Bühler could not complain about attendance at its booth at Victam International held in Cologne, Germany. Hourly presentations and explanations on the new Kubex T direct drive pellet mill attracted large crowds. AllAboutFeed also awarded the pellet mill with the Silver Innovation Award.
The new Kubex T pellet mill takes the successful foundation of the previous Kubex to a new dimension, driving it to an even more efficient and powerful level. Between 15-25% less energy consumption, high production capacities of up to 80 t/h (poultry feed, 4mm) and a customer driven design are the result of extensive research and development by Bühler in cooperation with leading feed millers.The new motor and direct drive mechanism are a major factor in the efficiency of the new pellet mill. It is the first machine in the feed pelleting industry that is designed without a gearbox or V-belts. Instead the motor is directly connected to the main drive shaft and the dies, thus reducing transmission losses. The absence of gearbox and belts limits the need for costly and time-consuming maintenance processes, eliminating down time and reducing operating costs. An integrated closed-circuit water cooling system, and an automated central lubrication system with monitoring of the main bearing, motor bearing and press rolls mean that the drive of the pellet mill is essentially maintenance-free.
The direct drive also offers another important advantage: the circumferential die speed can be adjusted during the production process. This means that the mill can be adjusted to suit any feed formulation, in many cases without requiring a change of the die.
Customer driven design
Developed in close cooperation with leading feed millers, Bühler intended to set a new benchmark for accessibility, hygiene and ease of operation. Wear parts such as dies, press rolls and shear pins can quickly and easily be replaced, thanks to two large sliding doors that provide access to the slightly pressurised motor compartment along the whole length of the machine, which prevents dust settlements in critical areas.Access to the die fittings is not from the pelleting chamber, where there could be a build-up of feed mash, but from the motor compartment. As a result the screw fittings remain clean and easily accessible, while their clever design significantly reduces the time needed for die changes. The 1,200 mm die of the largest model Kubex T12 can be changed in less than 90 minutes. Another new development is the ABS control for the press rolls, preventing roll slippage and thus protecting the machine against blockages and equipment damage.
The Kubex T is a sturdy piece of machinery. The motor and the body are mounted on a solid cast metal base, and the resulting stability is very noticeable when the pellet mill is running. There are virtually no vibrations and it is also practically silent – the motor is noiseless and the only evidence that the machine is working are the sounds of the cooling system and the patter of the feed mash against the pelleting chamber door. With its direct drive, continuously variable die speeds and quiet, low-vibration running, the mill is a genuine all-rounder. It can handle even hard-to-pelletise raw materials with high fat or fibre content without any problems, and effortlessly delivers a constant stream of pellets of the required quality.
What is also noticeable is the size of the machine. Even with a large output of 80 t/h the machine has a small footprint. The T12 is the most powerful model with power of up to 585 kW and 1,200 mm die diameter, delivering high pelleting performance of up to 80 tonnes/hour. The smaller version T9 comes with motor power of up to 410 kW and a 900 mm die, suitable for production capacities of up to 50 t/h. The pellet mill fits the exact space requirements of every feed mill due to its small footprint in length, width and especially height. In existing feed mills, line capacity expansion is made possible without costly building and process modification works.
In addition to the new award winning pellet mill Bühler also introduced a new hammermill at Victam International, the Granulex, which has a capacity of grinding up to 75 t/h (400 kW and 118 m/s tipspeed). Bühler claims the largest screen area of any 400 kW hammer mill, which reduces the wear of screens and hammers. It is equipped with smooth sliding doors. Once inside the grinding chamber, the fragmented rotor and user-friendly hammer bar locking enable fast and easy change of the hammers. The user-friendly screen clamping mechanism allows for quick and easy screen change as well. Ultimately this means that the screens and hammers can be changed by one person in just 30 minutes.The closed machine housing and rounded design of the machine minimises dust zones, while the plain surfaces ensure easy cleaning.