Buhler has developed a new technology which regulates the all-important moisture level in wheat during the primary processing stage.
It is common knowledge that the highest costs in grain processing are incurred right at the start ofall process operations to purchase the raw material, wheat. A higher yield or better flours have a considerable impact on the profitabilityof a flour mill.
In the grain milling industry, people know how important wheatconditioning is. To condition wheat means to bring the grain into thecondition most favourable for grinding. At the same time, the wheatmoisture also determines the moisture content of the finished product.Correctly conditioned wheat forms the basis for achieving optimal flouryields with a low ash (mineral) content.
Conditioning of wheat is afunction of the specific wheat variety, the grinding system, the kernelhardness, and the initial moisture content of the raw wheat. But themainrequirements for this operation are reliable, high-precision machines andsystems.
Buhler claims that the equipment it now offers meets these needs. The company says that the automatic moisturecontroller, the liquids flow rate controller and the Turbolizer dampenerensure that the grist going to the first break rolls has the desiredmoisture content and that the moisture is uniformly distributedthroughoutthe individual grain kernels.
Due to Buhler's technical advances, the moisture content is controlled fully automatically. Over the past few years, microwave technology has been found to be a particularly dependable method for measuring the moisture. It is applied in theBuhler moisture tester. The automatic moisture controller uses an integrated flowrate meter beside microwave technology.
The Buhler moisture controller is an automatic, continuous measurement andcontrol unit for controlling the moisture content of wheat, enabling anefficient and uniform grinding process. Its capacity range is from twometric tons per hour to 60 tons per hour.
The sophisticated system consists of two units. The moisture controllercontinuously determines the initial moisture of the wheat and the flowrate by means of a flow balancer. On the basis of these values, thecontroller calculates the precise amount of water needed to achieve therequired finished product moisture. A liquid's flow rate controllermetersthe calculated quantity of water to be added to the stream of wheat
.The water addition rate is 20 to 4,500 litres per hour. Even in thepresence of water pressure fluctuations, which may occur veryfrequently,a consistent water addition rate is ensured. The water throughput iscontrolled and monitored by a controller.
Buhler says that the system can be easily integrated in any existing wheat cleaningsystem.The automatic moisture controller with the liquids flow rate controlleroperates as a stand-alone system, or it can be incorporated by ProfibusorBuhler Opto 22 protocol or 0...20 mA signals in a master process controlsystem. The moisture tester and controller can be applied for dry orpredampened, tempered grain.
The Turbolizer dampener is used for intensive dampening of the wheat.Thenewly developed twin-rotor whirling system ensures uniform dispersion ofthe water throughout the wheat kernel, resulting in outstandingpenetration of the water into the wheat. Water addition rates up to 7per cent are possible. The Turbolizer spans capacities from 1 to 48metrictons per hour.
The company says that the performance of the Turbolizer leads to excellent dampeningefficiency, compact design, low power consumption, low maintenancerequirement, and outstanding sanitation, thanks to the fact that allpartsin contact with the product are of stainless steel.
The uniform distribution of the moisture throughout the grain kernel andthe penetration of the accurately calculated water volume throughout theindividual grain kernels allows consistent achievement of the desiredfinal moisture content. This, in turn, is said to help produce optimal mellowing of thegrain and excellent grinding characteristics.
Buhler is a global Technology Group and System Partner for plant andequipment and for process expertise in the fields of Food Processing,Chemical Engineering, and Die Casting, with a worldwide payroll of about6,500.