Improving The Speed, Space, And Quality Of A Wheat Milling Operation

Improving The Speed, Space, And Quality Of A Wheat Milling Operation
Flour milling operations can be hindered by many obstacles that can affect overall productivity and bottom line revenue. Having adequate storage capacity in the smallest footprint, with the ability to efficiently handle material, while simultaneously preventing product infestation, are vital contributions to a successful mill. Laidig Systems understands this, and has been providing custom-engineered solutions for the milling industry, that address these and other material handling issues for over 60 years.

A wheat milling operation located in Michigan was looking to improve its speed, space, and quality — ultimately motivating them to seek efficiency in the storage and handling of wheat mill feed into their vertical storage silos.

The King Milling Company has been milling wheat for more than 125 years.  And their family owned operation continues to grow each year.  Much like any company, with growth will come growing pains.  King Milling was no different, especially when it came to handling their millfeed, sometimes called midds.  Typically, every 100 pounds of wheat milled yields about 25 pounds of millfeed.  The millfeed is another source of revenue for King Milling.  It quickly became apparent, however, that the efficient storage and handling of it was going to be a challenge. 

The King Milling Company has been milling wheat for more than 125 years. Their family-owned operation has continued to grow each year. Like at any other company, with growth comes change. King Milling was no different, especially when it came to handling their wheat millfeed, sometimes called midds. Typically, every 100 pounds of wheat milled yields about 25 pounds of wheat millfeed. The wheat millfeed is a secondary revenue source for King Milling. However, it quickly became apparent, that the efficient storage and material handling of this source was going to be a challenge. 

According to Jim Doyle, the Senior Vice-President for King Milling, “millfeed is very difficult to handle.  Getting it loaded into trucks was taking too long, and we were having difficulty storing it.  We needed a guaranteed solution.”

Prior to finding the solution, their average truck load time took up to 90 minutes. With this lengthy process, King Milling found themselves needing to utilize temporary storage trailers for the millfeed, in order to maintain overall milling production. This meant using pneumatic methods of material transfer to move the millfeed, for distribution to the customer at a later time. With the disjointed process flow, production was sometimes delayed due to the lack of adequate storage. To mitigate the issues with a temporary fix, trucks were asked to pre-load their trailers on Saturdays, forcing King Milling to offer a reduced price on the weekend loadouts. Lastly, King Milling started noticing a rise of dust generation as it was moving product. For a wheat milling operation, that was the final straw, and it became clear that a real solution was needed.

Vice President Steve Doyle wanted to get Laidig involved. “The old method of moving the millfeed wasn’t cutting it.  We had a goal of unloading 50,000 pounds of millfeed onto a truck in 15 minutes with limited dusting.  This would make us more efficient, increase our storage and save us money,” he said. “If we were going to do this, we were going to go big, and we were going to do it right.  We had a good team in place here at King Milling.  We knew of Laidig and their reputation.  We had visited with them at trade shows over the last 25 years, so we contacted them.”

Upon review of the situation, and through discussion of potential solutions with King Milling, Laidig ultimately provided the answer with a dual truck drive-through Model 5330 Cone-Bottom Reclaimers system. This fully automated, hydraulically powered reclaim system, could provide for millfeed loadouts six times faster than the previous fixes King Milling had utilized. Through King Milling’s partnership with Laidig Systems, for a custom-engineered design solution, they have been able to successfully exceed their goals of speed, space and quality.

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