Atomika Makina is the Turkish representative of the pulse processing technologies of Bühler, the leading manufacturer of grain and pulse processing technologies. Şahin ŞENEL, the Sales Engineer of the company which has been helping Turkish manufacturer meet Bühler’s technology since its foundation, states that due to the increasing demand for crops it has become a necessity to ensure prevention of loss of good crops during cleaning and working at high capacities. ŞENEL says that technology is very important at this point, and emphasizes that Bühler’s technologies offer advantages including robust design, high capacities in small sizes, increased efficiency and prevention of loss of good crops during the cleaning stage. We talked to Şahin ŞENEL about the details of the pulses industry and processing technologies.
Mr. Şenel, first of all, would you please tell us about Atomika Makina? When was the company established and what are its services?
Our company, Atomika Makina, was established in Ankara in 1989. Currently, our activities include sales of machinery for food industry, after-sale user training, spare parts and servicing.
Since our foundation, we are working as the Turkish representative of Bühler UK Ltd. With the acquisition of Sortex by Bühler group, our machinery portfolio was expanded to include Bühler Schmidt-Seeger, Bühler Barth, Bühler Aeroglide and Bühler rice-paddy processing lines.
What is the position of Bühler brand in Turkey? What is the preference rate of the machinery you represent in Turkey, considering the pulses and rice industry, which you also particularly focus on?
Bühler’s machines are widely used in the pulse cleaning and processing industry in Turkey. Bühler continues its role as the leader of the industry with its high quality and capacity at flour and semolina mills, paddy processing facilities and pasta facilities. However, the recognition of Bühler’s successful solutions in the pulse processing industry, where Turkey plays an important role globally, has been relatively less known as compared to the grains industry. With the acquisition of Schmidt-Seeger company, which was established in 1862, by Bühler AG in 2010, Bühler has become more preferred by the companies that wish to grasp the latest technology in the pulses industry.
Before talking about the Bühler technologies and their specifications for the pulses industry, could you tell us about the pulses market in Turkey? What is the role and manufacture of pulses in Turkey?
To summarize the global production and consumption of pulses, which are important sources of proteins for more than 2 billion people around the world, these crops are a source of nutritious and healthy food with its content of carbohydrates and diet fibres in addition to its valuable plant protein content. These crops are used as an important component of the general food baskets in the “World Food Program” and other “Food Aid Initiatives.” The species in the pulses family are important in terms of ensuring sustainable agriculture and crop rotation, its role in animal nutrition, and its contribution to rural economy.
In Turkey, with the “Project to Decrease the Fallowing Areas” which was launched in 1981, the cultivation area for cooking pulses was rapidly expanded. The cultivation areas, which amounted to 740,000 hectares that year, were expanded by 60, reaching to 1,2 million hectares in 1982. However, with the completion of the project, the cultivation areas started to shrink once again. The cultivation areas for cooking pulses, which reached 2 million hectares in early 1990’s, were shrunk by 60% and reached 800,000 hectares today. In 1990, Turkey manufactured 2,013,000 tons of pulses, which has been reduced to 1,100,000 tons today. Although manufacture of pulses significantly fell in this process, our country has achieved an important position in sieving and processing pulses.
As you mentioned earlier, Turkey is one of the leading countries in processing pulses. The development of the pulses industry has also helped to develop the manufacture of machinery in Turkey. What are the difference of Bühler’s technologies from its competitors in Turkey?
So far, many companies for grain and pulse cleaning and processing were established in all regions of Turkey, particularly in Mersin, which led to a demand for technology for the machinery to be used at these facilities. However, since the processing of these crops vary across the regions where consumers live, our need for technology has been specific to our region. For example, in many Asian countries, crops like chickpeas or beans are consumed after breaking or in the form of powder; however, in Turkey, these crops are consumed as kernels.
This has led to a differentiation in pulse processing processes, and a need to manufacture our own machinery. However, we tried to use the relevant technology of other countries, as our technology did not allow manufacturing machines that are specific to us. The machines, which are manufactured for other purposes, were adapted to the needs of our production lines. As a result, we see that numerous machines used in production facilities are big machines in terms of size and energy consumption, but ineffective by their sizes in terms of the work they perform.
At this very point, Bühler’s machines demonstrate their difference in terms of their size and work performance. With its basic principle to achieve the highest capacity and efficiency at the smallest sizes, Bühler company offers satisfactory solutions in cleaning grains and pulses. The difference of Bühler’s machinery is their strong design, high capacity at small sizes, increasing efficiency and preventing loss of good crops during the cleaning stage.
Furthermore, when you visit the pulse manufacturing companies in Turkey, you see most of them host large amounts of dust in their facilities. This large amount of dust in the facility has an adverse impact on the employees’ health and product quality, and it also increases the risk of potential dust explosions in the facility. However, Bühler’s machines operate on a fully closed air suction system, which helps to solve the problem of dust in the facility.
Could you give some examples of these advantages you mentioned and differences of machines?
Sure. For example, Bühler Schmidt-Seeger TAS series of machines which are extensively used in pre-cleaning of grains and pulses, can reach a capacity of 250 tons per hour, depending on the product type. TAS series of machines, which shorten the time to move crops to silos, by offering high capacity and effective results in cleaning particularly during the harvest season, thus provide significant advantages to the facilities.
As another example, Bühler Grovamat density classification machine operates with a product feeding capacity of 10 tons per hour, and it can be successfully used with red lentil and wheat. The machine, which has a closed, stratified system, cleans supplied products by separating it into 4 different density classes high-density, mixed, low density and undersize). When you compare the size of this machine with the open-platform, light kernel machines which are required to achieve the same capacity, you can easily recognize the remarkable difference.
Similarly, Bühler Sortex has upgraded the success of Bühler Sortex Z+ series in colour and foreign substance separation to an upper level with Bühler Sortex B series. The hourly capacity data achieved with Sortex B series, which is equipped with 5 channels and Multivision colour cameras, has reached a level that has never been achieved by any optical separation machines, in terms of cleaning quality in separated product and minimizing the rate of good kernels in the waste product. An optical separation machine which does not simultaneously fulfil these three criteria cannot be considered as a quality solution.
Why is technology so important in processing grains and pulses? What would like to tell us about this?
In Turkey and around the world, the demand for sustainable crops such as pulses and grains is increasing every year. In parallel to this, the new agricultural technologies and the newly developed seeds help to achieve more yield from crops. Therefore, using modern technology to process these products, preventing product loss when removing foreign substances during cleaning stage, and working at high capacities have become basic requirements.