Fibre analysis in the sugarcane industry – useful for sugar cane quality determination

Fibre analysis in the sugarcane industry – useful for sugar cane quality determination

Why has Fibre analysis in Sugarcane gained interest?

Fibre analysis in the sugarcane industry is becoming more and more important to determine the value of the raw cane entering the factories: Traditional analysis to determine the quality of sugarcane delivered to a sugar factory involves the weight of cane, a measure of Brix and Pol, and in most cases a measure of the fibre content. Sugarcane is essentially three main components – sugar, water and fibre. Historically it is sugar that has been identified as the main value component, so attention has focused on how much sugar exists in the sugarcane supply. In more recent times though fibre has become much more important. Fibre is becoming a much more valuable commodity. It’s uses inside and outside the sugar factory have expanded to include biomass user for electricity generation, as a source for 2nd generation fibre to biofuels production, for paper and green packaging manufacture, animal feed and, for small but growing segments, include clothing, concrete reinforcement, and other processes. Fibre analysis in the sugar cane industry is becoming more and more important to determine the value of the raw cane entering the processing plant.

Components of the raw sugarcane deliveries brought into the factory.

Fibre is defined slightly differently across the global group of sugar producing countries, but most often includes cellulose and hemi cellulose in cane stalk, leaf, and other organic components of the crop, in addition to any soil, sand, dirt or stones captured by the harvesting and transport activities in the field. In short, anything that is not sugar or water is defined as fibre. Growers, who often pay for transport also pay for the added weight of soil, sand, and stone to be carried to the factory, whilst at the same time removing the valuable nutrient containing topsoil from their fields. Millers, who process the sugarcane, have higher maintenance costs in wear and tear and stoppages, and often pay for the removed waste as mill mud to be transported back to the field.Sugar Cane Quality Analisys

Whilst the organic components can be utilised profitably it is the non-organic components that add significant cost to both growers and millers, and that is the unwanted component of the crop. Unfortunately, as the incidence of mechanically harvested  sugarcane increases as a proportion of the crop, more and more soil, sand and stone finds it’s way to the factory. Sugarcane supply is becoming more and more contaminated by loss making unwanted waste material that adds cost when transporting it into the plant, adds costs to remove it from the process, and further costs to transport it away again.

Determining the value of raw sugarcane deliveries

Payout Based On Sugar Cane Fibre Quality AnalysisSugar factory laboratories usually have analytical methods that enable producers to identify how much fibre exists in the cane supply. Additionally, a method of analysis for Ash assists the laboratory in identifying how much soil, sand and stone is entering the sugar factory. Methods of analysis for fibre do vary in different countries and regions.  These include empirically “calculated by difference” methods that provide approximate indications of the fibre percentage to more professionally recognised official methods that can take up to eight hours to complete by more direct measurement.  Whilst fast and reasonably accurate analysis by Near Infra-Red is possible it is a secondary method that relies upon an accurate primary method of fibre analysis as a calibration model. NIR calibration models are usually built from a database of several thousand fibre analysis. In summary, you still need accurate primary analytical methods of fibre analysis for NIR to work well.

Fibre analysis in the sugarcane industry to reduce production cost

The sugar industry would benefit from access to a fast accurate and reliable method for determination of fibre in sugarcane for quality. Accurate and fast feedback of sugarcane fibre content to the harvesting and transport sectors would assist in reducing costs across the entire sugar industry, both reducing costs for growers and improving the ability of the millers to produce high quality sugar, and clean, value adding fibre for additional income stream generation.

In the next section we will expand upon the more common methods of fibre analysis, their strengths, and weaknesses.

Sugarcane Harvesting Time Analysis

Jeffress Engineering Commissions new Jeffco technology in Sudan

Jeffress Engineering Commissions new Jeffco technology in Sudan

Jeffress Engineering commissioned new Jeffco technology in Sudan recently at The Kenana Sugar Company. Jeffco InfraCana Near Infra-Red cane quality testing equipment was installed in a brand new Cane Quality Facility on the factory site. Jeffress Engineering provided facility concept drawings and worked with local factory civil engineering staff to design and develop the building. Whilst most sugarcane at Kenana is company owned the Quality Control department plans to use it to evaluate incoming cane quality at individual truck level. Every truck entering the factory will be tested eventually for a wide range of chemical parameters. Paired with a brand new Motocanna Oblique core sampler also provided through Jeffress Engineering each truck can be processed through the facility in around 2 minutes or less. Cane quality information will feed back to various departments in the factory including the Agricultural division for improvements in soil/variety decisions, maturity evaluations, yield analysis, nutrient management; the Transport division for transport management improvements and the factory for process improvements.

