Kampffmeyer Group Tackle Ergot Contamination With Sortex Sorters

05/15/2007 Meeting the legal requirements for milling rye. The Kampffmeyer Gruppe is Germany's largest milling company and their name has been renowned both nationally and internationally to generations for the quality and the excellence of their product. Kampffmeyer produces flour for German households, high-quality milled grain products for baking and the baking industry and they supply superior grain products to food companies throughout the world.

A key process for the Kampffmeyer group is the milling of rye and production of rye products. Essential to the process is the cleaning of the rye before milling can begin. To ensure the expected high stan-dards of quality, foreign contaminates including wood, stones, plastic and (most importantly) ergot have to be removed from the grain. Ergot is a fungus that particularly infects rye, turning grains black. Ergot is toxic to both man and animals and for that reason it is now a legal requirement in most European countries that milled rye can be only sold which has no more than 0.05% ergot contamination.

Until recently it was very hard to separate ergot from good grain in the input stream to the milling proc-ess. This was primarily due to the dependency on mechanical sorters such as the indent surface sepa-rator, but the indent surface separator sorts by size and shape just as gravity separators sort by weight and these are ineffective with grain contamination which is apparent only in colour change and not size or weight.

The Sortex colour sorter, however, sorts by colour identification and as such is ideally suited to the problem of ergot. Moreover, the Sortex sorter is capable of handling much higher throughput than me-chanical sorters; in some models (the Z+4) typically 22 to 25 tph and the end results are highly impres-sive, Kampffmeyer found that an input of 1.5% contamination could be improved to give an output as pure as 99.9%.

Kampffmeyer invested in five Z-series Sortex optical sorters, three years ago and they have been de-lighted with the results. Not only are yields improved but floor space can be saved as Sortex sorters require less footprint than traditional mechanical sorters. Financially too there are major benefits: quality rye, with minimal contamination is sold at premium prices but now Kampffmeyer can buy 'B' grade grain and sort it to produce a higher quality than the premium grain. This represents a saving of some 10-15 percent per tonne.

It is estimated that the group will recoup the cost of the machines due to savings in labour, improved maintenance costs and the savings from purchasing 'B' grain within four years. The advantages of Sor-tex sorters go beyond these immediate cost savings, Sortex sorters offer owners the advantages of remote maintenance through Z Anyware. With Z Anyware all that is required is a telephone line and Sortex engineers can monitor the performance of the machine from any location in the world and advise owners when essential maintenance is required or when there is a reduction in the machine's perform-ance. Pre-emptive maintenance such as this, cuts out downtime and reduces the need for costly re-pairs. Nor do the machines require heavy investment in training; they are easily operated and can be programmed to suit the owner's requirements or re-programmed should this be necessary and their installation requires minimal disruption to the product line, usually being completed in as little as two days.


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