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The secret behind cleaning grain with indent cylinder machines


Written By: Roy Ritchie, Grain Cleaning DivisionAug 22, 2012

The indent cylinder machine is designed primarily to separate grain by kernel length. It separates long kernels from shorter ones. The cylinder itself is a thin-walled tube with indents formed on the inside to the shape of a hemisphere. These indents are known as pockets.

By using indent pocket size, the kernels that fit into the pocket are lifted up and dropped into a trough that runs the entire length of the cylinder, while the longer kernels slide off and tail out the end. Indent pocket sizes are measured in 64ths of an inch similar to screen sizes used on screen machines. These cylinders are case hardened to give them a longer life span. Cylinders not hardened would wear out very quickly.

The cylinder always lifts up the shorter product that fits into the pocket and always tails off longer kernel; shorter from longer! A smaller pocket like a #13 will lift small weeds like buckwheat while tailing out wheat, while a larger pocket like a # 20 will lift wheat and tail out wild oats. Using combinations of different indent pocket sizes can do very fine separations of these products.

Indents use a combination of pocket size, centrifugal force, friction and gravity to make separations possible. By using different pocket sizes, particles of a certain size are able to be lifted off. The speed that the cylinder turns creates friction and centrifugal force that hold the particle in place. As the cylinder turns, that particle is lifted to a point where gravity takes over and allows the kernel to fall into a collection trough.

Speed of the cylinder is critical: too fast and the kernel is carried too far; too slow and gravity drops the product before reaching the collection trough.  Usually indent speeds are between 42 and 58 RPM. One or two RPMs can make a huge difference in separation and capacity.

The receiving trough catches and carries the lifted kernel to the end of the machine and discharges them into a spout. This trough is adjustable in order to make the cut or separation at the exact point of the particle size variation desired. The separation of the products usually happens between 60 and 45 degrees ahead of top dead centre.

Due to the fact that various seeds have different moisture, surface conditions, and specific gravity it is important to be able to hold the cylinder at a constant speed. Any fluctuations in speed will affect the actual trough adjustment and therefore the separations.

While feed flow and constant cylinder speed are critical, the unit is no better than the person running it. If you take time to understand the operation of the unit and allow a reasonable time after making adjustments you will find that the indent cylinder, regardless of make will do a good job for you. It will do this with minimal attention and service for a long period of time.

We at Flaman have several models and makes of indents available for sale. We are here to help.

This is one man’s opinion...

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with grain cleaning indent cylinder grain kernel Flaman grain sorting | More articles by Roy Ritchie

Operation of a Air Screen Grain Cleaner


Written By: Roy Ritchie, Grain Cleaning SalesJan 27, 2012

Operation of an Air and Screen

As the name implies, air screen machines use a combination of suction air that is drawn through the curtain of grain as it falls from the hopper onto a series of screens. The screens then size the product by width of the kernel, and a final air suction process is used.

With an air screen, the grain is fed onto the screens by either a vibrating feed system or by using a metered feed roll. In either case a feed gate controls the flow and an even flow is given to the machine. Making sure there is an even flow is critical to the quality of the job to be done.

As the grain falls from the feed system onto the screens, there is a process by which air is drawn through the curtain of grain. By doing so, light grain, chaff and dirt are drawn off the product before the grain touches the screens. The air mixed with dirt etc. is drawn into an expansion chamber where the chaff etc. separate and the heavy material is augured out. This process is the first thing that happens and it is also the last process as the grain leaves the machine. Increasing or decreasing the air volume allows the operator to decide how much product he wishes to remove.

Screens size the kernels by width. A system of screens removes any product that is wider than the kernel chosen [scalping], or narrower than the product chosen [sifting]. Screens are generally measured in 64ths of an inch, For example a 5.5 round would be a sifting screen for flax and would be 5 and ½ 64ths of an inch in diameter.

There are several types of screens available in perforated steel. Round hole, slotted hole, and triangular hole are the ones generally used for grain cleaning. There are also a variety of wire mesh screens available for special use. The type of grain dictates the type of screen.

We at Flaman have over 100 years of combined experience in screens, over 55 sizes of screen material in stock, and are dedicated to offering our customers top notch service.

This is one man’s point of view…

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with Grain Cleaning and Handling air screen grain cleaner sieve sift scalf | More articles by Roy Ritchie

What is Ergot?


Written By: Roy Ritchie, Grain Cleaning SalesDec 12, 2011

Ergot is a type of fungus that grows on many grasses, rye, wheat, barley, and triticale.It infects the floret of the grass or cereal and mimics the process of pollinated grain growing on the plant. On ergot infected plants, a spore destroys the ovary, and then connects to the plant by attaching itself to the plant’s seed nutrition system. An infected floret can also infect other florets by insect dispersal of the asexual spores. That means that an insect can carry millions of the spores to other plants in the region. When mature ergot drops to the ground the fungus remains dormant until proper conditions trigger its fruiting phase, germinate and re-infest an area.

Ergot is toxic. Infestations in the grain can cause spontaneous abortions in people and animals, as well as some very unpleasant symptoms. It can cause irrational behavior, seizures, convulsions, unconsciousness, even death. This explains why there is almost zero tolerance for ergot in grain for sale. Much of the grain should not even be fed to animals. Point zero one [.01%] percent is all that is allowed for a #1 specification.

Ergot has infected a wide area in Saskatchewan and Alberta over the last few years. Some places have had the infestation 3 or more years in a row with various areas having ergot at 0.7% and higher. It is getting worse. My personal belief is that it is here to stay. Some years will be better than others but it will always be a market factor. Plant scientists don’t even have a straight answer to this problem. There is a wide difference of opinion. Maybe a prolonged dry spell will reduce the amount but as soon as it rains at the right time again we are back to ergot woes.

This is only one man’s opinion…
Next installment, how do we proceed? Colour Sorters vs. Gravity Tables.  

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with Grain Cleaning and Handling Colour Sorter Ergot | More articles by Roy Ritchie