Sugarplex SX

Technology Application
Size Reduction
Applicable Industries
Food & Beverage

The cutting-edge Hosokawa Alpine Sugarplex SX is a specialised fine impact pin mill, perfected exclusively for confectionery and sugar-based applications in the highly regulated food and beverage sector and is very closely based on the concept and proven technology of Hosokawa Alpine’s innovative Ultraplex® UPZ.

Energy-efficient, user-friendly, economical to invest in and very compact, the tailor-made Sugarplex SX range effortlessly processes a variety of raw sugars into finely ground sugar powders suitable for use in everything from instant tea, coffee and hot chocolate to ice-cream and sauces.

The versatile pin mill’s latest addition, the Sugarplex Flow, is the perfect solution for making storage-stable, clump-free icing sugar which doesn’t require additives, mixers or additional processing. Purpose-designed for sugar conditioning tasks, this variant of the standard Sugarplex SX is the exciting result of extensive development and performs a revolutionary, precisely controlled and speedy recrystallisation of sugar crystals via its special integrated conditioning unit.

Apart from continuous high throughput sugar processing, the adaptable Sugarplex SX will lend itself to the size reduction of a much wider selection of materials. Potentially highly explosive materials, including sugars with a particle size below 200µm, can also be processed using the Sugarplex SX, which is designed and built to meet the very latest international safety standards, including ATEX.

Product Information

With the impressive pedigree of being the first classifier mill on the market in the 1960s the Mikro ACM can be found in thousands of installations across the world in the minerals, cosmetics, plastics, powder coatings, food, and confectionery industries

The Sugarplex SX and Sugarplex Flow fine impact mills are both excellent economical investments – perfect for continuously processing amorphous products such as sugar – and are based on the proven technology of the popular Hosokawa Alpine Ultraplex UPZ.

Currently, the Sugarplex range is available in five standard sizes, from the smallest SX 250 (running off an 11kW motor), to the SX 630, with its 75kW drive. The SX 315 is unique within the range and is available in a single or twin 18kW motor configuration, the SX 315 Twin offering a scale-up factor of 2 when compared to the single motor version while sharing similar physical proportions.

Typically, the standard SX 315 can process up to a tonne of sugar material per hour when a result of < 125µm is required, while for results < 450µm, a throughput of almost three tonnes can be realised. The inner pin disc sits on the motor shaft and can rotate at speeds of up to 145 m/sec, while the outer pin remains stationary.

The Sugarplex Flow is almost identical to the Sugarplex SX, but the integration of a conditioning unit into the system allows for efficient and complete recrystallisation of additive-free finely processed icing sugar in one step, which remains stable and of a consistently high quality throughout its storage, meaning it is still in perfect condition by the time it is used to make confectionery products.

Apart from its impressive high-performance capabilities and technical attributes, one of the Sugarplex’s greatest assets is its compact dimensions and simple design, in contrast to the usual requirements of competitor sugar grinding technology, which normally has to include additional components such as filters, cooling systems and air conditioning. Hosokawa Alpine’s innovative solution requires none of these features, which helps to make it a more economical option, from investment and operational perspectives, as well as that of being more space saving.

Optional Components

  • Conditioning unit (Sugarplex Flow)
  • Additive dosing system (e.g. for starch)


Hosokawa Micron Group boasts one of the largest Test Centres of its kind in the world, housing a diverse range of processing equipment and sample systems from our innovative product portfolio. Our highly experienced engineers, scientists and technical experts can work closely with your technical team to improve or develop new products for you using our own Sugarplex SX 315 in product trials and feasibility studies, ensuring we design the ultimate tailor-made process system for your requirements.

Primarily, the Sugarplex SX range was created to meet the needs of sugar and confectionery applications, producing high-quality sugar and sweetener powders to accompany beverages such as tea, coffee, cappuccino etc, along with more finely ground sugars suitable for the manufacture of baked goods such as biscuits and muesli bars, confectionery and foods including ice-cream and chocolate.

The precision-engineered Sugarplex Flow, meanwhile, is the latest addition to the range and, by continuous operation, processes high-quality, storage-stable icing sugar that is free of deposits and clumps and won’t require the addition of additives or mixers, which are usually needed for many sugar processing applications when using conventional sugar milling equipment.

Though the mill was designed with sugar in mind, the Sugarplex SX’s technical characteristics mean it could also be suitable for finely milling a broader range of raw materials. Materials that are potentially a dust explosion risk can also be safely milled by the Sugarplex, which conforms to the latest European health and safety standards, including ATEX, GMP, EC and DIN.

