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Mill Material Balance

Mill material balance is a tool for the milling control normally used to evaluate the performance
of sugar factory operations, mainly the extraction done by the mills for juice, the Brix and the
Pol (sugar) as well.
There were several methods of calculation for mill material balance, such as the Brix Method
and the Dry Method.
The weighing works for cane, mixed juice and imbibition water are required for the purpose of
mill material balance calculation. We also need the analyses of cane, the Pol and Brix degrees of
the juice extracted by each mill and the analyses of bagasse exhausted by the last mill.
Empirical test reference and some unlovable assumptions were used by those methods; such as
for instance the Brix Method uses 2 (two) major assumptions, i.e.:
The Brix degree of cane juice has the same value with the Brix degree of the first extracted
This will make a significant error in the calculation, in which a residual material will be obtained, whichs normally called the Brix free cane water. Thus the calculation is not
exactly balance.
The Brix degree of first mill juice is carried along for the calculations of juice extracted by
each mill after the second mill.
The juice extracted by mill after the second mill is not relevantly related with the first mill
While the Dry Method needs additional analyses for bagasse exhausted by each mill, which
considered time consuming when it should be done as routine work every day.
Another method uses assumption for the value of re-absorption factor (defined from the
empirical tests), assumption or projection for the total sugar (Pol) extraction and assumptions for
the other figures as well.
The calculation system created here has only 2 (two) assumptions, i.e.:
1. The density of juice in the incoming material equals to the density of juice extracted by the
respective mill (no significant error).
2. The density of bagasse when being milled is equal to the density of fiber (in terms of
atmospheric humidity), which is of course acceptable.
The same analysis applies for Pol and Brix degrees as normally done in every sugar factory, they
are the analyses for cane and juice extracted by each mill, the mixed juice and for the last mill



Mill Material Balance

The result of calculation presents a complete mill material balance. All the figures normally used
as assumptions for evaluation such as, re-absorption ability factor, fiber index, fiber loading,
sugar extraction, imbibition rate, mill settings, etc. will be determined and obtained by this
complete mill material balance calculation system. And further, enable us to directly evaluate
and define the followings:
The extraction of juice, Pol and Brix due in each mill.
Is the mill settings coincidentally agreeable to the cane quality / the local condition?
Is the fore worker (knives, shredder, etc.) working properly, or needs additional /
Is there any juice extracted by the feed opening?
How much is the suitable quantity of imbibition water and what is the best application?
Obtaining the correct ratio of the feed and delivery work openings.
Is there any mill in danger for crack during the operation?

The extractions of juice, Pol and Brix due in each mill.

Besides the extractions by weight for juice, Pol and Brix individually in each mill, the
calculation also defined the weights and volumes for the juice content together with the
Pol and Brix percentages in the incoming as well as the out-coming portions of the
respective mill. So that the performance of each mill can be evaluated, at least knowing
which mill of the tandem has not extracting juice normally, and their constraints. Hence,
enable us to define applicable remedies to promote the extraction (especially during the
By knowing the extraction individually, consequently we will also know the overall
extraction for juice; Pol and Brix made by the whole train.


Is the mill settings coincidentally agreeable to the cane quality / the local condition?
If the calculation of mill material balance made daily or weekly as routine work (with the
program), especially within the period after four to six weeks from the beginning of the
crushing season, it will be detected easily whether the mill settings agreeable to the
average cane quality recently crushed.
The mill material balance program includes the calculation of fiber index as well as the
fibers loading occurred in each mill.
The fiber index indicates the capability of the respective mill to press the fiber for every
escribed volume unit of the work opening. The bigger the value means good capability.
While the fiber loading indicates the capability of the respective mill, i.e. the loading of
fiber when pressed for every square unit of the roller escribed surface. For a better



Mill Material Balance

extraction each roller has a limited value of fiber loading, and it depends on the size of
its diameter.
Usually, assumption for the value of fiber index is taken for the calculation of mill
settings. Frequently different actual value found when calculation made during the
evaluation. In this regard, the mill setting is not agreeable to the recent cane crushed.
Nevertheless with the use of the program, the value for each mill will be defined during
the run of the evaluation program, and the value is the maximum fiber index affordable
to the mills. Hence, the mill settings should be made with the defined values instead of
the assumptions previously made.

Is the fore worker working properly, or needs additional / adjustment?

We have the philosophy that, the first mill has to extract juice as much as possible. The
capability of extraction of the first mill depends on how the ultimate equipment (the fore
worker) does the preparation work. This could be detected by the value of fiber index
and the compression ratio due in the first mill (compression ratio = the ratio of volume of
the incoming material to the volume of bagasse when pressed under the delivery opening
in the same time unit).
For the first mill, if both the values are lower than the projection or the assumption, the
other conclusion is that the fore worker does not work properly. The Index of Preparation
of the cut cane is lower than 86%. It may needs adjustment, or replacement for the
knives rotor. Or, if it would not help, then additional knives or shredder has to be
Both the values of fiber index and the compression ratio due for the first mill can be
detected directly by the program and for the other mills as well.


Is there any juice extracted by the feed opening?

At least well know the extraction of a mill is good, when sufficient amount of juice is
extracted by the feed opening. But if the extracted juice by the feed opening is too much,
the extraction process could be hindered by the slip occurred in the respective mill.
While observing the mills operation, sometimes well found some of the mills were not
or merely not extracting any juice from its feed openings. This is because incorrect ratio
between the feed and delivery work openings was applied during the setting of the
respective mill. The ratio definitely was too high.
The evaluation program of material balance includes the calculation to detect such, while
the projection program determine the best setting of the subject ratio.



Mill Material Balance


How much is the quantity of imbibition water and what is the best application?
The projection program for the material balance includes the facility for the simulation of
imbibition water quantity and how the application should be made. This is to resolve the
frequent trouble faced by most of mill engineers, how to eliminate choking of the last
mill operation and obtaining sufficiently dry bagasse.


Obtaining the correct ratio of the feed and delivery work openings.
Usually, the ratio between the feed and delivery work openings was determined by the
value experienced from the previous seasons practiced. They could have the opinion to
set the mills with decreasing values from the first to the ensuing mills. On the other hand,
increasing values were also used by most mill engineers, but it is to be noted that, too
narrow ratio especially for the first mill, caused the crushing capacity will not be
achieved easily.
Since the program includes the calculation for the subject ratio proportional to the
compression ratio occurred in each mill, then it is easy for the mill engineer to set the
mills with the subject ratio defined by the program.


Is there any mill in danger for crack during the operation?

The program of mill material balance also includes the calculation, whether any mill in
the tandem has potential for crack during its operation. Especially when the mill settings
are made on mill with headstocks provided without hydraulic for the top roller, or when
the mills with hydraulic but are set with fixed gap only for its lifting.
The calculation is simple. The different between the height made by the bagasse when
pressed at the delivery opening with the actual work opening when set, equals to the
potential deflection made by the roller.

The theory and the formulas defined for all the above-mentioned items will be thoroughly
enlighten in this book.



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