Harvesting and Threshing
Harvesting is the procedure where ripe crops are cut and picked up to then proceed with the extraction of the grains by another mechanical process called threshing. When the material is too dry, this can lead to loss, waste, and breakage of material. On the other hand, if it is too wet, it will limit the weight capacity of the machinery, causing problems with the threshing action.
Storage and Drying
After the previous operations, the yield needs to be stored and preserved accordingly to prevent mycotoxins, spoilage, or heat spots. Drying is a common practice to store materials safely, but if the yield is not dried enough, it is prone to mycotoxins and spoilage. Over-drying is an expensive waste of energy that can cause damage and breakage, making it again prone to mycotoxins and insect attacks. Excessive drying can also cause most materials to shrink in size, causing yield loss.
This process is essential to reintroduce water in the material before the grinding mill and before the pelleting mill. Depending on the final application, the conditioning can also heat the material to kill germs, to cook ingredients, and to gelatinate starch.
Grinding reduces the size of food materials to achieve different chemical and microbiological stability. Results vary based on machines and methods used, as well as the toughness and moisture of the material processed. More plastic or ductile material will need more energy to break; these characteristics of the material are dependent on moisture.
Summarising, the moisture affects the costs and the quality of the products. Knowing and subsequently controlling the water content of the material in every step of the process is necessary to improve efficiency, to reduce carbon footprint, and to save money. To achieve these results, sampling the material is not enough, because the samples are not representative of the full batch and the speed of the feedback process is not adequate. However, it is possible to manage real-time control in the process with inline sensors.
An ideal moisture control system should have the following characteristics:
• In line with 25 readings per second providing quick feedback to the control
• Robust, made with high-quality materials to withstand tough industry conditions
• Linear output, stable in time, accurate and easy to calibrate
• Store multiple calibrations for multiple recipes
• Self-contained and easy to integrate into a pre-existing system
• Low maintenance and cost-effective
• High-temperature resistance may also be required
• Some applications could also require ATEX or IECEx certificate
Thanks to the expert research and development team at Hydronix, you can find all the above and more in the XT series of sensors with their unique digital microwave technology. Hydronix is driven by the belief that by helping your success, we help to build a more sustainable future for our children and the generations to come. For these reasons, Hydronix, with over 41 years of passion and expertise, is present in over 65 countries around the globe, providing a network of expert engineers on the field speaking your language.
Alessandro Mario, Technical Sales Engineer
Hydronix is the world's leading manufacturer of digital microwave moisture measurement sensors.
Established in 1982, we have installed over 85,000 sensors across a wide range of industries in over 80 countries worldwide.