  • Robust, space-saving stainless-steel design
  • Based on the successful Ultraplex® UPZ
  • Energy-efficient
  • Continuous operation
  • Economical investment and operating costs
  • Cylinder-shaped mill can easily integrate into an existing system
  • No filters, cooling or air conditioning components required
  • Fully adjustable product fineness and residence times
  • Integrated agitator prevents agglomeration issues
  • Precisely controlled and adaptable atmosphere regulation
  • Complete recrystallisation produces shelf-stable, additive-free icing sugar
  • Heating sleeves reduce processing times and prevent condensation
  • ATEX compliant (pressure/shock proof to 10 bar(g)
  • GMP, EC and DIN standard designs
  • Additive dosing design option available
  • Special seals prevent lubricant contamination in the product area
  • Seal design prevents material and rinse water entering the motor
  • User-friendly wide doorway permits easy inspection, cleaning and maintenance
  • Bespoke process systems available
  • Full testing and validation service, including FATs (remote and in-person)
  • Document packs for certification and materials traceability
  • Full operating manuals supplied
  • Site installation, commissioning and maintenance service

Hosokawa Micron Group has been pioneering and manufacturing mills suitable for sugar since the early 1930s and has been innovating new technology, processing techniques and process systems specifically for sugar ever since.

Based on the iconic Hosokawa Alpine Ultraplex UPZ fine impact mill, the Sugarplex SX has been trusted by the food industry since it was launched in 2009. The mill’s latest incarnation, the Sugarplex Flow, is disrupting the highly competitive icing sugar sector, with its game-changing integrated sugar conditioning unit removing the need for additional processing downstream.

As one of our European Sugarplex Flow customers says, “This new and innovative solution helps us save costs, resources and also guarantees top product quality for our customers. No additives, and shelf-stable sugar that can be processed over several months. We are impressed by this recrystallisation process and have been producing the highest quality icing sugar for months.”

The innovative Sugarplex SX range and Sugarplex Flow are used for the continuous fine processing of coarse sugars into end products such as caster and icing sugar for use by the food industry. The finely milled sugar is often used in the manufacture of baked items such as biscuits, iced cakes and confectionery products, including chocolate and ice-cream.

The standard Sugarplex SX range is closely aligned to the concept and technology of the Ultraplex® UPZ fine impact mill – which has been an extremely successful addition to the Hosokawa Alpine equipment portfolio for size reduction – but the Sugarplex’s technology has been specifically honed for a variety of very specific sugar processing applications, with a design and features specially developed to meet the needs of the closely regulated food and beverage industry.

Coarse sugar gravity feeds through the mill system and down through the door of the Sugarplex SX’s grinding chamber via a feed metering screw and rotary valve. The milling element within the chamber comprises two aligned pin discs, which are housed in the mill’s door and work in unison to precisely reduce in size the material particles.

The innermost pin disc sits directly on the motor shaft which, for the Sugarplex SX 315 model, rotates at speeds of up to 145 metres per second. A frequency converter is integrated into the equipment to accurately adjust the speed of the spinning pin disc and, thus, dictate the fineness of the end product, which discharges from the bottom of the mill via a further rotary valve.

Taking as an example the established typical values of the Sugarplex SX 315, the equipment achieves a throughput of up to three tonnes of raw material per hour at values of a near perfect 99% < 450µm (approx. 35 mesh), while up to 1.5 tonnes of material per hour can be processed to an also virtually perfect fineness value of 99% < 150µm (100 mesh).

Driven by a three-phase 18.5kW motor, the standard SX 315 is suitable for potentially explosive materials requiring an ATEX Zone 22 operating environment.

The Sugarplex SX pin mill range benefits from not requiring some of the components usually found in conventional mills for sugar production, such as filters, fans or cooling equipment. The array of advantages includes the mill’s footprint and height being very compact, much lower investment and operating costs, plus easy internal inspection and quicker cleaning and maintenance processes.

Thanks to the thoughtfully designed wide door opening and location of the grinding components, the pin discs in the grinding chamber can also be easily inspected and cleaned without issue at any time.

Sugarplex Flow – Storage-stable Icing Sugar in a Single System

The tailor-made Sugarplex Flow comprises an additional system component in comparison with the standard Sugarplex SX range, but otherwise operates in exactly the same way

To enable the production of consistent, clump-free icing sugar – which doesn’t require the addition of additives or mixers for it to enjoy an optimum shelf life and maintain its high quality – the processing sugar must go through a conditioning process.

