If someone asks me about my imagination of the smart mill, I will say that it has to produce flour of a certain customer without any human intervention. This means that the mill has a big database include all mill parameters. AI mill systems have the potential to bring greater advantage to the production process. Miller has to know that the investments in new automation and digitalized systems is more efficient and profitable than conventional mill system.
Prof. Farhan Alfin
“People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.” Steve Jobs said.
Wheat flour technology companies which have a vision of being a leader in the sector and have real R&D works but new missions like “light off mills” or using Industry 4.0 in their products which means in other words intelligent mills. These mills are fully digitalized and many companies devote huge budgets to innovative projects and incorporate digital technologies into their machines to achieve “light of mills” mission.
If someone asks me about my imagination of the smart mill, I will say that it has to produce flour of a certain customer without any human intervention. This means that the mill has a big database include all mill parameters for example requirements of customers, quality characteristics of wheat that are in the mill silos and has ability to produce that flour from wheats by regulating the production parameters.
To achieve Artificial Intelligent Mills, Industry 4.0 has to be applied. Appling Industry 4.0 in the mill process and machines included in the process carried out in three stages:
1. Creating a big digital data collection in a cloud platform by developing an advanced sensors technology. This data collection called industrial data repository or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
2. IoT (Internet of Things): Mill process machines have to be developed to have the ability for communication on the internet to automatic control systems.
3. A fully automated process that can completely be controlled from outside the mill with machine learning technologies has an artificial ıntelligence algorithm trying to mimic, and eventually supersede human behavior and intelligence.
ADVANCED HIGHLY SENSITIVE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY
The first stage of an intelligent mill is establishing a big database by monitoring every point of milling process from raw materials to products and all operational status of machines. For example, of what is already possible sensors which give accurate and real-time monitoring of raw materials and products:
• NIR analysis of raw and final products which gives precise measurement of moisture, protein, ash, wet gluten, water absorption, and starch damage.
• Online color and specks measurement unit which provides real-time precise monitoring of color and classification of brown as well as black specs in semolina, starch content in bran.
• Online particle size measurement gives online information about granulation, compares the measured actual value with the target value and detects any deviation from target granulation.
TRENDS IN ROLLER MILLS SENSORS
Individual components inside the roller mill are closely monitored by sensors to and alert the operator to any potential hazards.
Most of the roller mills nowadays are equipped with most of these sensors:
• Stock level sensor
• Motor load sensor
• Main roll temperature sensor
• Roll bearing temperature sensor
• Vibration sensor (PMD)
• Main roll rotation sensor
• Main roll position sensor
• Timing belt temperature sensor
• Feed roll rotation sensor
• Air pressure sensor
• Hopper clog sensor
To ensures a uniform product feed to the grinding rolls according to the product level in the feed box the feed roll speed is controlled automatically by the stock level sensor in the feed box which sends a signal to feed roll drive motor.
Heating up of rolls or bearings are a sign that something is not correct. Monitoring of vibrations in rolls and temperature of the rollers and bearings ensure maximum operating safety, high production uptime, constant and consistent production quality and prevent excessive wear and critical failures also allow bearing changes to be planned.
COMMUNICATION TO AUTOMATIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
In IoT ready machine automatic control systems, modern mills will increasingly be equipped with various sensors that detect different specific data and send these to a central control system. The stored data are transformed into signals that can be further processed.
The most recent addition to the milling system is controlling the roll gap for an optimal grinding result automatically. The online particle size measuring sensor continuously measures the particle size distribution in the ground product and sends the data to central control system. The central control system compares the measured actual value with the target value then records the deviations and automatically adjusts the milling gap to the target value. This ensures a consistent product quality with minimized energy consumption.
State of the art machine control, access through plant computer, wireless access through smartphone and tablet and an intuitive user interface makes the roller mill more efficient than ever before.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENT MILLING SYSTEM
In an intelligent mill, the actions determined from the collected and analyzed data are executed automatically. The intelligent mill is constantly optimizing itself and learning in addition. The AI milling system will be concerned to collecting and analyzing the data from the other activities of the mill, such as logistics, quality assurance, auditing and so on in order to take the necessary conclusions. Intelligent milling system will be equipped with special process algorithms that allow software applications to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed. This system will be developed to create a maintenance program that reduces possible maintenance errors and decreases personal and maintenance costs.
IS AI MILL SYSTEM LUXURY
AI mill systems have the potential to bring greater advantage to the production process. Miller has to know that the investments in new automation and digitalized systems is more efficient and profitable than conventional mill system. AI mill systems will improve process efficiency, eliminate personnel errors, the yield of the mill can be optimized and significantly increase the quality of the products, improve traceability, reduce energy consumption, need fewer workforces, ensure easy and fast machine maintenance, and make a long uptime.