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Tech Focus - NIR


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Production control in rapeseed processing using NIR technology / How to get the mix right with in-line NIR

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Tech Focus - NIR

  1. 1. Digital Re-print January | February 2014 Tech Focus - NIR Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2014 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. F &Feed millinG technoloGy 14 | January - February 2014 Grain Tech focus Production control in rapeseed processing using NIR technology O ne fact in rapeseed processing is: the higher the exploitation in oil, the higher the profit. Bunge Deutschland GmbH implements and realises this basic principle through real-time process-control with NIR-Online industry spectrometers. Overall, 3,500 tonnes of rape seeds are processed day by day at Bunge Oil Mill in Mannheim, Germany with two identical production lines. Production yields are 2,000 tonnes of rapeseed meal which is further used for feed processing and 1,500 tonnes of raw oil for further biodiesel and refined edible oil production after neutralization. Rapeseeds pass through a press resulting in press cake and press oil, representing two-thirds of the profitable oil output of the oil seeds. In the next step, the oil from the remaining press cake is further exploited via extraction process. This process is energy and time demanding and, hence, Bunge has set a limit for the percentage of oil to be tolerated to remain in the press cake. Deficits due to time-delayed sampling But when exactly has this percentage been reached and when has the maximum exploitation of oil been realised? “Previously, this question could not be answered satisfyingly since for process control, the analytical methods were restricted to nuclear magnetic resonance analysis and further laboratory methods,” said Moritz Lücke, production manager, Bunge Germany. “The results of these time-delayed methods only reflect a given moment in time and, hence, real-time intervention to the process was not possible in the case that there was scope for increase in exploitation. This situation changed after application of NIR-Online industrial spectrometers. These NIR systems are small and handy analytical instruments which can be directly mounted at the outlet of the press and extraction installation for real-time measurement of the oil and moisture content of the press cake - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is obtained by successive emission of light in the near infrared (NIR) region trough a vision panel. The light interacts with the press cake which is transported by chain conveyer and the reflected light is recorded by photo diode arrays. The important point is that the composition of the reflected light is subject to the oil and moisture content. These measurement values are further processed by dedicated software which is integrated into the industrial spectrometers. The measuring curve is displayed in real-time to the operators at Bunge control room. Furthermore, the measurement values are directly integrated into the process control system of Oil Mill Mannheim. “Assuming the press cake exceeds the accepted moisture level, the operator at the control room can directly intervene to ensure that the upstream rape seeds are subject to stronger drying during steps of conditioning,” said Roland Bauer, assistant production manager for seed processing, Bunge Germany. “This is because the higher the moisture content of the press cake, the more difficult it gets to exploit the oil in the subsequent extraction step.” Direct indication about the final rate of oil exploitation is provided by the measurement values of the second NIR-Online spectrometer, analysing the rapeseed meal at the end of the extraction step. Applicable in explosive environments Industrial spectrometers can also be used under potentially explosive environment. For example, during the extraction process using Hexane as a solvent, constituting another important advantage for Bunge. “Other comparable analytical systems are not vibration-free and have no ATEX GasEx-certification. Instead, they are fitted into an explosion-proof cabinet making it necessary to work with optical fibre in order to reach the true measurement position,” said Klaus Klawun, head of laboratory, Bunge Germany. “This is quite complex and results in far weaker measuring impulse and inferior measuring results compared to an NIR-Online device. Furthermore, the integrated software is characterized by high user friendliness and this is especially important for the laboratory team at Bunge: Here, the industrial spectrometers are used for continuous generation of the reference values for rapeseed processing.” Transparency in just two hours The new analytical method allows Bunge to control the complete production process for the first time - from the pressing of the rapeseed to the extraction. This whole process lasts around two hours and after this time span, Bunge can assess whether the process is running under optimal conditions, i.e. whether the maximum amount of oil is exploited from the press cake. In the case where there is room for improvement, the operator at the control room is able to counteract undesirable development which prevents financial losses. “Traditional analytical methods provide the results after around one day and in the past we were not able to tell whether the individual sampling was prone to outlier or whether the whole process was deficient,” said Moritz Lücke. “Throughout the whole time we were virtually operating