The CPC is designed to add fats and soluble additives such as enzymes and probiotics or vitamins onto animal feed pellets. It is the company’s latest development in terms of coating technology, said Van Aarsen’s Geert D’Haese.
We spoke to him at the company’s stand at the Utrecht show, and he outlined the benefits of the CPC for feed millers:
“What a coater does is allow a manufacturer to add liquid components, which are sprayed onto the pellets. There are many different systems on the market for [carrying out] this kind of operation, but the CPC is a high precision continuous pellet coater – both the mixing vessel itself and the feeding screw are equipped with load cells so the product flow is measured continuously, and adjusted. The liquids are dosed in the right proportion.”
This machine is a step-up on existing coating equipment, particularly in relation to accurate control of the retention time inside the mixer – such a development ensures optimized contact between the liquids and pellets, he said.
The process ensures the fat does not solidify, preventing contamination and clogging in piping or further processing, and each nozzle-set is provided with air cleaning, preventing dripping and clogging of the nozzle, said the manufacturer.
Hammer mill option
The Dutch company was also showcasing the latest amendment to its GD hammer mill line – a system for automatic screen exchange.
“Some other manufacturers have also produced such systems but ours, I think, is superior in many ways. For instance, the footprint of the hammer mill is not enlarged by this function. The mill occupies the same surface as before, it is very compact, which is [essential] if you do not have much space to spare. Secondly, the cassettes, from which the screens are drawn into the machine, can hold up to three sets of screens.”
The control of the automatic screen exchange is executed with a Siemens PLC including a multi-panel touch-screen. The control system automatically selects the screen required for the recipe in use, with the objective of reducing the screen exchange time and increasing the capacity of the hammer mill, explained D’Haese.
“The Kalmar Lantmän commercial feed mill in Sweden, [which is a highly automated plant and which Van Aarsen constructed in 2015], found downtime was reduced enormously by this application. The mill is producing a huge amount of different recipes and has to change screens very often. Before, the operators had to stop the machine from running and change the screens manually, which took up to 30 minutes. [With the automatic screen exchange] the process takes less than two minutes and there is no need to stop the machine from running. The grinding function is stopped of course, so no product is flowing in, but you don’t have to stop the rotor from turning.”
Pellet mill adjustment
The company has also further developed its series of pellet mills, providing them with a system of automatic roller slip detection, he said.
The active roller-slip control is an intelligent system designed to optimize the pellet mill production rate - this system detects roller-slip and activates the system to automatically resolve the slip, thus reducing the downtime of the pellet mill, said the company.