The Seed Cleaning Equipment And Techniques Involved

By Olivia Cross

After seeds are collected from the crops, they need to undergo a process of preparation first before any action is taken. This involves removal of chaff and any other plant remains from the seed. It necessitates proper drying levels to minimize moisture content for less chances of attack by micro-organisms. This exercise can judge the prudence of the source of the seeds. It is the machinery involved in the preparations which is termed as the seed cleaning equipment.

This requires a series of machines like gravity tables, air screeners, magnet to trap any pieces of magnetic metals, cylinder separators among others. These facilities are widely used to process seeds from crops such as barley and maize. Nevertheless, it is not possible to get a single equipment for seed cleaning that can work satisfactorily on all types of seeds.

The choice of a technical facility is based primarily on the size of the specific seed, kind of chaff and the unwanted plant materials surrounding it to be removed. A cleansing equipment that can accommodate different sizes from different natural plants can save the cost of processing the seeds.

A machine with one or two working elements is known as a simple machine while a complex machine is one with several normally including fans, screens and cylinder sorters. Due to the complexity of this procedure, there is need to have the screens with dimensions. Incorporating calibrations on the different screen sizes will help simplifying the input stage on the machine as various native seeds will have their own sizes. There are also mobile and stationery machines.

Differences in size, width and length of the seeds affect the operating principles of the machinery. Other factors to be considered include specific weight, shape, surface conditions and aerodynamic conditions.

The better part of the facility is that it has a low cost initial investment. It also has an economical maintenance cost with parts readily available. There are cases where the manufacturers provide with some spare parts for replacement.

Simple and effective techniques are employed in removing the unwanted materials while retaining the valid ones. This is a measure of the efficiency of the process and such like materials as dust and non-vital seeds are also isolated. The most common methods applied involve different ways of threshing and sorting seeds by the use of screens and airflow.

No matter how normal some seeds may appear, they may be non-viable for to be used since they have loss of weight. This can be due to immaturity, underdevelopment or feed by predators. Such cannot be separated by screening and thus necessitates airflow. Airflow is done through winnowing or aspiration. Winnowing is a technique which uses flowing air in a horizontal manner in such a way that heavy particles are separated from light. Aspiration is the use of vertically flowing air that suspends the light particles in form of a column.

Other miscellaneous items needed include but not limited to plastic tubes and other containers which vary in sizes, leather gloves, a high quality dust mask, good ventilation, and heavy work boots.

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