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In-line grain analysis and other innovative projects for mills and pasta factories

08 December 20203 min reading

RAM Elettronica (https://www.ramelettronica.it/en/), has been a reference company for the automation of mills and pasta factories worldwide since 1974, here are some of the next new products that will be on the market soon.

RAM Elettronica, as leader, together with a team of researchers from the University of Foggia, experts in Food Technology, and technology partner Rina Consulting, is experimenting with the prototyping of an automatic in-line grain control system. The project in question is entitled "Automatic Grain Control System" and bears the acronym S.A.Con.Gra.

The project seeks to offer a solution that meets the needs of customers, with particular reference to what concerns industrial automation increasingly pushed in the perspective of the IoT paradigm, the driver of Industry 4.0. The structure and composition of the grain are determining factors for its use in the industrial processes of milling, baking, pasta making, malting and beer production.

For this reason, the need is to define innovative technological solutions capable of identifying the quality of the raw material used for subsequent industrial processes, guaranteeing its traceability and food safety aspects. Therefore, the objective of the project is to propose a non-destructive system, fast and capable of an on-line screening of the grains to define which is their best use.

The proposed solution is based on the use of FT-NIR spectroscopy, which will allow to determine the visco-elastographic parameters of the flour directly from the grain, which are responsible of the finished product properties.

Vibrational NIR spectroscopy has turned out to be the winning key of the design. In fact, by means of absorption spectra relating to the bonds of functional groups present in the protein structure of the grain, it allows to evaluate the protein composition and secondary structure of gluten proteins, which can be associated with functionality of the finished product both from a technological and an organoleptic point of view. The analysis and understanding of the needs expressed by the final user, is another fundamental and decisive aspect for the S.A.Con.Gra project.

RAM Elettronica mission is based on “Innovation”, S.A.Con.Gra is not the only innovative project. Currently the Italian company is involved in several innovation projects, granted by Puglia Region. In “PIA Program”, “RAM - Efficiency Supervisor”, an Advanced Manufacturing System, is developed in order to monitor and control the production life cycle of milling and pasta making. The results are: an intelligent solution, based on integrated sensors and machine learning technics, able to optimize resources’ consumption (e.g. energy, water) in mill plant; a system able to detect moisture in pasta during production and support decision making in drying process.

Then, in “INNOAID Program”, RAM is developing two innovative solutions for mill and pasta plants: an innovative vision system for short pasta quality control (based on advanced image process algorithms and able to detect pasta imperfections and to discard it automatically, without production interferences) and a predictive maintenance solution, able to monitor temperature of strategic electrical assets (like panels). RAM technical dept. is ready to support your business and work alongside with people that believe in innovation as the only way to succeed.

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