without knowledge of real-time information about the process parameters.” Those responsible at Bunge now know about the true optimization potential of rapeseed processing, thanks to continuous realtime control of the pressing and extraction process - purposefully increasing the profit. The refinery should also benefit In order to also benefit from the advantages of real time process control during steps of refinery, the Oil Mill Mannheim plans the acquisition of additional NIR-Online industrial spectrometers this year. These systems are meant to be used during steps of de-sliming and neutralization of the pressed oil for determination of the concentration of phosphorus and free fatty acids. The potential for improving these processes are significant: each day Bunge produces 1,500 tonnes of raw oil from which 70 percent is further processed for generations of biodiesel by an external company, 30 percent is used for edible oil generation at their own production site. More inforMation: Website:
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  4. 4. 15 | January - February 2014 How to get the mix right with in-line NIR by Richard Mills, FOSS, Denmark S outh African grain suppliers Senwes have tried out a new way of using near infrared (NIR) analysis to optimize the use of increasingly scarce high-protein wheat in blends going into milling. The new instrument will now become a permanent feature, helping to get the very best out of both high- and low-protein material. In the fairy tale ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, a miller boasts to a king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. While nothing can make this enduring dream come true, modern process analytical technology in the form of an in-line NIR analysis system is making a real difference to what millers can get out of wheat grain deliveries. It is not exactly turning straw into gold, but is perhaps the next best thing given the increasing scarcity of high quality wheat. The new (190x132mm)(outlines)_Layout Corporate Banner process analysis solution called 1 Grain ProFoss has been on trial at a Senwes facility in South Africa. The solution consists of an NIR analyser, a sample interface and special software for graphical display of the results. It has been used at a group of silos next to a large mill. The different silos contain different minimum protein levels: 9 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent and so on. The sample interface is installed in a pipe that delivers grain from the different silos onto a conveyor belt that serves the mill. The sample interface is installed by cutting a hole in the pipe of about 10 cm diameter. It has a sapphire window that sits flush with the sides of the pipe, allowing the NIR unit to take measurements on the grain as it flows by. Measurements are made every few seconds and the results are displayed on a computer in the control room, where they can be viewed as a trend graph to make it easy to keep track of the protein content. If, for example, 11 percent protein is the target and the level starts to fall below that, then a little higher protein wheat can be added to stabilize the overall protein content. Lower grade to higher grade Manager of special products Mariana Purnell describes how the ProFoss analyser was installed at the Senwes facility in October 2012. When the analyser was brought into use, there were just over 5000 tonnes of grade 23/12/2013 08:54 Page 1 &Feed millinG technoloGy B1, about 4000 tonnes of B2 and 4500 tons of B3 grade, and lower amounts of lower grades. The process analysis system enables continuous monitoring of wheat protein levels, allowing inline adjustment to regulate the blending and maintaining specific protein levels during outloading. As indicated by the B1–B3 columns, this resulted in all the lower grades being blended with higher protein grades, yielding B1 and B3 grades that were considerably higher than the initial stock level. “We successfully managed the optimization of all protein levels and the homogeneity of quality in all wheat batches,” says Purnell. “As far I am concerned the ProFoss works very well for managing your grain quality as it monitors 100 percent of the batch being loaded and really keeps protein fluctuation within a narrow band.” She also points out that it is of course important to have the right quantities available to maximize the usefulness of NIR analysis. The trial completed, the plan is now to put the system into use on a permanent basis. “We can see that the level of control and management of the protein level being shipped out is far superior to when it is controlled by a human being who does infrequent sampling and testing,” says Purnell. “By gathering more precise data of protein units leaving the silo, one can be assured of a lower number of disputes related to protein levels and subsequent downgrading." F
  5. 5. LINKS January - February 2014 This digital Re-print is part of the January | February 2014 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on first published in 1891 • • Having no choice is not reasonable The quest for a healthier snack Design of an efficient intake pit dedusting system Silos special: Bulk storage challenges • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT NIR: • Keep running costs down the state-of-the-art in technology • Visit the GFMT website In this issue: • • • See the full issue Production control in rapeseed processing using NIR technology operating en-masse chain conveyors • Getting your dies and rolls re-worked locally to global standards INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit