How Particle Analysis Benefits Agricultural Grain Size Analysis
No matter where you are in the world, agriculture is arguably one of the most influential industries as we depend on it daily. Whether it's the eggs and bacon you have for breakfast or the chopped salad you have for dinner, the agricultural industry is responsible for everything we consume.
That said, because the produce is meant for human and animal consumption, manufacturers must implement quality control protocols that are suitable for the mass production of produce. This is where accurate and repeatable Particle Size Analysis results come into play.
But what particle analysis equipment is used to ensure your particles are consistent before being shipped to markets all over the globe?
Known throughout the world as pioneers of particle analysis, W.S. Tyler takes pride in providing its customers with the equipment needed to ensure particle analysis enhances their quality control protocols.
In this article, we will establish:
- How the agricultural industry fits in the world of particle size analysis
- What Particle Analysis equipment is used to check for particle uniformity
- What concerns are associated with the omission of particle size analysis
How Does Particle Size Analysis Benefit the Agricultural Industry?
When it comes to quality control in agriculture, particle size analysis plays an integral role. That said, the screening of produce and grain size distribution stand as the most common ways particle size analysis is applied.
During the initial refining stages, produce, such as wheat and individual kernels of corn, are transferred to a grinding/milling facility to be broken down. To ensure the produce is received well by consumers, farmers and manufacturers employ particle size analysis to ensure a specific level of uniformity is present within any given batch of produce.
A proper particle size analysis process helps to confirm that the grinding equipment is breaking the produce down to the desired size successfully.
However, the production of quality produce starts with the quality of the soil it is planted in. Particle size analysis is used to check that the soil has the right properties.
This includes making sure any fertilizers used meet the required Size Guide Number (SGN).
Does Particle Analysis Affect Livestock?
In the case of livestock agriculture, particle size analysis fuels the research that links the particle size of animal feed to how fast the various animals grow. The results obtained from a thorough particle analysis help farmers regulate the amount and time-intervals in which the animals are fed.
What Particle Size Analysis Equipment Is Used To Facilitate Quality Control in Agriculture?
There are three pieces of particle analysis equipment that are used throughout the agricultural industry to enhance quality control: Vibrating Screen Machines, RO-TAP Sieve Shakers, and the Alpine Air Jet Sieve e200 LS. We will now examine how each instrument plays a role in the particle analysis process.
1. Vibrating Screen Machines
Vibrating screen machines are large screening machines designed to screen particles similarly to a sieve shaker but on a much larger scale. The machine holds several wire cloth vibrating screens that allow for particles, ranging from 6 mesh to 325 mesh, to be separated accurately and efficiently.
The screens feature a unique hook system that enables the machine to use high-frequency vibrations that ensure the particles make their way through the screen by preventing blinding. Available in a square, ton-cap, or ty-rod mesh profile, each vibrating screen can be customized to match the needs of most large-scale screening operations.
When it comes to the agricultural industry, vibrating screens are used after the initial harvesting stages to make sure the particles are of a certain size and consistency before being placed in a milling or processing machine.
2. RO-TAP Sieve Shakers
RO-TAP Sieve Shakers are machines that use a unique motion to guide particles through a test sieve stack. Mechanical sieve shakers use a unique oscillation and tapping motion to promote particle movement whereas electromagnetic sieve shakers use a unique 3D elliptical movement.
Regardless, sieve shakers in particular have proven to provide some of the most reliable particle analysis results. This is why the RO-TAP product line can be traced back to several industry standards.
Sieve shakers are usually employed after the produce has gone through the grinding and processing stages. They provide manufacturers with a particle size distribution curve that indicates whether the particle size of the end product is as it should or not.
To better determine if a RO-TAP sieve shaker can fit your operation, review the article: How To Perform a Test Sieve Analysis (Preparation, Steps, and Tips + Video)
3. Alpine Air Jet Sieve e200 LS
The Alpine Air Jet Sieve e200 LS is a unique system that uses an air jet to create a vacuum. As this vacuum is created, the particles on the sieve slam against the plexiglass lid, separating any agglomerated particles and allowing them to pass through the mesh.
As these units are designed with light particles that often become agglomerated in mind, the Alpine Air Jet Sieve is typically employed after material, such as flour and confectioner’s sugar, has been processed and is too light or agglomerated to be tested with a RO-TAP.
Having said that, these light particles tend to generate a lot of build-up throughout the unit. As a result, lab technicians must implement a regular cleaning schedule.
NOTE: The Alpine Air Jet Sieve e200 LS must undergo calibration annually
To better determine if the Alpine Air Jet Sieve e200 LS can fit your operation, review the article: How to Perform an Air Jet Sieve Analysis (Preparation, Process, and Maintenance).
What Concerns Come With the Omission of Particle Size Analysis?
By failing to implement a reliable means of particle analysis, your end product may potentially fail to meet industry standards and specifications. As the agriculture industry is much like the pharmaceutical industry in the sense that the end product is designed for human consumption, achieving accurate and repeatable particle analysis results is vital.
Having said that, the absence of particle analysis often leads to inconsistencies in the final product. If you are a manufacturer of flour, for example, these inconsistencies can hinder the consumer’s ability to complete a desired recipe, ultimately hurting the reputation and dependability of your brand.
Allow Particle Size Analysis To Enhance the Quality of Your Produce
Particle analysis provides agricultural manufacturers the opportunity to check that their particles have the uniformity needed to produce high-quality products and adhere to the many industry regulations. Without it, you won't be able to gather a reliable grain size distribution curve and will likely see undesirable inconsistencies that ultimately hurt your brand.
That said, there are three particle size analysis instruments that can be used to enhance your quality control:
- Vibrating screen machines are perfect for manufacturers that mass produce various grains and want to ensure the grains are uniform before being processed.
- RO-TAP Sieve Shakers are an ideal solution for those looking for a proven means of producing repeatable and accurate results and that can be traced back to dozens of industry standards.
- Alpine Air Jet Sieves should be integrated into operations that work with materials that often become agglomerated and thus difficult to test with other particle analysis equipment.
With over 140 years of particle size analysis experience, W.S. Tyler can help take the quality of your products to greater heights.
To learn how particle size analysis can enhance your quality control process, take a moment and review our Test Sieves, Sieve Shakers & Particle Analysis Equipment Product Guide.
About Ronnie Brown
Ronnie is the Content Writer for W.S. Tyler and has four years of experience as a professional writer. He strives to expand his knowledge on all things particle analysis and woven wire mesh to leverage his exceptional writing and graphic design skills, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for customers.