Is Your Seed Coating Equipment Really Fit for Pelletizing?

- Ketty Nilsson

As the competition toughens on the seed market, leading seed companies profiles themselves by adding value to their product — the seed.

The demand for more complex applications and recipes for pelletizing and encrusting increases, and so does the demand for proper equipment to:

  • decrease dust and environmental impact
  • maximize capacity
  • minimize time loss for cleaning
  • increase quality control

The risk of not having the proper equipment can result in poor or uneven quality of your product. Applying more products to the seed increases the need for a proper drying equipment, for example.

Twenty years ago we introduced the batch treater with integrated drying in the bowl by adding air. This is still only an option if you have a fairly simple application, and you know exactly what drying time is required. This means you always have the same parameters like humidity, temperature etc. over the day/week.

The challenge is that you have to release the seed at the precise moment. If the seed runs in the bowl until it’s dry, you have already started the process of rubbing off your coat, and a great deal of your investment goes into your ventilation system instead. This mistake is common and very costly.

Drying seed in your treater also decreases your capacity significantly. By using a proper after-treatment dryer, you get to control the quality of your product, you minimize dust issues and give your seed a nice surface finish.

Some characteristics of a proper seed treater for pelletizing are:

  • Stainless steel in the walls of your bowl, which prevents a lot of wear and maintenance.
  • A lining in the bottom that provides proper friction to create an accurate motion of the seed. The quality of this lining is crucial to prevent it wearing out, and to create the proper motion of the seed. Especially uniform seed will need accurate friction. A proper lining also prevents unnecessary cleaning and handles the seed gently.
  • Closed systems for liquids and powder dosage systems protect employees, the environment and also gives a high application rate control with even production quality.
  • A drying table that gives you control of quality and frees up capacity also allows you to be flexible and introduce more options in your product range — whether it´s volume seeds, vegetable seeds or grass seed, for example.

Investing in the proper seed treatment equipment for pelletizing always gives you a return on investment. Quality is remembered long after cost is forgotten.