First published in Milling and Grain, March 2016
New Technology provides a simple and more accurate method of moisture control Whether in the final pelletised product or the raw material intake, the moisture level in the material during animal feed manufacture is an essential value to measure and control.
A number of different options present themselves when installing moisture control into a grain and feed processing plant. These include measuring the moisture of the incoming grain from the fields and also measuring moisture in the feed whilst it is in the mixer or after it has been pelletised.
Moisture measurement is often viewed as too complex to add to a plant. Nuclear based and Near InfraRed solutions are expensive to install and maintain and microwave based moisture sensors have traditionally been seen as not accurate enough with limited information available when compared against the cost of the sensor.
However recent developments in technology have enabled Hydronix, a UK based company which designs and manufactures digital microwave sensors, to include a set of new sensing modes within its latest generation of sensors.
The new sensors take a digital measurement which is then processed to give a number of different readings relating to the electrical properties of the material. By selecting the measurement mode most appropriate to the material and process, a much more stable and precise reading of the moisture level can be obtained.
Mechanical installation is also a very important consideration with microwave moisture sensors, as the consistency of the material and flow stability is crucial to getting the best results.
The installations which achieve the best results have a bypass system which diverts some of the material flow past the sensor before returning it to the main flow. This prevents any interference from turbulence changes or changes in density in the previous processes affecting the moisture sensor.
Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.
The Global Miller
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