Bühler pursues highest quality flour production with launch of new data-driven milling technology

SWITZERLAND – Swiss technology group Bühler has unveiled its most recent innovation yet: a high-tech data-driven mill with the potential to produce the highest quality flour possible.

Dubbed Mill E3, the new technologically advanced mill was unveiled at Whitworth Bros. Ltd’s Whitley Bridge plant in Yorkshire, the UK.

At the heart of the Mill E3 lies more than 15,000 data points collecting information on all aspects of the production process.

According to Bühler, the volume of data being analyzed, along with the cutting-edge application of blockchain technology, will enable the mill to produce the most efficient, transparent, and consistent production possible, and therefore the highest quality product.

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“What is most exciting about the technology is that it provides the operator with data in real-time, which enables the miller to take key and well-informed decisions about the plant,” explains Mike Peters, Managing Director of Whitworth Bros.

The Mill E3 also comes equipped with the Arrius fully integrated grinding system which is said to provide lower energy consumption, faster installation, along with the highest food safety standards, reliability, and optimum grinding performance.

Sensors are also put in place to feed data every few seconds to Bühler Mercury Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to facilitate control of every aspect of the mill’s internal workings.

Other service modules used in the Mill E3 include the Temperature and Vibration Management Service (TVM), Yield Management System (YMS), Error and Downtime Analysis (EDA), Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), and Replay.

Together these provide continual data feeds on machine and process trends, potential maintenance issues, and how machine performance relates to quality and efficiency.

Bühler says the concept of the Mill E3 centers on the idea of using modular “plug and play” installation of milling equipment to cut the installation time by up to 30%.

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The opening of the Mill E3 is the culmination of nearly two decades of close cooperation between Bühler and Whitworth Bros and is a key staging post in Bühler’s journey to the SmartMill.

Bühler says data generated and analyzed at the Whitley Bridge plant will drive the evolution of milling technology from the current data-assisted mill into a plant capable of using its own process parameters in a closed-loop to optimize production.

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