Vitaris – a modular system for the best grain cleaning

25 June 202011 min reading

Sabrina Würsch Product Management Milling Solutions Wheat & Rye Bühler AG in Uzwil / Switzerland

“Every miller knows that it is the quality of what goes in that counts. That is why cleaning grain is one of the most important steps in the milling process. Removing impurities makes the biggest difference to the quality of the final flour and makes an essential contribution to ensuring food safety. Vitaris is a modular system from Bühler that enables the miller to achieve a high-quality final product reliably and efficiently.”

Milling plays an essential role in the food value chain by grinding grain so that its nutrients can be more easily digested. Taking grain and turning it into flour has been the miller’s job for thousands of years. But as simple as the basic process of grinding may sound, achieving a high-quality final product requires skill, experience and sophisticated machinery.

When wheat and other grains arrive at the mill, they contain many different types of impurities that have entered the mix at different stages. Metal, stones, weeds, other grains and general debris can all become part of the mix during growth, harvest, storage, and transportation. During the growing season, for example, too much rain can cause the wheat to become moldy or it might be attacked by insects and diseases. Shrunken, broken, diseased and damaged grains have to be removed. If these impurities are left in the mix, it will affect the quality and odor of the final flour and may pose a health risk. Certain impurities also affect machine efficiency. Cleaning is therefore an essential step in the milling process and one that, ultimately, has the most significant impact on the quality of the flour.

Removing each of these different types of impurity requires a different process – and therefore a different type of machine. A separator takes out the overs, a concentrator sorts light and heavy fractions, an aspiration channel takes out the lights in the light fraction, a destoner separates according to specific weight. Each of these machines takes up space in the mill and has its own energy requirements. What is more, as every batch of grain is different, each machine has to be fine-tuned for each batch – not just once, but over and over again.

With the Vitaris, Bühler introduces the first modular cleaning system on the market. Consisting of four combinable machines, the system guarantees highest food safety while providing optimal performance and minimal space requirements. In combination with energy saving technology, the Vitaris cleaning system is built with advanced sustainability standards in mind.

Vitaris – a modular system for the best grain cleaning

One for all, all for one As standalone modules each machine performs a specific task in the grain cleaning cycle removing and separating fine and course particles and impurities. Each of them meets the highest standards in food safety, quality, energy efficiency, space efficiency and maintenance. Millers can deploy individual machines or add and combine machines from the start or at a later stage, according to their individual requirements. With the machines combined, the finely tuned cleaning system reveals its full strength.

Reducing cost by saving space and energy Space is a very valuable resource in the compact set-up of modern mills. As every square meter on a mill’s floor represents a significant cost, space must be used efficiently. Optimal machine performance and efficiency while keeping space requirements to an absolute minimum are key to reducing fixed cost. With an unrivalled small physical footprint, Bühler’s overall cleaning system, as well as each individual component deliver the most space efficient solution available on the market.

This was achieved by designing smart machine layouts in which individual elements and components are stacked vertically.

In addition, consumption of fresh air was reduced in a version that recirculates air. Advanced air-recycling technology reduces the amount of fresh air needed by up to 90% and, subsequently, reduces the overall filter surface and thus maintenance thereof. Instead of manually regulating the air flow by flaps, adjustments are performed via electrical frequency converters saving up to 15% of energy.

Fast commissioning All machines within the system are prewired. Connected to the plant’s power supply at one central point no additional cabling is required and installation costs are kept to a minimum.

Overview: the Vitaris cleaning system is comprised of four machines: • Air-recycling aspirator MVST for removal of dust and light particles before cleaning • Separator MTRD for sorting course materials from fine particles • Combistoner MTCH for removal of impurities with a higher specific weight and classification of grain into high-density and heavy fractions • Recycling air aspirator MVSS for removal of fine impurities and dust

Vitaris separator MTRD

DETAILS OF THE INDIVIDUAL MACHINES SIEVING WITH THE VITARIS SEPARATOR MTRD One coarse and two sand sieve decks divide the grain from coarse and fine impurities. The grain is fed through an adjustable distribution device in the inlet, spreading the product evenly across the top coarse screen sieve. Sand and seeds are intensively sifted from the grain by the following double sand sieve decks. Overs are discharged through the machine frame saving space and reducing assembly costs. The separator achieves a high throughput of up to 24 tons per hour in the cleaning process and up to 50 tons per hour for pre-cleaning at the grain intake in silos. Optionally, an air-recycling unit can be connected upstream or an aspiration channel downstream.

OVERVIEW OF MAIN BENEFITS High in sanitation Stainless steel sieves, FDA-approved plastic parts and the omission of nails, plush and felt allow high sanitary standards. In addition, the closed design of the machine prevents any foreign parts from falling into the product.

High in selectivity Double sand sieve decks provide a larger sieve surface. Three sieve decks, allow for higher selectivity.

Low in maintenance costs The sieves can be easily tensioned and loosened. The perforated sheets on the sieve frame are fixed without the help of nails or screws. Thanks to a clever quick-clamping system the entire sieve deck can be changed in less than five minutes allowing for maximum uptime.

Configurations Like all machines in the Vitaris modular system, the Vitaris separator MTRD can be combined with other units from the range, such as the Vitaris combistoner MTCH, to perform as a combi-cleaning system. Tailored to suit your requirements it can be flexibly combined with the air-recycling aspirator MVST and an air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS or both.

