The pearl of Luxembourg07/09/2008 When the goal of a traditional flour milling family is to achieve top quality and sanitation and therefore entrusts Bühler with installing its latest equipment and control technology, this will inevitably produce Europe’s most up-to-date flour mill. The Müller family from Luxembourg, who can look back on a rich tradition, have been active in the flour milling business since 1704. Over the centuries, they operated a number of small-scale mills in Luxembourg. The family’s modern flour milling history started in the year 1921, when the brothers Joseph and Edmond Müller acquired the Kleinbettingen flour mill built in 1894 from the Fribourg and Wagner families. Kleinbettingen is a small town on the border between Belgium and Luxembourg, some 30 kilometers west of the capital Luxembourg.
Consolidation in the flour milling industry
The time between the two world wars and the period of World War II were phases of restructuring and consolidation for Luxembourg’s flour milling industry. By making regular investments in their milling facilities, the Müller family continuously improved the quality of their products. Despite a blaze in 1966 that ravaged most of the mill, the facility in Kleinbettingen evolved into the leading flour mill in Luxem-bourg under the direction of the second family generation. Today, with Edmond Müller, the third gen-eration is at the helm of the company, which is now the sole large-scale flour mill left in Luxembourg. The “Moulins de Kleinbettingen” produce a wide variety of flours and semolina grades from common wheat and durum wheat.
In order to maintain their dominating position in Luxembourg’s milling industry, the owners decided at the start of this century to build a new common wheat mill by no later than 2008. Edmond Müller: “We wanted to build Europe’s most up-to-date flour mill that would meet top requirements in terms of grind-ing quality, sanitation, and visual appearance.” In order to achieve the sanitation targets, numerous plant components such as the entire pneumatic mill stock conveying system, the gravity spouting, the cyclones, and the plansifters were to be made of stainless steel. Says Director Edmond Müller: “Our intention was to incorporate as many stainless steel plant components as possible to ensure top hygiene.”
Newest-generation roller mills
The Müller family would not settle for less than the most advanced equipment from Bühler, selecting the newest-generation Bühler roller mills just recently rolled out. Called “Antares,” the new Bühler roller mill satisfies the most rigorous sanitation and performance requirements and offers extreme ease of maintenance. The components of the new Bühler Antares roller mill in contact with the product are made of special stainless steel, with surfaces that are not coated. In addition, the new grinding ma-chine is equipped with a centralized control system for the entire roller floor. All the machines are con-trolled and monitored and all the collected data is processed at a centrally located cockpit. By choos-ing the Antares roller mill, it was clear to Edmond Müller that this also meant incorporating the new Bühler WinCos process control system. The combination of Antares and WinCos allows the new facility to be operated with a low staffing level while ensuring reliable monitoring and complete retrac-ing of the production process.
Showcase facility for Bühler
All these ambitious targets challenged the plant designers and engineers at Bühler. But right from the outset, it was also clear that the new flour mill in Kleinbettingen with its numerous innovations and many stainless steel components would become a Bühler showcase facility. The plant engineering team headed by project manager Heiko Otte-Witte from Bühler Braunschweig accepted the challenge, and a completely new flour mill emerged from their effort – a state-of-the-art production plant housed in a windowless concrete structure. Without windows, no pests can enter the building. An adequate supply of filtered fresh air is provided by a modern ventilation system.
180 t/24 h common wheat mill
The new mill building was to incorporate a complete common wheat mill with a capacity of 180 metric tons in 24 hours and a new bulk flour loadout section. In addition, the existing grain bins were to be remod-eled from scratch. The contract was signed at the end of April 2006. The new building was ready for moving in the equipment in March 2007, allowing Bühler to start installation work in April 2007. Start-up and hand-over to the Müller family took place in November and December 2007. This year, a du-rum cleaning system for the existing A mill (120 t/24 h) and a new hammer mill with a bran pelleting system will also be incorporated.
“Top-class performance by everyone”
Both the Müller family and Bühler are highly satisfied with the new facility. Project manager Otte-Witte: “Installation and start-up of the new roller mills went off without a glitch. The new control system of the roller mills is extremely easy to use. The roller mills run with high efficiency. The wheat is excellently ground, and the customer is overjoyed that the flour extraction rate exceeds 80 percent. The customer is also more than satisfied with the flour quality.” The new flour mill in Kleinbettingen has been running in three work shifts daily since it went into operation. The Müller family are happy about their new mill. Director Edmond Müller: “The plant fully meets our expectations in every respect. Bühler has supplied us a flour mill that produces outstanding flours, achieves high flour yields, and also satisfies the most stringent standards in terms of visual appearance. Top-class performance by everyone involved!”