Components of Feed Mill Equipment
The main components of feed mill equipment in the feed pellet plant consists of feed grinding machine, feed mixing machine, feed pellet machine, feed pellets cooling machine and feed pellets packing machine. The auxiliary feed mill equipment is conveying machine, control cabinet, storage bins, dust collector, fire protection equipment and so on.
Basic Feed Mill Equipment Operations
Basic feed mill equipment operations for making animal or poultry feed pellets include Raw Material Receiving, Grinding, Batching, Mixing, Pelleting, Cooling, Sifting, Packaging and Warehousing.
Raw material receiving
Feed mills are usually equipped to receive both rail and truck delivery of grains and other ingredients. Ingredients like meat, fish meal, fat, molasses and premixes are delivered by truck, whereas grains and soybean meal are usually delivered by rail. Dry ingredients are received either in bulk or in bags; liquid ingredients like fat and molasses are pumped directly into storage tanks within the feed mill; bulk grain and other ingredients are conveyed by the conveyor or bucket elevator to the cleaner to remove the nonmetalic foreign material and tramp metal and then are stored in the storage bins.
Whole grains need to be ground by the feed hammer mill before mixing with other feed ingredients.
According to the feed formulation, various feed ingredients need to be weighed by the batch scale quantitatively. The quantities of various ingredients fed into the scale hopper are controlled form central control panels manually or automatically.
Each batch of feed ingredients are mixed in the feed mixing machine uniformly. Mixing time depends on the feed formulation and the characteristics of feed ingredients and feed mixing machine.
The uniformly blended feed ingredients are fed into the feed pellet machine. The pelleting process involves several steps. Firstly, the mixed ingredients are fed into the pellet mill feeder which is used to control the rate at which the ingredients is delivered to the feed pelleting equipment; secondly, the dry mixed materials and added steam are blended together in the conditioner to make a wet mash and then sent to the pelleting chamber by gravity or a forced feeder system; in the pelleting chamber, the hot moist mash are pushed through the pellet mill die and converted into pellet size and shape.
Cooling and sifting
The hot feed pellets are fed into the pellet cooling machine by gravity to get durable and hard pellets. Cooled pellets flow directly to the screening machine for scalping the pelleted mash and fines.
Packing and warehousing
Finished feed pellets are weighed, packaged and sealed by the pellets packing machine and then moved to the warehouse.
Feed Mill Equipment Maintenance
Proper feed mill equipment maintenance can improve feed quality and operational efficiency, reduces the likelihood of feed contamination. Maintenance of feed mill equipment can be divided into four different types: routine maintenance, emergency maintenance, call-in maintenance, and preventive maintenance.
Routine maintenance should be done on a scheduled basis. This may consist of lubrication of bearings, replacing wearing spare parts of feed mill equipment such as replacing hammer mill screens or pellet mill die of pellet mill, and checking oil levels in gear boxes.
Emergency maintenance means reacting to unscheduled breakdowns and must be done immediately .
Call-in maintenance usually involves an emergency situation where the people required are not at hand and must be summoned from somewhere else.
Preventive maintenance consists of scheduled inspections and making adjustments and repairs to feed mill equipment, such as the replacement of worn parts prior to failure, based on observed conditions or known useful life spans, to make sure it is in proper working order.