SEPARATING IMPURITIES WITH THE VITARIS COMBISTONER MTCH Re-using most of the cleaned process air, the Vitaris combistoner MTCH efficiently separates mixed and high-density products and impurities with specific weight such as stones and glass. Thanks to the integrated recirculating air separators the machine requires little fresh air thus saving energy. OVERVIEW OF MAIN BENEFITS High in sanitation Stainless steel sieves, FDA-approved plastic parts and the omission of any nails, plush and felt allow high sanitary standards. In addition, the closed machine outlets prevent any foreign parts from falling into the product. Vitaris combistoner MTCH

High in energy efficiency The electric air flow can be controlled via the machine’s integrated system or the plant control system. The air recycling and use of frequency converter reduce the energy consumption by up to 15% and fresh air intake by up to 90%.

Low in operating costs and in physical footprint All wear parts such as sieves, cleaning balls and wear sheets are easily accessible. The sieves can be quickly tensioned and loosened by a quick-clamping system. The perforated sheets on the sieve frame are fixed without the help of nails or screws. Thanks to a clamping device the entire sieve deck can be changed in less than five minutes allowing for maximum uptime. The space saving concept comprises two process steps, destoning and concentrating. The air-recycling version cleans the air in the machine and does not require an external recirculating-air unit.

High in selectivity The integrated dust separation is available with fresh air or air recycling operation. The combination of destoner and concentrator allows for separation of particles with high specific weight, such as stones and glass, and division of flow of materials into high density and mixed fractions.

Configurations As a component of the modular Vitaris cleaning system, the Vitaris combistoner MTCH can be combined with other units from the range at a later stage. An air-recycling aspirator or an air-recycling channel can be attached. In combination with the separator, the combistoner can be extended to combi-cleaning system.

SEPARATING WITH THE AIR-RECYCLING ASPIRATOR MVST The product separator is a space-saver with remarkable performance. Separating different products according to their specific weight, the compact Vitaris aspirator MVST requires only a minimum of space. Thanks to the centrally placed feeder device, the MVST requires only a minimum of installation height. For non-free flowing products an active feeder device is available.

Air-recycling aspirator MVST

OVERVIEW OF MAIN BENEFITS Space-saving compact design The air-recycling aspirator MVST takes up 30% less in height than systems utilizing air-recycling aspiration channels.

High in cleaning performance Connected upstream as the first separation step, it enables the following second step separator to perform more efficiently.

Low in operating costs Thanks to the utilization of recirculated air, fresh air consumption is reduced by up to 90%. The air flow can be adjusted either manually at the machine through an integrated frequency converter or recipe based through the plant control system.

Configurations Like all machines from the Vitaris modular system, the air-recycling aspirator MVST can be combined with other units from the range at a later stage. It can be flexibly added to the Vitaris separator MTRD and combistoner MTCH.

SEPARATING WITH AIR-RECYCLING ASPIRATION CHANNEL MVSS Utilizing air-recycling the aspirator efficiently separates fine impurities from the grain, for example reducing mycotoxin content significantly. The air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS is very energy efficient. The improved geometry of the aspiration channel ensures an optimal airflow across the whole width of the MVSS avoiding deposits. Meeting highest food safety standards there are no dead spots at the inlet and the aspiration channel is sealed. Fresh air consumption is reduced by up to 90% and energy consumption by up to 15%. For non-free flowing products, a feeder device is available that distributes the product over the entire width of the sieve.

Air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS

OVERVIEW OF MAIN BENEFITS High in energy efficiency The use of recycled air and efficient frequency converter reduce fresh air consumption by up to 90% and electricity usage by up to 15%. The need for larger sized filter surfaces is significantly reduced.

User-friendly air flow controls The air flow is easily and efficiently controlled by a frequency converter. Energy loss that occurs when using traditional air flaps is avoided. The air flow can be adjusted using the integrated controls or the plant’s control system. Product specific adjustments can be made via the plant’s control system.

Configurations A part of the Vitaris cleaning system, the air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS can be flexibly combined with an air-recycling aspirator MVST, Vitaris separator MTRD and Combistoner MTCH.

Customer case study: The customer had MTRA 60/100 and MTSC 65/120E machines and wanted to replace them. With Vitaris, he was able to renew his machines with our combination cleaning system. He also saved one floor 3.8 m high and around 5 x 5 m of floor space, where he can now pack his cleaned organic wheat. His advantages are: - New efficient, low-maintenance machines - Space saving for the same work (cleaning) - Possibility to expand into new areas of business

CONCLUSION Every mill has its very specific requirements and preferences depending on its size, production volume, production processes as well as considerations for expansion and investment. Given the variety of building specifications and plant layout, what millers require are practical tailormade solutions.

The Vitaris cleaning system represents a holistic solution that adapts to your needs. You can add individual machines from the Vitaris system to fit into your existing setup and add other machines at a later stage. The individual machines in the Vitaris cleaning system can be flexibly combined according to your specific requirements. For example: • Vitaris separator MTRD + Vitaris combistoner¬ MTCH ( Vitaris Combicleaner) • Vitaris separator MTRD + Air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS. • Vitaris combicleaner MTKC + Air-recycling aspiration channel MVSS. + Air-recycling aspirator MVST. Whichever initial configuration you choose, the benefits of the Vitaris cleaning system will have a tangible impact on the overall performance of your plant. From excellent food safety and hygiene to energy savings, one of the most decisive aspects is the unrivalled ratio of performance in relation to physical space.

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