by Blake Sandnes
Ag Feed

At RMS, we frequently get asked questions about grain dust collection systems. We know there are other companies in the roller mill industry encouraging customers to purchase a dust collection system along with a new roller mill. It’s also a question that particularly comes up a lot when customers are transitioning from a hammer mill to a roller mill or considering the purchase of a hammer mill versus a roller mill

Do you really need a mill dust collector?

Milling corn for cattle feed inside a large shed Dust is just a part of life in any milling operation. Not every roller mill will require a mill dust collector to operate safely and effectively. However, too much dust in the wrong places can be catastrophic to a mill’s ability to function. 

How do you know if you need a dust management system specifically for your roller mill? The answer mainly relies on local code requirements and if the system can be designed to allow for negative pressure in the grinding process.

Three follow-up questions we also usually get when we’re discussing the topic of dust and roller mills are:

  1. Where should I check to see if I have a dust problem?
  2. How does RMS make their machines dust-tight?
  3. What precautions should I take when installing a roller mill?

Where Should I Check to See If I Have A Dust Problem?

Dust Build Up

Side view of an aluminum chimney and ducting vents on the roof of an industrial building. The number one indicator that will let you know you have a dust issue is if you’ve got a big mess in your grind room, and have a bunch of corn or grain dust accumulating everywhere. That is always a red flag to us if we walk in and see that. Simply put, obvious piles of dust mean you have a dust problem.

Sample Ports

Specifically pertaining to RMS roller mills – If you open up the sample port to retrieve a sample, and the sample is being blown back into your face, then you’re not getting the negative pressure required for the dust to adequately exit the roll mill. This is a problem, but a quick fix for this specific scenario is to check and possibly readjust the venting of your takeaway system.

Bearing Failures

A third indicator we have seen as a sign of dust issues is when customers start having an increased number of bearing failures. There are three things to consider regarding the life of a bearing: 1) lubrication, 2) installation, and 3) contamination. 

If the bearings are relatively new and well lubricated, but a noticeable bit of corn dust is still blowing out of the machine, we would suspect that it’s most likely the dust that’s actually hindering the bearings. The extra friction from the contamination gets them hot, leading to the failures. This is a problem that may require a more sophisticated dust management system to resolve.

How Does RMS Make Their Machines Dust Tight?

Dust is often a problem, but it doesn’t have to be a big problem. At RMS, we like to reduce or eliminate as many problems as possible, especially regarding your milling operation. One key differentiator in an RMS roller mill is that we use flange-mounted bearings that mount tightly to the side of the machine. This prevents dust from getting in and gumming up the bearings.

Another differentiator is how we actually manufacture our roller mills. During production, we ensure all seams and access doors are sealed by welding, applying silicone, or adding weather stripping, which helps reduce the amount of dust that can get out of the machine. Again, dust is just a part of life in any milling operation. You can’t eliminate it entirely from the equation, but we try to control it as much as possible from the start.

What Precautions Should I Take When Installing a Roller Mill?

 Example of Hazard location. High-voltage steel cabinets without closed doors If you decide to go forward with a roller mill, you can still take a few more added steps of precaution to ensure you’re reducing any negative environmental impacts on your machine. Something frequently overlooked when installing a roller mill is contacting your electrician or your local fire marshal. They are an excellent resource for giving you good direction on your hazard location reading while you are planning where to place your mill. 

Other important considerations when installing a mill are 1) proper venting on your ground corn takeaway, 2) the conveyance system, and 3) your ground corn bins. Where are all those pieces going to be located? How will dust potentially escape or get trapped in and around those areas? What can you do now to ensure good maintenance of the system later? Answering these important questions before you start can save you a lot of trouble further down the road.

Interested in learning more about how RMS can help you determine if you need a mill dust collector?

RMS Roller-Grinder builds and services the best roller mills and roller mill accessories for our customer’s unique applications. If you need a consultation on installing a new application or a dust management system, we can partner with you to ensure you receive the best and most reliable products and support. Our goal is to leave you with peace of mind by doing whatever it takes to remove the troubles and frustration from your milling system. Contact us today!

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