How the separator works
Most agricultural enterprises need farm machinery to ensure yield and bring the product to a state suitable for further sale or processing. Modern grain separators can meet the needs of farmers for cleaning and sorting the harvested crop.
What is a grain separator?
It is a device (machine) used for separation (from Latin "dissociation"). This process is necessary for cleaning and sorting (grading) the harvested crop. Depending on separator settings, it is possible to sort the product according to size, density, weight and other parameters. A combine is able to perform primary cleaning during grain harvesting, while separator is required for further processing (in some cases it is used as a separate device, while in others it goes as part of the ZAV grain-cleaning complex). It helps to arrange quality processing and to divide the collected sheaf into:
- food grain;
- seed material;
There are simple and complex models that differ in size and functionality. Depending on the final purpose and type of material being processed, one of the following types of separators can be chosen:
- sieve separator;
- air separator;
- indented cylinder separator;
- aspiration separator;
- aerodynamic separator.
To bring together the advantages of several types of separators, they can be combined into a ZAV grain-cleaning complex.
ASM grain separator
The Aerodynamic Separating Machine (ASM) is one of the most in-demand types of modern separators. This equipment allows for primary and secondary processing of products, based on the weight of a grain crop unit.
- bunker (supplies material for processing);
- separating chamber (for cleaning process);
- sorting containers.
The sheaf gets into the bunker, where, under the gravity force, it goes down and enters the separating chamber through the impeller. After filtering and immediately separating heavy impurities (like gravel), it falls into the first sorting container. The grain continues to go down under the air flow, divided into seeding and production forage and separated from the light impurities (see figure).
Only one run is enough to clean the crop properly and divide it into three main fractions. This type of equipment perfectly manages the work intended for a number of other separator types (sieve, air, etc.).
High performance, easy handling and maximum efficiency are the main advantages of all ASM models.
Starting grain separator
Cleaning the crops with ASM grain separators
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of separation for any harvested agricultural crop. The harvested material contains about 20% of impurities, which should be separated before using the crop for industrial and other purposes.
Using ASM it is possible to clean the sheaf of the following types of impurities:
- Organic. Husk, weeds, straw, remains of insects, etc. They not only have no nutritional value (both for animals and cattle), but also can be dangerous to health. In addition, some organic impurities may not have the best effect on the seed material, impairing the seed viability. This category includes spoiled raw materials, which are also subject to separation - damaged crops, insect spoilage, sprouted grain, etc.
- Mineral. Sand, dust, gravel and other heavy impurities. They not only can affect and worsen the nutritional value of the processed product, but can also cause malfunctions or breakdowns of other equipment, for example, grain grinders.
- Androgenic. This kind includes all the other wastes found on the fields, for example, wind-borne paper, packing film, etc. (any life wastage products). Even the most well-managed fields are not always protected from androgenic wastes on seeded areas.
It should be noted that during ASM separation the products get rid of excess moisture, along with the calibration and cleaning. Since the level of moisture, as well as impurities, is regulated by the standards of Ukraine, it is important to obtain raw materials of the necessary humidity after separation (for example, grain moisture for cattle feeding and seeding should not exceed 18%).
The process and importance of cleaning the agricultural crops with ASM grain separators will become more obvious if we have a closer look at it in the context of each of the types of products.
Sunflower seeds purification
In our country, the sunflower is the most popular oilseed culture and it accounts annually no less than 70% of the crop areas. But the harvest (the heap) does not meet the requirements for humidity and purity. ASM devices allow you to:
All these operations can be performed in a single run, which allows reducing the time and increasing the efficiency of post-harvest processing of sunflower.
Each stage has its own characteristics and is necessary for certain purposes:
- Purification. Makes it possible to separate the seed from all types of impurities. Accurate purification increases the efficiency of using the maximum capacity of the material from the harvested crop – sunflower seeds for feed and industrial purposes, husks and immature fruits to produce briquettes of bio-fuel. Depending on the selected mode of ASM operation, primary and secondary purification can be carried out, based on the values of specific weight units of a culture. The air stream in the chamber effectively separates the heavy and light impurities from a pure culture.
