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How To Choose Equipment for Production of Pellets?


Today’s market offers a huge amount of both new and used equipment to produce pellets. Among this variety, some even experienced specialists sometimes just “dazzle”!

Before buying equipment to set up a wood pellet mill, the buyer has a question “which equipment is better to choose?” and “how to make the right choice?” Maybe new or better a little worked, but much cheaper? Let’s take a quick look at the three main options:

  • New turnkey pellet line
  • Used pellet line
  • Buy the line in parts from different equipment manufacturers and complete everything on the spot.

Each of the above options has both its pros and cons. We will consider them later, but now a little theory.

Equipment to produce wood pellets

There are several options for completing lines:

  • The line for processing firewood or lumpy waste. Additional equipment is required for grinding raw materials.
  • The line working at the sawdust received from production. No additional grinding equipment is required.
  • Pelletizing line for wood with a moisture content of more than 13%. An additional dryer is required.
  • Pelletizing line for wood with a moisture content of less than 13%. There is no need for a drying complex.

Here is a complete list of pellet production equipment kits:

  • Drum or disc crusher
  • Hammer mill
  • Sawdust boiler or gas boiler
  • Dryer drum
  • The mechanism for loading chips into the dryer drum
  • Smoke exhauster
  • Cyclone
  • Scraper or belt conveyor
  • Movable floors
  • Scraper conveyor
  • Hammer mill
  • Fan
  • Raw material bunker with conveyor
  • Mixer
  • Press granulator
  • Scraper conveyor
  • Cooler
  • Screening fan
  • Sieve
  • Conveyor
  • Bunker of finished pellets
  • Big bag scales
  • Packing machine

You probably thought that everything is much simpler, right? And so, option number one is a turnkey pellet line

Now let’s move on to the equipment. The advantages of turnkey equipment include:

  • The least amount of effort expended on installation. The line, as it were, was “out of the box”
  • High-quality installation work
  • Exclusion of taking equipment like “pig in a poke”
  • New high-quality equipment will work for a longer time without breakdowns
  • More modern equipment has a longer service life
  • Modern equipment is less energy intensive, which will reduce the cost of producing the final product
  • Obtaining better quality products can also be attributed to the pluses

Disadvantages of turnkey pellet equipment:

  • Higher project cost
  • Minimal opportunities for self-maintenance and, accordingly, large downtime of equipment with minor breakdowns. This happens for several reasons:
  • The line is under service and warranty service. And even if the hose is torn, the replacement of which can take about 20 minutes, you need to wait for the company’s specialists up to several days.

Used Pellet line

Benefits of used equipment:

  • Line cheap. If you dig into the European market, you can buy a used line for a fairly low cost in a fairly good condition.
  • In addition to cheapness, another plus is that you can find an option with more performance than new equipment for the same money.
  • The pellet line can be more “advanced” for the same cost as a turnkey line.

Cons of used pellet equipment:

  • Purchase of equipment such as “pig in a poke”.
  • Complex installation of equipment with its own innovations.
  • Not always a complete set of equipment. Below is a complete set of equipment.
  • Service and warranty service is excluded.
  • Insufficient documentation.
  • Reduces the likelihood of installing original spare parts. If you buy a very old line, very often spare parts are no longer made for it.

From the above, it follows that to minimize the impact of minuses, the following rules must be observed:

  • Careful inspection and listening to the purchased equipment for extraneous noise. Particular attention should be paid to the main equipment (press, crusher, drying complex).
  • When installing the equipment, special attention should be paid to the installation of a pellet press, as an uneven (not level) positioned press will increase the consumption of the die and punch and reduce the quality of the finished pellet.
  • If possible, the choice is to stop on serviceable lines.
  • Choose a line from more recent years.

Complete pelletizing line

Quite rare in our experience. But it still happens. For example, when buying a large line of used equipment, we managed to grab a pellet in addition. Or another case when the pellet got practically for nothing. In this case, it is easier to complete the equipment than to buy a new line.

A complete line to produce pellets is probably the cheapest option for installing equipment, but probably the most difficult. Which option to choose is up to you!