used in its bakery, Broadway Bakery Limited, and the rest is sold to independent bakers and biscuit manufacturers all over the country as well as to distributors who sell Bakex’s Home Baking flour under the brand names Oboma and Vitafla.

Equipment supplied by Bühler for the turnkey project included six elevators with capacities ranging from 13 tph to 50 tph. Other conveying elements included were self-cleaning chain conveyors as well as screw conveyors alongside their accompanying accessories. The MKTB Combi-Cleaner, a state-of-the-art 17-tph combi-cleaner that functions as a de-stoner, classifier, separator and aspirator, was installed along with a magnetic device and a 17-tph scourer in the cleaning section. There is an automatic moisture regulator that determines the grain moisture and initiates moisture addition for optimum tempering and conditioning. A 13-tph color sorter ensures that only the right quality grains proceed to the milling section. Roller mills ensure the grain is gently handled in all passages ensuring a quiet yet effective milling process leading to high energy efficiency.

The mill operation is fully automated by use of modern feedback technology with a WinCos automated system developed and supplied by Bühler.

The mill has a high-capacity intake section featuring chain conveyors with a capacity of up to 130 tph and a bucket elevator with a capacity of over 40 tph. The wheat is transferred to raw wheat bins by aid of a series of pneumatic slides. Flow balancers ensure proper discharge of the grain to the cleaning section. Bakex’s cleaning section includes the latest MKTB Combi-Cleaning Machine, which removes coarse and fine impurities from wheat, durum and rye. It unites the four most important cleaning process steps in a single cleaning machine: a separator, a concentrator, a de-stoner and an aspirator. Bakex is therefore able to save on space and power consumption.

The grain then proceeds to scouring as the final first cleaning step before tempering. Bakex has the latest MHXT scourer, which helps in intensive surface treatment before the grain proceeds to tempering. After tempering, the grain still undergoes intensive scouring as part of the second stage cleaning process.

Tempering is an important process, and Bakex has invested in the latest technology to determine how much moisture addition is required in the process. It has the MYFE Moisture Measuring Device with a capacity of up to 30 tph. The MYFE sends microwaves that penetrate the grain kernel for moisture measurement. It also has an integrated temperature sensor and load cell to continuously determine the temperature of the grain and the flow rate. From the tempering bins, the grain passes through the latest Sortex A Series color vision sorter with InGaAs technology (BSBB 3). The sorter can detect defects such as foreign grains, ergots, discolored grains, light braid, spelt and straw, abnormally-formed grains, mycotoxin-infected grains, diseased grains and other foreign material.

At the heart of the Bakex mill are the MDDP and MDDQ roller mills with the latest technology. Their features include high-capacity, reliable grinding; patented gravimetric product feeding system; patented swing-out feed module for access; high sanitation with all parts in contact with product made of stainless steel or other food grade materials; and a roll length of up to 1,250 meters.

Another key and crucial piece of machinery in the milling process is the sifter. Bakex has three of the latest high-quality sifters (MPAV) with Super Nova Technology sieves.

All Bühler equipment is properly aspirated for a clean, dust-free environment in all milling sections. The aspiration is important at all levels as it prevents dust buildup responsible for dust explosions as well as dirty surfaces and poor-quality products.

Every section of the mill is equipped with necessary monitoring equipment such as sensors and a scale ensuring the right flow is achieved at all levels.

IMAS Milleral
IMAS/Milleral recently completed a new mill for Tekbas Flour Mills in Konya, Turkey, and the company is already planning to add a second line.
Photo courtesy of IMAS.


New mill in Turkey

Tekba? Flour Mills just completed building a new flour mill in Konya, Turkey, this April and is already planning to increase grain storage capacity and add a second milling line.

The new mill, which took eight months to complete, has a capacity of 450 tpd with an extraction rate of 79%. A second line with the same capacity will start in a few months. The six-story building, constructed on 38,000 square meters, is already able to accommodate two lines. The indoor area is 16,500 square meters with a 2,200-square-meter administrative building.

