• 12 October 2021 •
• 17 September 2021 •
• 31 August 2021 •
• 17 September 2021 •
Pietro Barbalarga, partner and Sales Manager of Omas Industries since 2003.
WHAT IS FLEXY MILL?
Flexy Mill is a dream that started 30 years ago when my father would make me work at the mill during the summer holidays. Back then, I got into grain milling, but I also learned how little flexible the machines were. I had to repeat the recipes over and over. I wanted to increase the yield and quality of the products. But how?
The existing rolling mills allowed me to vary the distance between feed rolls but not measure the pressure between them. How could I measure pressure? How could I increase the amount of flour? All these difficulties made me think about a new milling concept.
OMAS is where simple ideas take shape, thanks to the company’s passion for innovation and the synergy between people with different backgrounds. Leonardo is the world’s first roller mill featuring independent speed feed rollers and a pressure indicator (in kg) between them.
Leonardo has revolutionised the milling world.
The torque motors allow us to vary the cylinders’ speed. This means that we can adjust the cutting intensity on the starch molecules in a few seconds or switch from Sharp to Sharp configuration to a Dull to Dull. This way, we can obtain different products from the same grain or process different grains without modifying the mill’s configuration.
Since 2015, when Leonardo was launched, both Omas and the Flexy Mill concept have evolved. Today, this machine represents the future. We don’t just provide machines. We provide a production process that improves the plant’s efficiency by optimising yield and quality and reducing errors and waste. We started with a machine, and now we want to achieve a Factory 4.0 system that meets our clients’ needs, i.e.:
- Reducing operating costs
- Improving plant flexibility to make different products
In brief, we combined innovation, market trends and our experience to create this technology that is changing the milling industry.
Can you give us a few practical examples of the Flexy Mill concept?
The first Flexy Mill, a multi-grain mill, will go into production very soon in Paris. This machine will mill durum wheat, soft wheat, spelt, barley, rye, and other alternative grains, each one with its flour and application.
In Vietnam, we created a gluten-free plant dedicated to corn and rice semolina. By inverting the speed, you can switch to a rear-rear configuration to produce chickpea and pea flours.
Recently, we’ve obtained excellent results by applying Flexy in the production of raw materials for pasta makers. In Africa, for example, pasta is essentially made with soft wheat flour, and only a part of it (15-20%) is of the best quality with durum wheat semolina. That’s why two mills, one for soft wheat and the other for durum wheat, were necessary. At least up to now. FLEXY mill allows us to mill both durum and soft wheat in one plant to meet the demanding requirements of pasta makers. The results exceeded our expectations. Not only we reduced investment costs, since now we need only one mill, but we also obtained pasta of excellent quality.
Recently, the Flexy concept has also been applied for cleaning wheat. Various tests proved how a small change to the wheat cleaning procedure could optimise the final yield of flour, which can increase up to 1%. Today, Omas’ Extraction Booster is an excellent solution for improving existing mills with an immediate return on investment.
Choosing a Flexy plant provides numerous benefits in terms of offering and investments:
- Less space used for producing more products (you need one mill instead of two);
- Energy saving, thanks to the KERS patent, which regenerates unused energy through cylinder rotation, thus reducing the demand for electricity upstream. As a result, even environmental impact in terms of CO2 is reduced;
- No belts and pulleys, meaning increased safety, reduced maintenance, and machine downtime;
- Roller mills come with installed motors. This means reduced construction time and installation and structural costs.
What does OMAS have in store for Flexy Mill in the near future?
We have stepped into a new world, where unique machines control every parameter. Therefore, we want to introduce a series of automatic adjustments that allow us to manage the milling process also in Energy Saver, Regular, and High-Performance modes.
The pandemic will change our habits for good. That’s why Omas is developing a remote support platform that will allow us to control the mill’s operation and performance anywhere in the world.
We at Omas are aware that the milling industry will be crucial for the world’s global food supply because of the need to find alternative proteins that ensure lower environmental impact and because of the population growth that will reach 8.5 billion in 2030.
That’s why innovation drives our choices and inspires us to continuously change the rules, experiment, and improve.