Digitisation to enhance the food sector

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The Arrakis MRRK forms part of Bühler’s extensive roller mill and integrated grinding system portfolio

Digitisation has the potential to revolutionise almost every aspect of the food industry, comments Glen Koster, Area Sales Manager, Bühler Johannesburg. “Harnessing the power of digital technology means we can address vital issues such as food safety, transparency along the value chain, energy conservation and waste reduction more efficiently than ever before.”

Thus, the all-new Arrakis MRRK roller mill from Bühler has a host of new features and improvements. In line with the trend for increased digitisation and automation, the roller mill has state-of-the-art hardware and software for smoother production and enhanced operational efficiency.

In terms of the latest innovations incorporated in the Arrakis, the feeding unit provides a continuous product flow and ensures an even spread of product to the grinding rolls. This is important because feeding is a crucial step in the grinding process. The design has been kept deliberately simple, with no need for an additional motor and frequency converter due to the fixed-speed feeding roll being connected directly to the main roll’s drive.

“This straightforward system ensures that less time is spent on installation and maintenance,” says Koster. “The heart of Arrakis is its grinding unit, a true pillar you can rely on thanks to its stable grinding performance.

“In addition, Arrakis uses a proven loadcell sensor to keep a constant product level in the inlet and adapts the feeding gap to ensure a stable product flow over the entire gap of the grinding rolls. This increases operational reliability and minimises the need for operator intervention.

When the machine is not in operation, the feeding gap is closed automatically, preventing any accumulation of product between the rolls. This saves you time and energy when restarting Arrakis. A quick release function allows fast opening of the feed module.

Thanks to its wide opening angle, the cleaning flap ensures the rapid discharge of any product remaining in the feed module. These design features save time by greatly simplifying cleaning operations, streamlining all the required steps.

The new solid synthetic scraper hovers tightly over the rolls to replace the bristle brushes. The scraper experiences up to three times less wear and eliminates the risk of product accumulation. This results in improved food safety and decreased maintenance.

The flexible knife holder allows the knives to align themselves to the surface of the rolls automatically by constantly applying optimal pressure, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. The blade also undergoes uniform and therefore reduced wear.

The integrated grinding gap adjustment is stripped down to its essential parts for a simplified design that facilitates cleaning and maintenance. The patented grinding gap adjustment ensures rigidity and stability over time to maximise grinding performance.

In terms of state-of-the-art control, Arrakis has an intuitive interface that provides a quick, simple overview of key operating parameters. Accessible in English and Chinese, it makes controlling and monitoring Arrakis straightforward. The integrated touchscreen is available as an optional extra and is not essential to control the roller mill.

“Safety is our top priority, and Arrakis integrates several protective features to ensure safety without hindering performance,” says Koster. Perforated side panels allow for quick and safe inspection of Arrakis while the machine is running. An added bonus is improved cooling by means of optimised airflow. Safety grids protect roller mill operators from moving parts while affording them optimal access for product sampling.

Looking at the sturdy design of the Arrakis, the robust casting frame with the load-carrying structure translates into a high vibration absorption. This durability ensures reliability for long operating periods. Arrakis is built to the same footprint as MDDK, ensuring that one-to-one replacements are possible.

Installation is fast and simple with no need to adapt the flowsheet or extend the existing building.

The Arrakis MRRK forms part of Bühler’s extensive roller mill and integrated grinding system portfolio. It includes the Dolomit MDDP/Q, the Diorit MDDY/Z, the Antares MDDR/T and the Arrius MRRA. “The Arrakis MRRK roller mill represents the successor to a milling icon,” concludes Koster.