Buhler debuts Polaris purified as part of new milling series

by Eric Schroeder
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UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — The Buhler Grain Milling business unit introduced the Polaris purifier as part of its new milling series that includes the Sirius plansifter and Antares roller at the IPACK/IMA trade show, which was held March 24-28 in Milan. Buhler said the purifier offers higher throughput capacity, improved sanitation and maximum product safety.

Over the past two years, the Buhler Grain Milling business unit redesigned and updated its core machines for the grinding process from scratch. The company noted this all started in 2007 with the completely revised Sirius plansifter and was followed a year ago by the modernized Antares roller mill.

In the processing of wheat and corn, the purifier is a key piece of equipment. It purifies and grades semolina and middlings in durum, soft wheat and corn mills. Buhler said it took approximately three years to develop the new Polaris (MQRG) purifier. During this period, Urs Zwahlen, engineer, and his team updated the predecessor model MQRF from scratch, of which about 5,000 machines are in service worldwide.

"In-depth basic studies and extended flow tests enabled us to sharply increase the throughput capacity, to further improve the product safety and process reliability, and to optimize sanitation," Mr. Zwahlen said. "We also gave our new purifier a design that reduces maintenance and increases its ease of operation."

Visually, the ergonomical design is modeled after that of the new Antares roller mill.

Buhler said a key feature of the Polaris purifier is its increased throughput capacity. With its sieve width extended by 60 to 520 millimeters — with its former sieve length of 4 times 500 millimeters being retained — the Polaris boasts a greatly increased useful screen area, according to Buhler. Despite the increase, the Polaris does not take up more space than its predecessor. The new purifier is also available as a compact, space-saving double-deck machine.

In addition to the increased screen area, Buhler said the air flow inside the new machine was optimized.

"We spent a lot of time researching the air flows and material streams," Mr. Zwahlen said. "In particular the air flow simulations on the PC revealed new approaches. Our calculations then showed us that the new flow conditions in conjunction with the screen width of 520 millimeters provide an optimal space-to-throughput yield. Moreover, the reliable material feed and the pre-stratification of the material in the inlet maximize the separating efficiency."

The new Polaris purifier achieves a 20% higher throughput than the previous model, Buhler said.

"However, we not only boosted the absolute throughput capacity, but also increased the specific throughput per square centimeter of screen area," said Roman Inauen, the product manager in charge. "Our new purifier embodies the optimum of screen area and throughput capacity, paired with maximum separating efficiency."

Buhler said the Polaris purifier also sets new standards in terms of sanitation and product safety. The company noted that sanitation has been improved by a number of measures.

The Polaris purifier is distinguished by its ergonomic design, its increased throughput capacity, its top sanitation, and its ease of use. All components in contact with the product are made of stainless materials, and the equipment is completely enclosed. Buhler said the purifier satisfies the most rigorous international food standards, and the swing-up air ducts allow easy and efficient cleaning, while the streamlined aspiration system ensures perfectly sanitary conditions. Another feature of the purifier is its impact-resistant and age-resistant inspection windows.

Buhler noted its Polaris purifier also possesses a number of attributes that make it easy to operate and highly economical. In addition to the ergonomic and functional design, the purifier has a user-friendly air control system and integrated LED lighting, which combines energy-saving, optimal screen illumination with a long service life. The maintenance requirement is reduced by the maintenance-free, energy saving drive and the low-maintenance design, which help minimize the downtimes of the machine.


Buhler sales climb 7% in fiscal 2008

UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — The Buhler Technology Group said sales for fiscal 2008 increased by approximately 7% to 1.893 billion Swiss francs ($1.667 billion), while order bookings rose 3% for the year to 1.891 billion Swiss francs. EBITDA also rose, climbing 15% to 195.2 million Swiss francs.

In looking at its business units providing systems and technologies for processing basic foods and grain, Buhler said the units "developed beyond expectations and reached record values." Meanwhile, demand for solutions in Die Casting and Grinding & Dispersion dropped sharply as a result of the slump in the automotive and electronics industries.

The high-margin Customer Service business was once again very successful, Buhler said, growing by a total of 12%. With the exception of Die Casting, all the divisions substantially expanded their service business. Customer services account for more than 20% of the company’s sales.

In line with its long-term strategy, Buhler said it invested approximately 85 million Swiss francs in expanding and updating its global production sites last year and spent about 82 million Swiss francs on research and development.

Buhler said that with its broadly diversified product portfolio, its global presence, and the continuous improvement of its corporate structures and processes, it is well equipped to face the challenges of the future. The solid backlog of orders at the start of the year and the acquisitions made in 2007 and 2008 are expected to support the development of business. Buhler said it assumes that sales revenues in 2009 will shrink by 10% to 15% and the company’s profitability is likely to diminish due to its lower capacity utilization.

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