- Calibration. The gross mass is divided by weight into 4 calibers – 42; 40+; 36, 38, 40 (these calibers are known as confectionary caliber) and the seed of a length of more than 12 mm. Each of the calibers is used further with certain objectives, for example, for processing into oil, for producing confectionery and other gastronomic products, as foods for animals, for sowing, etc. The ASM devices are calibrated with high accuracy (±3 %), which allows for further processing and sales of max usable seeds.
- Drying. The intensity of warm air flow in ASM is enough to carry out the drying of seeds for achieving the regulated standards. Sunflower can be considered a perishable product, while achieving a certain percentage of humidity allows for longer storage before use without losing the taste and other qualities of the product. In a single run, the average humidity level is reduced by 2%.
The ASM gratingless system does not damage the seeds during processing in any of the program modes. This can ensure obtaining the maximum of the useful product from the harvested crop.
Pea belongs to grain legume crops. It requires special attention not only to quality but also to the efficiency of cleaning. Due to its very high absorptive capacity, the fruit may absorb moisture contained in the pile of weeds or accidentally hit other crops.
Depending on the variety (sugar and shelling), processing and calibration will take place according to different principles. ASM allows carrying out the separation of any of the varieties of peas by means of preliminary, primary and secondary processing:
- Preliminary. Large and gross impurities are removed. It is recommended to use this type of purification for the processing of the heap with a share of the weed of 10-15% or more and a moisture content of 20-22% or more.
- Primary. Small and light impurities are removed. It is recommended for performing the product purification. At this stage food and seed peas is separated from crushed grains and other organic impurities.
- Secondary. Required for separating planting (seed) peas. ASM allows separating seeds from the total number with a germination rate up to 98%.
To implement high-quality purification, several aerodynamic separators can be used or multiple runs on the same machine with settings change can be performed. It is recommended to make two runs to ensure not only qualitative cleaning but also a more accurate calibration.
Soy – is a very popular leguminous crop, used in a gastronomical, feed and industrial purposes. It accounts for the largest share of acreage in the world. The most difficult stage is the post-harvest processing – soft shell, high oiliness, and the need to preserve the integrity of each product unit require the gentlest cleaning methods.
ASM separators have a special mode for processing soy. Thus, after cleaning, whole and unaffected fruits are delivered to storage. This allows you to extend the shelf life (broken and damaged soy beans are prone to fungi).
Due to the qualitative calibration, it is possible to sort the fruits into fractions for further processing, use and sowing.
Corn is of great importance and value for many processing industries. At the same time, grains of a certain size and excellent quality (without impurities) must be used for processing. This is why three main steps are important for post-harvest processing:
Purification. Removal of large, heavy, small, light, organic and mineral impurities. In addition, the plumb line is subject to sick, underdeveloped, damaged and spoiled grains.
Calibration. Allows you to divide the corn by weight and size. Such an efficient sorting can increase the cost of the whole batch, due to the realization of different grain sizes at different prices.
Drying. The excessive humidity of the fruit can lead to rapid damage during storage. Reducing the amount of moisture will prolong the shelf life and protect the crop from decay.
ASM devices perfectly cope with all the necessary stages of cleaning and calibration. One or two runs will yield perfect industrial, feed and seed material at the outlet. Gentle processing with the ASM prevents corn spoilage at all stages of cleaning.
Rapeseed, as a grain crop, has been growing in popularity over the last several decades. It is actively used to make inexpensive mass and is also suitable to feed cattle.
To ensure that the valuable properties of the seeds meet the declared standards and are suitable for further processing, it is necessary to take purification and sorting measures.
The efficiency of the ASM separators is to simultaneously clean and calibrate the harvest after cropping. In parallel with the removal of all types of impurities, sorting of the crop by size and quality takes place. Thus, even in one run, you can get production, feed and sowing raw materials.