Also commissioned was a Jeffco WD02 Wet Disintegrator for validation of the NIR cane quality results to a high degree of accuracy.

Selected factory staff were trained in NIR theory and practice enabling Kenana to be in full independent control of calibration model development and application.

Remote access to the Jeffco technology provides the ability for Jeffco engineers to rapidly respond to requests for assistance from Kenana in real time. Working with trained Kenana staff this will reduce equipment downtime to a minimum should a problem occur.

Jeffress Engineering wishes everyone at Kenana Sugar Company every success in future operations and looks forward to a long and profitable outcome for them in their use of their new Cane Quality Testing facility!

Jeffress wins Cane Quality Testing technology business in Sudan

Jeffress wins Cane Quality Testing technology business in Sudan

Jeffress Engineering has been successful in winning the job of implementing a new Sugarcane Quality Testing facility at Kenana sugar in Sudan. Jeffress will install Jeffco InfraCana automated sugarcane sample analysis technology for analysis of every truck of incoming sugarcane into the factory. Jeffress will also provide Jeffco WD02 Wet Disintegrator for validation analysis processes and a core sampler from Brazil. Jeffress concept drawings will be used for the design of the CTU facility.

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KSC has used Jeffco equipment for almost 20 years in its routine laboratories and R & D divisions. It will be the 1st formal facility of its kind in the region, underlining the innovation and engineering quality of the Kenana sugar processor and its staff.

Cutter Grinder training for our Japanese agent

Cutter Grinder training for our Japanese agent

Our Japanese agent NSP recently sent over three staff members for deep training on our Jeffco CG03 Cutter Grinders. Specifically they learned about the upgrades implemented for our new CG04J version built specifically for our Japanese sugar mill clients. After many years of reliable operation and not a single operator injury the Okinawan and Kagoshima industries are understandably thrilled with the improved safety and performance characteristics of our technology. Every single sample taken from an incoming truck across the entire industry is processed through Jeffco equipment. The Japanese are proud of their performance and we are proud of our technology assisting them in their sugarcane quality determination objectives.

Ms Atsuko Hasegawa, Mr Fumiharu Mochizuki and Ms Hiromi Baba attended the training at our head office and factory facility in Adelaide in September 2019.

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Obsolete JEFFCO equipment support and spares ends at the end of 2019

Obsolete JEFFCO equipment support and spares ends at the end of 2019

Jeffress Engineering announces the end of support and spare parts for old products.

These products have been supported for 50 years in some cases and we have found it difficult to reliably and economically source spare parts in recent times. Spare parts will be available only until the end of 2019. We expect stock levels will gradually reduce to zero during the early part of 2020. Please see attached notices at the bottom of this post for further information.

The following products are impacted:

JEFFCO CG02 Cutter Grinder
JEFFCO 291 series Wet Disintegrator
JEFFCO 229 series Wet Disintegrator


WD292 Onsite


We recommend you consider any spare parts you need for these products and place orders before the end of 2019.


CG Dual Funnel


We also recommend upgrading your older equipment to improve your analysis processes and gain significant safety, performance and time saving benefits. We recommend the JEFFCO CG03CB Cutter Grinder and the JEFFCO WD02 Wet Disintegrator. Please contact us for quotations.  Further information on each of these products is available on this website.

We will do our best to assist you during this transition. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of help.

Obsolete End Of Support 20190604

Obsolete End Of Support Parts List

For more information about JEFFCO technology, please contact us using the form below

Okinawa Sugar Industry host Jeffress Engineering visit

Okinawa Sugar Industry host Jeffress Engineering visit

During February 2019 the Sugar Industry in Okinawa, Japan hosted a visit by Jeffress Engineering for inspections and technical collaborations regarding the JEFFCO technology the industry relies upon for high accuracy cane quality measurement. Every sugar factory uses JEFFCO CG03 Cutter Grinder technology to ensure accurate payment of cane quality for growers and millers in their payment laboratories. Chris Henderson (General Manager) and Nico Petiet (Senior Mechanical Engineer) toured several facilities and met with all relevant industry organisations.

Since installing JEFFCO technology in 2006 the Okinawan sugar industry has gone from a situation where injuries to operators of the previous sugar cane shredding equipment occurred perhaps once or twice each year to no injuries across 12 years of operation in 10 sugar factories and using 16 JEFFCO Cutter Grinders.  The high regard the equipment has in Japan for an enviable safety record is well earned!

For more information about JEFFCO technology, please contact us using the form below

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