LALA: featuring the industry’s first rake unit for paddy pre-cleaning

Bühler’s pick-up paddy cleaner removes long impurities by as much as 80%, while improving safety and boosting staff retention.

One of the most common challenges facing rice producers is the presence of long impurities in their paddy. Items such as straws and strings from jute bags can frequently clog downstream equipment, leading to unnecessary and expensive downtime – and hitting profits hard. With its unique rake unit, Bühler’s LALA pick-up cleaner boosts rice mill capacity by the targeted and effective removal of these impurities, eliminating up to 80% with ease.

After harvesting the paddy is laid out to dry and threshed to separate the grain from the stalk, before being transported to a rice mill for further processing. In less automated mills the workers have to pick out long impurities by hand – a time-consuming but essential process to avoid downstream machines such as dryers and cleaners becoming clogged and the plant’s entire operation grinding to a halt. With the LALA these long impurities are separated from the freshly harvested paddy by a vibrating sieve, then picked up by the rake unit. The LALA is also highly effective on wet paddy, with a throughput rate of 25 t/h at a product moisture of 28%. Its spacious and fully enclosed design significantly reduces dust emissions and makes it extremely easy to clean and maintain, and for even better results it can be combined with a Bu¨hler SMA screening machine to removes stones, broken grains and dust during a thorough second pre-cleaning step.

The LALA pre-cleaning process not only prevents costly downtime but enhances the final quality of the rice, and can significantly extend the lifetime of a plant’s equipment as there is far less wear. It also dramatically improves mill safety, as it replaces potentially dangerous alternate working methods, and allows personnel to be reassigned to less physically intensive tasks. With labor in many rice producing areas becoming more expensive as workers increasingly migrate to cities, this helps to retain staff and means even more savings for mill operators.

“We are extremely proud of the LALA, with the unrivaled rake unit at its heart,” said Bühler Product Manager Marina Hirschberger. “It’s safer and more cost effective than traditional processes, and its highly efficient removal of long impurities makes it a genuine revolution in the paddy cleaning process.”

Since its launch the LALA has been proving hugely popular with customers, who have seen its impact on their processes first-hand. “The pick-up cleaner LALA has improved our pre-cleaning paddy quality, which has a significant role in enhancing the overall production,” said Jay Kumar Malpani at Naxalbari Flour and Rice Mill, West Bengal, India. “It’s really a wonderful invention by Bühler for separating strings from the freshly harvested paddy. The paddy quality for parboiling is now far superior than before, which of course means increased profitability.”