Pelletisers and Pelletiser Plants: A Brief Break Down
When purchasing a pellet, one does not often think about the process that created the pellet. However, the industry of pelletising is extremely large and complex. In this article, we will discuss pelletisers and pelletiser plants. We will delve into what pelletising is, the equipment needed to start a pelletiser plant and where to find the machinery that is needed.
Pelletising refers to the compression of raw material into a pellet. This process is utilised in many industries and for a multitude of materials. Some of the materials that can be pelletised include iron, wood, grain, animal feed, and pharmaceutical products. Pelletising is predominantly performed to facilitate the easy storage and transportation of products.
Pelletisers are largely used within the agricultural industry in South Africa, from turning grain into animal feed to creating fertilisers, it is performed at a large scale. Pelletising has been found to drastically reduce waste which is why it has become so popular. It is also much easier to weigh than raw materials making it easier to work with.
If you are looking into setting up a pelletiser plant there are a few things you will need to ensure you have everything you need to store, cool, and create a high-quality pellet. Some of the equipment you will need for pelletising grain includes:
- Pellet Storage Bins: A pellet storage bin is predominantly used to ensure that the pellets don't experience contamination from the mixing to pelleting phase. Contamination can ruin an entire batch of pellets and consequently be the cause of a financial drain. A good pellet storage bin will also increase productivity, while reducing labour and electricity costs.
- Pellet Coolers: It is vital to have a pellet cooler as warm pellets retain more moisture. This ultimately leads to the pellet decomposing or crumbling and drastically reduces shelf-life. A pellet cooler will typically be utilised before the bagging process so that the pellet is bagged directly after cooling.
When considering a pelletiser for feed there are two high-quality options that are recommended. These pelletisers are known as a Ring Die Pelletiser and a Flat Die Pelletiser.
A ring die pelletiser makes use of two rollers. These rollers support a cylindrical-shaped die through which the feed/pellets are extruded. This pelletiser is fitted with a variable speed screw conveyor that is controlled via a sensitive inverter. This inverter essentially controls the rate at which the machine is fed. A large agitating feed bin is also connected to this conveyor. This machine has a high rotational rate and a low wear rate on all of the parts that make up the machine. All of these components result in a high-quality pellet product.
This pelletiser comes in a variety of sizes depending on the scale of the operation.
The feed is extruded through a flat round die on a flat die pelletiser. The inlet on these pelletisers are large and are gravity fed; thus, there is slightly less control than one would experience with the ring die pelletiser. A flat die pelletiser is however much more efficient at processing difficult materials. The machine is very durable and not extremely sensitive to overloading. The rollers on this machine do rotate slower than those on the ring die pelletiser.
When starting a pelletiser plant training is of the utmost importance. You could have the best equipment available but if the operators of the machinery aren't properly educated on how to use them, and the maintenance team does not know how to maintain them correctly, they will go to waste.
Drosky is a company that specialises in peletiser plants. They sell the equipment needed to start a pelletiser plant and provide training as well as support when starting and running a pelletisier plant. Visit the AgrifoodSA directory to find out more about Drosky and how they can help you with your pelletiser plant.