Hulling made easy: with efficient technology from Bühler

When it comes to producing high-quality delicacies and healthy on-trend products from oat flakes, the technology company Bühler AG likes to roll its sleeves up and get involved. One of the important modules used in this process is the MHSA huller: a high-performance device that separates the oat kernel from the chaff with maximum precision.

High throughput and minimal breakage is the name of the game when it comes to hulling oats and related raw products such as spelt, soy and sunflower seeds. With the MHSA huller, the machine and systems specialist Bühler AG meets this requirement and thus demonstrates its competence as an innovative technology partner to the food industry in this sub-process as well.

Innovation and value creation across the board

Bühler is a Swiss flagship company and is still family-owned. With its outstanding technical expertise and innovative strength, it has earned an excellent reputation among producers in the food industry, the automotive industry and numerous other industries around the globe. In the food sector, Bühler’s strength lies in the fact that its services cover the value chains in their entirety and drive efficiency. The seamless linking of sub-processes and a constant increase in the degree of automation play a central role here. In terms of sustainability, Bühler is pursuing ambitious goals: heavily investing in digitalised solutions is expected to help reduce waste and the consumption of energy and water in customers’ value chains by 50 per cent.

High demands on suppliers

Procurement is of strategic importance at Bühler and is handled via a global supply chain network. In order to be considered, suppliers must share Bühler’s passion for innovation and make a substantial contribution to strengthening Bühler’s competitiveness in global markets by actively participating in development processes. However, a partner’s willingness to offer a little more than expected can also be decisive.

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Lifting unit: the position of the impact ring is checked by the Turck linear position sensor (yellow). The sensor was ATEX-certified specifically for this application.
Vincent Behrens, Project Manager Bühler AG
Vincent Behrens, Project Manager

Flour dust as an explosion risk

Due to the process in which it is used, the MHSA huller operates in a dusty atmosphere. Flour dusts can behave explosively if there is a source of ignition present. Electronic equipment can act as a source of ignition if it does not meet certain constructional requirements. Therefore, the designers needed a non-contact linear position sensor certified for ATEX zone 22. During the procurement process, Project Manager Vincent Behrens found that the majority of sensor suppliers were unable to deliver an ATEX-certified sensor that was within the required price segment.

Bachofen: ready to go the extra mile

Bachofen – a regular supplier to Bühler for many years – brought Turck’s linear position sensor into play. This met the desired performance criteria, but did not have the required ATEX certificates. Bachofen encouraged Turck to do what was needed to obtain the certification even before the order was placed. This went down well with Bühler. Vincent Behrens: «Based on experience from similar projects, the responsible product specialist at Bachofen was able to predict that certification would also be possible for this type of sensor and immediately took steps to make this happen. It was the flexibility, as well as the professional and dedicated advice, that led to success in this project.»