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Troubleshooting The Pelleting Process: Part 1

John D. Payne
Borregaard Ligno Tech
UK

Introduction

The benefits of producing good quality pellets are well documented and accepted. This paper will deal specifically with production matters and pelleting technique to position the nutritionist and mill manager to meet the ever increasing demand from livestock producers for supply of consistently good quality pellets.

The “Troubleshooting” strategy will be to investigate the major factors which influence pellet quality and production efficiency, i.e., feed formulation, specific power consumption (pellet press) and conditioning, which also includes grinding, as grinding is the first stage of conditioning. In so doing, we will discuss the variability of raw materials, their effect on pellet quality, and learn how to calculate “Feed Quality Factors” such that “Pelletability” of feed formulations can be predicted prior to production. This, together with specific knowledge of your process plant and application of lignin technology, will enable pelleting techniques to be developed so that pellet quality, production rate and profitability can be maximized.

What Is A Pellet Quality/Production Rate Problem?

A pellet quality problem is that which occurs when pellet durability falls below your level of acceptability. A production rate problem is that which occurs when it falls below your level of acceptability relative to pellet quality and design capacity. Level of acceptability varies from country to country, region to region, depending on a number of factors, e.g., technical production ability, feed raw materials and market pressures. However, “Better pellet quality… better overall efficiency” is widely accepted, particularly by integrated feed producers, but on a practical basis, it will probably be the market place which dictates the level of pellet quality for non-integrated companies. Thus, you must first establish your company’s level of pellet quality acceptability and aim to maintain it within a close tolerance.

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