How to upgrade from community to commercial milling

Introduction

Boost your profits by upgrading your community milling business to a more profitable commercial mill. Upgrading or expanding is an essential step for long-term growth. Transitioning your mill from a Posho or MK2S to a higher capacity SP-1 maize mill means you can produce higher-quality maize meal on a larger scale, resulting in more profit.

Understanding the Differences

Community milling involves charging a service fee to mill maize locally, while commercial milling produces packaged maize meal for broader distribution. Both aim for profitability, but they achieve it through distinctly different approaches.

Community milling

Commercial milling

Requires less capital to start

Requires more funds, but is more profitable due to economies of scale

Mill maize for the community and charge a fee for the service

Mill and package maize meal sold locally or distributed to other areas

Maize supply comes from the local area but is subject to seasonal availability. Optionally buy maize from other areas and sell it to the local community

Maize supply from local farmers, regional areas, co-ops or from own farm

Takes up less space 

Requires infrastructure such as a warehouse with a clean water supply

Less power supply needed, 10kW @ 20Amps (380V) power

Starting from 25kW @ 50Amps (380V) power supply needed

 

Commercial milling involves more steps and equipment in the milling process, ensuring higher quality maize meal and a larger capacity output. This higher quality allows you to sell to a broader market, leading to increased profitability. On the other hand, community milling is a simpler process, serving local community needs; but it comes with limitations in capacity and efficiency. If your goal is to expand your business, upgrading from a Posho mill to the SP-1 maize mill, or adding an SP-1 mill is a logical step.

Main differences in setup

To illustrate how achievable an upgrade of an existing community milling setup is, let’s first take a look at the main differences between a Posho/MK2S and SP-1 Edge maize mill setup:

Community Mill

Startup Commercial Mill

Product

Maize meal and bran

Maize meal and bran

Grade of product*

Sifted or special maize meal 

Super / Grade 1 maize meal

Special / Grade 2 maize meal

Capacity/input

750kg/hour - Posho roller mill

650kg/hr - MK2S roller mill

650kg/hour to 1ton/hour

Milling process:

Intake and cleaning

    Manual input by hand

    Intake screw conveyor

    C6 Pre-cleaner with aspiration

    Maize conditioning

      Optional 70l batch mixer 

      Surge bin (Optional)

      Conditioning conveyor

      Degermination

        Not applicable

        520 Degerminator

        Surge bin

        Milling and final product

          Posho roller mill or MK2S roller mill

          MK2S or MK6 Roller mill

          Final product bin

           *Estimated, depending on maize quality

          You have two options on how to proceed, depending on how much you have available to invest to expand your business and the quality of maize meal your target market demands.

          Upgrading your existing Posho or MK2S to an SP-1 is possible, but a MK-6 is recommended if your aim is to produce a higher quality product. Roff recommends the MK-6 roller mill as the foundation for your new commercial SP-1 maize mill. 

          To help you make an informed decision we will explore both scenarios.

          What you need to supply:

          Posho or MK2S SP-1

          Building / grain silos

          Small building such as a garage, see footprint

          Building able to accommodate the SP-1 (refer to footprint) and optional grain silos or maize bag storage area

          Water supply to conditioning

          Optional

          At least 20 liters of water per hour at 2 bar pressure

          Power requirement

          9.5 to 11kW

          DB Board with power supply to Roff-supplied Motor Control Centre Panel. The main supply ranges from 50 to 150Amp moulded breaker *

          Forklift

          Forklift for offloading

          Forklift for installation

          Extraction rates

          82 - 85%

          69 - 74% Super/Grade 1 maize meal

          82 - 84% - Special / Grade 2 maize meal

          Footprint

          2.8m (h) x 2m (l) x 1m (w)

          5.5m (h) x 16.5m (l) x

          8.5m (w) *

          Typical space required

          3m x 6m (Single Garage)

          10m x 20m *

          * Depending on model

          Why is the SP-1 the logical next step for growth?

          The SP-1 includes all the essential features and steps required to easily produce high-quality maize meal for ultimate profitability. You can produce high-quality, packed maize meal in four steps, namely cleaning, conditioning, degermination (optional) and milling. The Roff SP-1 milling plant is everything you need for an affordable commercial milling upgrade that will help drive your success in the maize milling industry. 

          Steps to upgrade: practical and cost considerations

          The Posho or MK2S roller mill can be upgraded to a SP-1 maize mill by making the following additions / adjustments:

          MK2S:Roff MK2S Roller Mill

          MK2S upgrade to SP-1 Core 650kg per hour mill:Roff MK2S upgrade to SP-1 Core

          MK2S upgrade to SP-1 Edge 1 ton per hour mill:Roff MK2S upgrade to SP-1 Edge

            The Posho or MK2S roller mill can be transformed into an SP-1 Core maize mill through strategic modifications, including upgrading intake, cleaning, conditioning and milling processes. With an investment of approximately ZAR 375,000 - 485,000, this upgrade allows for the milling capacity of up to 18 tons of maize meal per day, depending on whether your existing setup is based on a Posho or MK2S roller mill. Some markets require a finer end product, so additional equipment will be required. A word of caution: as mentioned earlier, Roff recommends using the MK-6 roller mill as the foundation for your new SP-1 mill for a higher quality end product, as the production of Posho and MK2S roller mills is limited to Sifted or Special maize meal.

            Have a look at the SP-1 maize mill.

            Turnaround time

            The installation, commissioning and training of the mill can be completed in only three days, allowing you to start your milling journey in record time. It was designed with growth in mind and can easily be expanded on at any time with a range of optional extras.

            To discuss how you can go about taking this exciting step, contact Roff Milling at sales@roff.co.za.

            The benefits of upgrading to a SP-1 maize mill:

            1. Economies of scale - profitability
            2. Lowest overhead costs per ton produced, compared to larger mills
            3. Higher quality product - meet customer expectations 
            4. Access broader market 
            5. Higher capacity
            6. Increased efficiency
            7. Employment creation - to the benefit of the community
            8. Funding support*

            *Lesotho: Government support through the SADP

            In conclusion

            Community milling requires less initial capital and space but has lower output, whereas commercial milling demands more funds but reaps higher profits due to economies of scale. Upgrading to the SP-1 maize mill becomes vital for entrepreneurs seeking sustainable growth, improved productivity, and increased market reach.

            When you're ready to make the change, expanding your milling operation to include an SP-1 in addition to  from your current Posho or MK2S milling setup to a more profitable and efficient commercial SP-1 maize mill is not just a possibility, but a strategic move for long-term success. In the next blog in this series, we'll delve into how the Lesotho government, through the SADP, is fostering growth in commercial milling, along with essential aspects like storage safety and product quality testing. For more information, contact Roff Milling at sales@roff.co.za

            Commercial maize millingGrowSp-1 mill

            1 comment

            John Simango

            John Simango

            Given the current economic benefits I think it’s a great investment and good for employment creation keep it up
            ———
            Roff Milling replied:
            Thank you John.

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