Swiss Bühler Group and Balaguer Rolls from Spain – both fully independent family companies – have signed a collaboration agreement for design and supply of SmartRolls and services of highest quality standards allowing remote condition- and performance monitoring of the rolls. The SmartRolls are connected to Bühler Insights.
Bühler announced its pioneer role in providing SmartRolls at the Networking Days 2016. Since that announcement, Bühler has accumulated more than 100,000 hours of experience in industrial operations, ensuring robust and fully validated technology and building a profound understanding of how to use the new insights and early indicators to enhance consistent performance of flour mills. Bühler has also been the leading force in the industry for allowing continuous assessment of rolls through the Bühler rollDetect, introduced almost a decade ago.
Scale is critical on the digital journey and agreements like this one are key to create scale quickly. If innovation can be deployed at scale, then the cumulative impact on yield or process efficiency across an industry becomes highly significant. Balaguer has been the technology leader since more than a century in casting different types, shapes, and sizes of iron rolls to the highest quality standards for the food industry. Recently, the introduction of their optical roll monitoring has brought roll measurement service to a new level.
Now Bühler will bring these efforts and expertise with the aim to provide best-in-class, smart, sensor-equipped high-quality rolls for connected technologies across grain processing applications. Bühler and Balaguer will work together in the development of the next generation of rollDetect built on the Balaguer optical measurement system and provide SmartRolls connected to Bühler Insights enabling improved mill performance. The innovation power of Bühler and Balaguer will unlock the next generation of SmartRolls, roll management, and milling performance.
This collaboration agreement will allow Bühler to access the optical roll measurement technology from Balaguer. Therefore, Bühler will gradually replace its rollDetect service with the new optical solution. Balaguer’s leading casting expertise with the Bühler in-roll-sensing technology will generate best-in-class roll technology for food market applications such as flour milling.
Based on this collaboration agreement, Bühler will adapt its sourcing strategy. Bühler will continue to provide its high-performance roll portfolio from its state-of-the-art foundry in China but will additionally benefit from the European manufacturing capabilities of Balaguer. This unlocks the opportunity to serve all levels of market requirements, with a better optimised logistics footprint from being closer to its customer base. The Balaguer rolls will also be used for retrofitting existing assets with SmartRoll service packages connected to Bühler Insights and for big diameter rolls. “The collaboration agreement will serve customers worldwide by building on Balaguer’s recognised knowledge in the field of cast iron rolls and proprietary optical measurement system while making full use of Bühler’s strong process knowledge and leadership in digitalising processing lines through Bühler Insights,” say David and Santiago Balaguer, owners of Balaguer. This collaboration agreement will allow the provision to the industry of solutions to measure not only the conditions of rolls physically, but also while in operation, the impact of rolls on yield, and the mill performance overall.
“Customers will benefit from significantly more efficient operation with higher safety and optimisation of service downtimes provided by the different elements of the SmartRoll service technologies developed by Balaguer and Bühler,” says Johannes Wick, CEO Bühler Grains & Food.
Bühler and Balaguer will continue to service its respective customer base and act in the markets independently.