SWITZERLAND — Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer Bühler has introduced two online measurement systems — the NIR multi online analyzer MYRG and the online particle size analyzer MYTA – in an effort to enhance consistency and efficiency in maize milling.

According to Bühler, the online measurements offer continuous real-time online analysis of quality parameters of raw material, intermediate and final products during maize processing, allowing for adjustments of processes and optimization of quality and yield.

The company further notes that the strength of the MYRG lies in the ability to analyze raw material and finished product across variable measuring points in real-time during the production processes.

The MYRG includes Bühler pre-calibrated applications and has sensors positioned after pre-cleaning to measure moisture content and the contents of crude fat and fiber, polar starch and protein from the raw material.

At the other end of the process, the sensors measure the parameters of the finished product — whether it is flaking grits or maize flour — as it arrives in the hopper scale.

Bühler says that it can also provide NIR calibrations to measure protein, crude fiber and starch content in the final maize product.

A single spectrometer of the latest NIR generation can evaluate the data from up to six different measuring points.

The company notes that the compact design of the measuring probe is suited for retrofitting in existing production plants.

Bolstering consistency in corn milling

Traditionally, a product sample is taken to the reference lab every two hours to measure moisture and fat contents.

If the specification limits are exceeded, operators need to adjust the process accordingly.

Using Bühler’s online NIR system to measure fat content in real time, minimizes human effort and reduces the time it takes from measuring product characteristics to taking action from two hours to minutes.

The automatic process adjustments guarantee consistent and efficient production within the set quality specifications and reduces the probability of false decisions based on erroneous representative measurements.

After a six-month test period, the results provided by the online system in comparison to laboratory tests convinced Trenton Jacobs, mill manager at LifeLine Foods of the system´s benefits.

LifeLine Foods is a leader in the corn milling industry, making products used as ingredients for corn flakes, snacks, soups, tortillas and taco shells, brewing and distilling ingredients, corn meal and flour, as well as industrial lubricants and ethanol.

“The online monitoring systems enables our millers to focus on their craft, while also educating them to the impacts directly tied to processing or input changes,” Jacobs said.

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