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Advantages of automation in flour mills

08 March 20176 min reading

“Companies performing milling with a professional understanding apply process control and automation as an indispensable part of their plants, and invest with this point of view. Thus, they employ experienced personnel in their businesses; have the fruits of this labor, and manage the process properly. By doing this, they are aware of the value that added to their companies, and see the advantages of this.”

İsmail Bahrem ODABAŞI Özenir Değirmen General Manager ozernirmilma_bahremodabasi87As it is known, production capacities of flour factories in Turkey are very above need, this causes the companies work below their current capacities (30-50 percent). Strong companies producing quality flour can use up to 70 percent of their capacities. This situation causes that competition increases, and small and medium-scale plants lose blood rapidly. Production plants try to find solution to waive quality, modern machine park and personnel to reduce costs for continue their existence against this situation. In our day, although milling industry tries to break its shell, many factories use old machine park, and it is continued to make production with old methods. The fact that any person who has been working within factory for long years continues production with title of master, and that does not know quality criteria rub salt into the bleeding wound in this sector.

IMPORTANCE OF AUTOMATION

In today’s conditions, controlling process is very important for sustainability of the companies. Process continues starting from entrance of the business until meeting customer in bakery or baked product countertop. Controlling all the processes that can be gathered under a single title such as taking sample for raw material, pre-cleaning, storing, blending, cleaning, grinding, silage, bagging and transportation enables the product to reach to the customer. The only criteria for you to be in a highly competent market or not is the quality; and obtaining quality is only possible with a proper process control from the start to the end. That’s why the share of the qualified companies depends on its quality; and the quality depends on its process control.

Automation which can be defined as controlling the critical points without any single mistake in all the production processes is the key point for a healthy production. Thanks to automation, keeping the process under control is both healthier and easier.

Companies performing milling with a professional understanding apply process control and automation as an indispensable part of their plants, and invest with this point of view.  Thus, they employ experienced personnel in their businesses; have the fruits of this labor, and manage the process properly. By doing this, they are aware of the value that added to their companies, and see the advantages of this.

ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATION

Flour factories should always make quality flour production for its customers to provide more customer satisfaction and to get more share in today’s difficult competition conditions. Transfer to automation system has a great importance so that all phases of the business are kept under control and human-driven faults are minimized not to reduce quality level and produce product that they will sent to customer with minimum error. For instance; if any personnel gives product that s/he will take to wheat silo to another silo by mistake and s/he does not say this with the worry of dismissal, blending operation to be made will be wrong and wrong flour will be produced following this.  Likewise, if laboratory production process is not monitored carefully, faulty flour will be sent to customer, customer returns the flour about which s/he was not satisfied, and thus business suffers economic damage, and falls into disrepute in the market. However, today in the process of bagging flour it is possible to use less human labor, so it is also possible to minimize the human-driven faults. Thanks to the robot technology, it is possible to realize bagging process and upload without any personnel. Ignoring all of these developments and avoiding applying them damage to the competency of the companies and make it difficult for them to survive.

IS EVERY COMPANY SUITABLE FOR AUTOMATION?

Is every company suitable for automation? Generally, each business is suitable for automation. However; it is worth noting here is controllability level of the business. In a systematic plant, it is easy to get any result from controllability and automation systems. In a non-systematic plant, automation is a medium for turning the plant into a systematic one. Thus, automation just steps in here.

For instance; you can change direction of manufacturing silo during production with a click from the computer instead of assigning personnel in a plant with automation. In our day, since businesses are more conscious, they prefer automation system in the plants that have recently been built, and apply to production plants. This minimizes error margin day by day, and provides that we obtain more quality products with competition.

 EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGIES TO AUTOMATION

Firstly, as I said in the beginning of the subject, control will start from door of a business. For instance, it is very important to take sample from incoming product. If personnel takes sample with hand drill and his/her mood is not good in that day, if he/she takes the sample from 2 places instead of 6 places, from depth of 1 meter that should be from the depth of 1,5 meters, he/she may take wrong sample. However; automatic drill takes faultless sample, and business owner does not suffer any economic damage. Speed control cycle systems, running scale systems, yield scale system, silo distributor valve systems, flour blending systems, and silo automatic level measuring systems, which are used in blending among the systems providing other automatic control in the businesses, can be counted.  These control systems may be made thanks to an experienced operator by computer from a single point.

Business owner may make prospective investment according to his/her economic conditions. He/she may design machine park accordingly, and transfer to automation control system in the following years. One of the critical points in this, business owner should prefer professional machine producers within investment process. Unfortunately, now many companies producing mill machine direct investors wrongly, and thus business owner has economic and moral damage.

COST OF AUTOMATION FOR FACTORIES

Small and medium scaled plants keep themselves at a distance to automation systems due to its costs. However, automation should not absolutely been considered as an extra cost. Just like we take a roll and sieve to our plant, we should consider automation as a part of this system, and apply it to our business. Many reasons that I stated above have qualification of important evidence about the fact that we should not consider automation as an extra cost. People having vision always have to think in the long term. Thus, cost to be incurred by automation in the short term is ignored, and we will see very big advantages and profits to be provided for the business in the long term. Apart from this, businesses aiming lowest cost have to work with a professional team and company. Professional team values its work, and thus they add very big values to businesses.

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