Millet is used for gastronomical and feed purposes. The main task of cleaning heaps of millet is to identify the most suitable grains for sowing and to extend the shelf life. To do this, the harvested crop should be properly separated from all kinds of impurities, calibrated and dried.
To implement all these types of processing, three different types of equipment or just one ASM separator can be used. Based on the aerodynamic principle of action, this device calibrates the grains according to the main index – the specific weight. In one run, you can immediately purify, calibrate and dry (reduce humidity by 2%) millet.
After processing, the heap is divided into:
- sowing material;
- food grain;
- light impurities;
- heavy impurities.
Unlike many crops, rice is used in both purified and unpurified form. This requires proper equipment and processing modes. The quality and duration of storage of the harvested crop will depend on the quality of the complete or partial cleaning.
The stage of rice purification begins after pre-drying (it is grown in conditions of high humidity). Depending on the processing targets, the corresponding mode of ASM separator is selected. After the rice batch is delivered for processing, simultaneous purification, calibration and additional dehumidification are taking place. As a result, not only food raw materials, but also the sowing material is obtained.
The purification principle is based on the impact of warm air, which, unlike mechanical sorting, for example, using lattice separators, does not spoil the integrity of rice and allows processing of any of its varieties.
Proper grain purification affects the quality of the final product to be sold and used. The absence of impurities and availability of one-caliber grains increases the cost and makes it possible to obtain the sowing material with the greatest possible germination.
Proper grain purification should take place in three stages:
Preliminary. It is important to maintain the right timing - this type of processing should begin no later than a day after harvesting (otherwise the nutritional value and quality will decrease, and grain may begin to germinate). At this stage, large impurities of different origin are separated.
Primary. It is aimed at removing most of the impurities (no more than 3-4% thereof is remained) and drying (up to 18%).
Secondary. Final purification and calibration of grains by size. At this final stage, all foreign impurities, as well as underdeveloped, crushed, diseased and damaged grains are removed. The grains suitable for use are sorted out.
The ASM gratingless aerodynamic separator perfectly copes with the processing of grain at all stages. Its main feature is the simultaneous performing of three operations at once – purification, calibration and drainage. This allows using only one device instead of three types of technologies.
Advantages of using ASM separators
- Additional waste bunker (open the shutter outside working hours).
- Loading bunker (complete with a dust flue).
- Air outlets.
- Aspiration chamber cover.
- Power supply unit.
- ASM separator.
- Aspiration chamber.
- Power supply cabinet.
- Grain feeder complete with a dust flue.
- Clean regularly.
The advantages of ASM aerodynamic separators may include the following facts:
- Reliability. Only the best materials are used for this simple and high-quality assembly, ensuring its reliability and durability (with proper use, according to recommendations and with regular maintenance).
- Economical efficiency. ASM is able to replace several separators of other types due to combining the features of crop cleaning, calibration and drying.
- Productivity. May change depending on the model – the most powerful ASMs can process up to 200 tons of grain per hour.
- Multi-purpose design. One ASM can be used for post-harvest processing of almost all grain and grain legume crops (most analogs are designed for processing only one crop).
- Efficiency. The germination of crops obtained after cleaning and calibration equals to 98% and less.
- Delicate impact. The design of this device allows keeping the processed grains undamaged even after the second run or even after.
The possibility of using ASM aerodynamic separators in ZAV complexes can be considered as another advantage.
Soy is a very popular grain legume crop used as food, fodder or industrial material. It is grown in the largest share of crop area in the world.
The most difficult stage of soy harvesting is a post-harvest processing - its soft shell, high oiliness and the need to preserve the integrity of each product piece require the most delicate cleaning methods.
ASM separators have a special mode for soy processing. Thus, the whole and undamaged beans can be delivered to storage after cleaning. This also allows extending the storage time (broken and damaged soy beans are prone to fungus attacks).
Due to the proficient calibration, it is possible to sort the beans into fractions for further processing, use and seeding.