Grain storage capacity is currently 60,000 tonnes and will increase to 100,000 tonnes. IMAS/Milleral, based in Konya, Turkey, supplied its latest MML Multimilla model roller mills. The diameters range from 250 to 300 millimeters. Compartment type 10-passage plansifters and MSP Supersense Purifiers were also used in the project. This mill is highly automated and energy efficient with automatic dampeners, scales, soft starters for pneumatic motors, automatic stops for silo conveyors and full automation. IMAS/Milleral also applied its smart lube automated lubrication system in this project. Tekba? sources most of its wheat from Turkey. It mainly produces flour for luxury bread and also for baklava and pastry. With the new mill, the company has been able to significantly increase its production of pastry and baklava flours. Its primary markets are major cities in Turkey.

Ukrainian company updates soviet-era mill

Klunichi, based in Kiev, Ukraine, is one of the biggest flour product manufacturers in the nation, producing more than 100,000 loaves of bread per day in Kiev and Kharkov.

But it was operating a mill that dated back to the era of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), about 45 minutes from Kiev. It purchased the mill in 2011, but it was old and wasn’t providing the flour quality required.

In 2015, the company’s management decided to work with Alapala, based in Corum, Turkey, on a complete restoration of the half-century-old mill. The updated mill has five floors and a capacity of 300 tpd. It is equipped with state-of-the-art machines, from optical separators to an online near infrared analyzer device.

The mill has a “mixing and blending system,” which enables it to meet the raw material requirements for conventional products such as cakes. On the market shelves, it is possible to see the mill’s products manufactured using the 1-, 2-, and 5-kg packaging machine. Most of the final products can be loaded to flour tankers with the bulk loading system, saving the company on packaging costs. The facility is entirely managed through an automation system and equipped with the latest technological innovations.

JA Memuro doubled its wheat conditioning at its facility in Memuro-cho, Hokkaido, Japan, with help from Satake.
Photos courtesy of Satake. 

Wheat conditioning facility doubles capacity

With increasing wheat production, JA Memuro was having difficulty conditioning the crop in a timely manner at its aging facility in Memuro-cho, Hokkaido, Japan. Even with operating 24 hours a day, it took more than a month to process the required quantities of wheat. Bean conditioning would have to wait for wheat conditioning to be complete. This would affect the delivery date, the production amount for each farmer and the supporting aid.

The four main crops in Memuro-cho are wheat, potato, sugar beet and beans, which are maintained by a rotational cropping system. To solve the problem, JA Memuro worked with Satake, based in Hiroshima, Japan, to build a conditioning facility that has double the capacity for wheat conditioning. A new wheat drying facility was built in 2000, with the plan to link a wheat and bean conditioning facility in the future.

In 2014, the fiscal budget for construction of the new conditioning facility was approved. Work started in March 2015, and the facility was completed in March 2016.

The 8-level steel facility has 2,680 square meters of floor area. Having doubled the wheat conditioning capacity at 72 tph, conditioning can be completed faster and consequently, beans also can be conditioned faster.

Along with capacity gains, the new facility also minimizes quality loss. It has been equipped with sorting machines to detect low amylose wheat, which occurs during rainfall in the harvest season. The facility also uses sorting and separating machines using gravity, color, x-ray and more.

Bean cleaning remained 4.8 tph, but product quality has been improved. The bean cleaner removes dirt on the bean surface using tapioca starch. It can operate continuously at a maximum of 2 tph. Two-stage polishing, using dry and wet methods, results in a high-quality product. JA Memuro said it has changed its mission from merely supplying agricultural commodities to making and supplying food products.

“We are only just at the starting line; now we can work toward a variety of goals with this facility,” said Tsuji, representative director of JA Memuro. “When making our next step, where machine replacement or new technology is demanded, we would like to utilize Satake technology.”