Great interest in the presentation shown to the GRAPAS and Global Milling Conference. Our area manager Luigi Caterina illustrated the results of the Ocrim R&D Department on the use of titanium rolls: the high resistance to wear guarantees excellent performance in terms of economic savings, lower maintenance costs and greater plant yield.

The Victam International 2019 exhibition (12-14 June) has just ended. An edition filled with innovations, business matchmaking, new investment ideas and scientific research that has hosted visitors from all over the world, from the Middle East to Canada, from Eastern Europe to China. Our area manager Luigi Caterina, as a spokesperson, was one of the protagonists of the GRAPAS and Global Milling Conference by presenting one of Ocrim recent technological innovations: the innovative titanium rolls. A concrete demonstration of how research in the food technology industry is improving yield at an accelerated rate. Let’s see in detail what it is.

Ocrim has studied and designed the best way to optimise and enhance the mill’s operation, linked to the performance of the roller mills, in order to optimise both time and maintenance costs. This led Ocrim to focus on the grinding rolls, designing a solution that would produce as many benefits as possible for the user, adopting, for this purpose, titanium-coated rolls for the fluted passages in the grinding process. Ocrim R&D department carefully studied the results related to the titanium coating of the rolls in order to share with its customers the important opportunities that this product can offer. In flour milling, wheat grains are crushed to obtain flour and semolina due to a combined action involving grain cutting and its compression.

The diagrammatic study to obtain the best possible yield from the plant is strongly affected by the state of the fluting of the mill rolls. With new fluting it’s possible to obtain the nominal yield of the plant because it is in the best conditions to achieve what is envisaged by the diagram, therefore it is crucial that the profile of the roll fluting is maintained for as long as possible. The grinding rolls are all made of chilled-iron cast alloy with different hardness, according to the requirements or the technological diagram. The duration of the rolls is thus directly dependent on its hardness. The fluting of a cast iron roll is preserved and, therefore, maintains its characteristics for longer when the roll has high hardness values (e.g. 530 HB).

Following several research study, laboratory test and field tests Ocrim R&D department has achieved that the application of a special titanium coating for the corrugated rolls causes a considerable increase in the surface hardness values and consequently increases the duration of the fluting over time, to keep the ideal configuration of the plant as unaltered as possible. It is fair to say that, given the low thickness of the coating, one cannot talk about the hardness of the roll, but of the surface hardness of the roll (microhardness), which reaches the significant value of 2200 HV, four times higher than the hardness of the commonly used traditional rolls, which can reach up to 560 HV (in the best cases). The titanium coating, protecting the points of greater operation/pressure, ensures greater resistance to wear, while in the other points it maintains its characteristics, providing protection against oxidation and reducing the surface friction of the product. The benefits deriving from this solution are so substantial: savings in terms of maintenance costs (an average duration of about 3 years with no maintenance); fewer plant stops to change rolls; lower costs for the renewal of fluting and/or the purchase of new rolls and, above all, better milling plant performance.

The Ocrim titanium-coated rolls are already fully in production and on the market. Many customers have already tried out them in their plants with complete satisfaction thanks to performance that exceeds expectations, even better than the results recorded during the tests.