World Grain - September 2021 - 71

to achieve a feed rate held at ±5% of the target. The range
of adjustments to be made is quite significant in some cases
and, more importantly, the necessary adjustment to achieve
target feed rate results in the inability to pneumatically convey
the tempered wheat product to the first break roll. Perhaps an
automatic lift adjustment could overcome the problem. Short
of that in a commercial mill, the system would be down or
operated at less than desired or target load. In the case of the
laboratory mill, the load had to be reduced, not a satisfactory
action in a commercial milling operation.
Samples show considerable difference in terms of first, second
and third break bulk density and resulting bed depth on
the sifter media, impacting separation efficiency. Additionally,
due to mill design, flow was impeded and a surge created resulting
in a flushing out of the system when load was taken off
the mill. The increased bed depth and surge often results in
chokes in the transition to the pneumatic pick-up that must be
worked around. As someone who has held the position of floor
sweeper in a commercial mill, the thankless and non-productive
task of picking choke piles off the floor comes to mind.
Wheat personalities also show through in the fixed reduction
system processes where flour production shifts downstream
when wheat protein is higher or kernels are harder.
Flour production occurs earlier in the reduction system when
the wheat is softer and/or lower in protein. Might it be helpful
to manage the generation across the primary reductions to
enhance or customize flour properties such as starch damage
or absorption characteristics?
Consider monitoring reduction stock flow characteristics and
particle size as well as bran contamination to optimize sifting
efficiency and grinding to optimize the milling process efficiency
and flour attributes. Differences in these characteristics
are observable when milling hard red winter wheat composites.
They are exposed when ground stock and flour does not
flow freely down a metal chute or across the sieve media. Some
samples produce streams and flour that adhere to surfaces with
a tenacity destined to result in a choked system at some point.
Wheat personalities really show through in the residue and
tail end reductions where bran is concentrated and has been
through several passages not yet ready to give up the last
bits of endosperm. With some wheat, the bran has remained
relatively whole, not creating an abundance of these stocks
World-Grain.com / World Grain / September 2021
while other wheat produces copious amounts of bran clinging
mightily to the endosperm. It occurs to me that aggressive
reduction grinding may have created more compound endosperm-rich
bran particles than might have been found with
less harsh grinding. Perhaps this topic can be covered in a
future article as early milling research has explored this topic.
Bran and the tail over from the last reduction shed light on
the nature of the wheat being milled under fixed laboratory
mill conditions. Of course, in the commercial setting these
streams may be influenced by other issues such as roll setting
and tempering conditions. These streams beg to be monitored
and responded to with appropriate adjustments for both mill
process efficiency and finished product quality.
Focusing on product behavior
Future mill design may benefit by including a focus on product
behavior in the systems, not simply machine behavior or
previously successful mill settings. Over the years, instrumentation,
process controllers and computers along with programs
and algorithms have improved process control and process
monitoring. More recently instrumentation has allowed improved
finished product quality monitoring.
Some headway has been made into process monitoring of
granulation or break releases at the early stages of the breaking
process but has not been widely adapted. Other properties such as
bulk density, the presence of bran, particle shape, flow properties
such as stickiness, cohesiveness or even electrostatic properties
may prove valuable in process monitoring tools for key stocks.
Millers and mill engineers should be thinking about the future
of mill design and should be adapting a behavioral science-type
approach to assist developing milling flows to optimize equipment
utilization, process flexibility, and product quality. If behavioral
analysis can be used with dairy cattle to increase milk
production, we should be able to analyze wheat behavior or response
to build a better milling process. Will you be the one to
use technology, measurements, and analysis to build a milling
algorithm that combines machine and wheat optimization?
Jeff Gwirtz, a milling industry consultant, is president of JAG Services, Inc.
He may be reached at jgwirtz@att.net
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries to
worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles, email reprints@sosland.com.
71
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - September 2021

World Grain - September 2021 - Intro
World Grain - September 2021 - 1
World Grain - September 2021 - 2
World Grain - September 2021 - 3
World Grain - September 2021 - 4
World Grain - September 2021 - 5
World Grain - September 2021 - 6
World Grain - September 2021 - 7
World Grain - September 2021 - 8
World Grain - September 2021 - 9
World Grain - September 2021 - 10
World Grain - September 2021 - 11
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World Grain - September 2021 - 14
World Grain - September 2021 - 15
World Grain - September 2021 - 16
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World Grain - September 2021 - 18
World Grain - September 2021 - 19
World Grain - September 2021 - 20
World Grain - September 2021 - 21
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World Grain - September 2021 - 26
World Grain - September 2021 - 27
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