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Bühler’s future of milling

13 December 20183 min reading

“Permanent monitoring of processes and products is of central importance for the economic production of constant flour.Automation and digitalization will thus play an important role in milling. Also in Bühler’s future mill concept Mill E3. The Mill E3 will be built in less time and with less space at the same or lower overall costs. And thanks to the energy-saving technology, significantly less energy is consumed per tonne of processed wheat.”

Michael TREMP Head of Marketing Communications Milling Solutions Bühler AG in Uzwil / Switzerland michael.tremp@buhlergroup.com  

The basic principle of grinding has been the same for thousands of years: Grain is ground to powder between two hard parts. In recent decades, our researchers have repeatedly tested alternatives. However, neither the use of lasers nor sound waves have proven to be anywhere near equivalent to the grinding methods used today. Also using enzymes to dissolve bran and endosperm, has proven to be less than promising. For us mill builders, this means that we have to further develop and optimize today’s milling technology into a cost-effective system that monitors and optimises itself. But there is more to look at than just technology. Administrative hurdles for building a new mill, for example, have also become more challenging in recent years.

At Bühler we have thought about the new generation of mills tackling the challenges above. Our concept is called “Mill E3” and it consists of a building that is only three storeys high and has significantly less volume. This reduces the costs for the infrastructure. The actual mill is then set up in the finished building shell from pre-assembled and tested modules, which reduces the installation time and effort. These modules are very compact and consist mainly of new, energy-saving system components. The bottom line is that the new Mill E3 will be built in less time and in less space at the same or lower overall costs. And thanks to the energy-saving technology, significantly less energy is consumed per tonne of processed wheat. In grinding alone, energy consumption can be reduced by ten percent. For the entire mill, the energy savings amount to seven to ten percent – of course with the same yield and product quality.

Permanent monitoring of processes and products is of central importance for the economic production of constant flour. Automation and digitalization will thus play an important role in the Mill E3. Bühler’s digital solutions focus on yield, product quality, traceability, plant availability and energy consumption. A growing number of sensors and corresponding programs will replace manual control by the miller and help to guarantee and also prove permanent quality. Traceability of each individual processing unit back to the wheat field is possible.

Up until now Bühler has launched several digital services. For instance, our compact and portable system GrainiGo™ which makes a simple, fast and accurate analysis of freshly harvested maize. We are also working on an intelligent roller service that measures the temperatures and vibrations of the rollers using sensors and can determine deviances from the norm. Any below-standard situation can be promptly addressed which in turn has a direct impact on the yield. A further example is the intelligent mill assistant which detects irregularities in processes and machinery, indicates interruptions, monitors specific energy consumption and quality data and, as a learning algorithm, can learn to improve its predictions and accuracy for the miller. All of these digital services share something in common: They relieve customers of the monitoring work and help them optimize their mills.

Go to www.future-of-milling.com to learn more about Bühler’s Mill E3. Also to see how our tubular push conveyor TUBO contributes to saving energy in this new mill concept.

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