A mill upgraded12/10/2008 In Vejle, Denmark, Bühler is expanding the Lantmännen Group’s existing facility into one of Europe’s largest and most up-to-date flour mills. The new Lantmännen mill will be the first large-scale flour mill to be completely automated on the basis of the new Bühler WinCos automation system. The new mill of the Danish Lantmännen affiliate Lantmännen Cerealia in Vejle is acknowledged to be one of Europe’s most modern grain milling installations since it started production in the summer of 2008. Of the old installation, only the three grain silos and the finished product bins were integrated in the new facility. The old grinding lines were shut down. Bühler replaced them by building a complete state-of-the-art plant incorporating two soft-wheat mills with grinding capacities of 240 t/24 h and 480 t/24 h plus a rye mill with a capacity of 180 t/24 h. In addition, a new flour storage and handling system including a bulk loadout section with a holding capacity of 5000 metric tons was constructed. All the byproducts of the new facility are processed into pellets on a new pellet mill and sold to feed manufacturing plants.
Part of the order was to enable the new facility to be operated fully automatically on the basis of the latest industrial grain processing methods. Moreover, operation of the plant was to be guided and easy in order to ensure a consistently high product quality and to prevent operating errors as far as possi-ble. The entire concept was developed in close cooperation with the customer on the basis of the new WinCos automation system. In order to fulfill the requirements for fully automatic operation, all the plant sections from grain storage and cleaning to grinding and flour storage and handling with bagging and bulk loadout were equipped with cutting-edge machines, sensors, and technologies.
Smart fine-tuning of processes
The new Bühler WinCos process automation system offers Lantmännen Cerealia numerous advan-tages. Thus, its navigation system determines the “right” path for the materials through the plant in terms of energy consumption and/or throughput capacity. The system thus minimizes operator inputs and prevents errors, and it optimizes the capacity utilization of the plant while ensuring optimal energy management. In addition, the system creates an energy report for each production job, which provides information on the energy consumed per kilogram of finished product. Lastly, the power consumption of each motor in the entire plant is logged. This data is used for the early maintenance warning system and provides a transparent picture of the energy balance. But WinCos also ensures the quality-related monitoring and management of a large number of different products. This increases the flexibil-ity of the plant. Socalled “product interlocking” prevents undesirable cross-contamination of different products. After the production process, the system also fully automatically transfers the products to the bins and monitors them during storage.
Automatic recipe management and the closed control circuits for ash and gluten ensure optimal product consistency and reproducibility. All the end products are always produced in the identical quality. All the data – including that from the laboratory – is completely recorded, which allows permanent traceability and detailed analyses.
Last, not least, the new flour milling installation of Lantmännen Cerealia is equipped with a multimedia information center, which automatically provides information by SMS or email in case of irregularities. A remote access feature allows the staff of Lantmännen and Bühler to make quick “healing” interventions.