Normally, this could only be achieved via an additional process and more equipment downstream of the milling operation. The beauty of the Sugarplex Flow is that this crystallisation process can now be achieved while the sugar is being milled using an optional integrated conditioning unit, which can be configured on the side of the cylindrical grinding chamber of the Sugarplex SX, opposite the product inlet and pin discs.

The innovative, fully adjustable and adaptable conditioning unit precisely controls the processing parameters and atmosphere within the milling chamber, including the amount of time the amorphous sugar material spends in the chamber, with the mill’s integrated agitator achieving the ideal balance between the set moisture level and the freshly ground sugar crystals.

Heating sleeves speed up the process of recrystallisation and guard against condensation forming on the contact surfaces, which would adversely affect the quality of the end product. This all ensures that by the time the perfectly recrystallised icing sugar is discharged via the lower rotary valve, it is of optimum quality to remain additive-free, stable and agglomerate-free during transit and storage until use.

In addition, the high performance and efficiency of the sugar milling equipment means that it can be safely operated in continuous mode.

For further information about Hosokawa Micron Group’s sugar processing systems, please see the Process System Solutions section. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch with us on +44 (0)1928 755100 or complete our short enquiry form – we would be delighted to help you choose the perfect milling equipment or process system for your food and beverage manufacturing needs.

The high-performance Hosokawa Alpine Sugarplex SX or Sugarplex Flow impact mills can both be supplied as individual equipment to be integrated into an existing process system, if required. Due to the thoughtfully designed cylindrical shape of the equipment, the Sugarplex range has a very compact footprint, while its height is relatively diminutive too, which greatly adds to its appeal, especially where vertical space is at a premium or the equipment needs to operate within an existing process system.

If you are looking for a complete tailor-made sugar processing system, Hosokawa Micron Group has wide-ranging, very extensive and hugely in-depth knowledge and experience of designing, engineering, building, supplying and commissioning robust, high-performance process systems based around our industry-leading powder and particle processing equipment and the very specific requirements of our individual customers, who hail from a diverse selection of manufacturing sectors all over the world.

We can create a completely bespoke system, specially designed for you and driven by technical collaboration, innovation and a passion to push the boundaries of powder and particle processing, which is particularly important as evolving manufacturing sectors explore and develop new products and better manufacturing techniques, as well as demand greater efficiencies in areas such as investment and operating costs while also being mindful of any environmental impacts.

A typical milling process system created for the Sugarplex SX might comprise everything to process and manage the unprocessed granulated sugar, from the feed metering screw, a metal separator, rotary valve and the Sugarplex SX itself, to the discharge components plus any necessary containment equipment (such as a Filling and Weighing System and Drum and Bulk Container Handing Equipment), as well as a state-of-the-art process automation system. For the Sugarplex Flow, there would also be the addition of a conditioning unit, essential for the creation of high-quality icing sugar, for example.

Every process system is designed and built to the highest standards and to meet the latest international health and safety legislation, including ATEX and GMP compliance.

Complete Solutions for Sugar Processing

In addition to the highly specialised Sugarplex SX and Sugarplex Flow products, Hosokawa Micron Group offers a larger range of equipment suitable for the specialist processing of a variety of sugars into various forms for everything from sweets, baked goods, fondant, ice-cream and sugar coatings to sauces and dips, as well as drinks.

Hosokawa Alpine’s pioneering Flexomix creates highly dissolvable mixtures for hot chocolate powder, for example, and can improve the flow properties of tablet press for sweets; dedusting and coating of sugar mixes can be achieved with a Hosokawa BV Cyclomix high shear batch mixer, while homogenisation and accurate mixing of sugar powders, oils, colourings and starches for the bakery industry is effortless when using Hosokawa BV’s Conical Screw Mixer or Conical Paddle Mixer. Additional equipment is also available for particle enlargement applications such as sugar compaction and sugar granulation. Pearl sugar with a particle size of 1.5mm to 5mm, for example, is ideal for making sprinkles to use as cake decoration and can be created using Hosokawa Micron Group equipment.

Hosokawa Micron Group – Complete lifecycle solutions for manufacturing high-quality powder

Trusted across the globe by world-leading manufacturing companies, Hosokawa Micron Group is best known for its pioneering equipment innovations and game-changing powder processing techniques. These innovations are complemented by a first-class in-house project management and engineering service – from feasibility studies, product testing and initial design conception to equipment delivery, commissioning and maintenance.

Our powder processing equipment portfolio is underpinned by extensive lifecycle management services and friendly, efficient customer care to support you during the decades of service you can expect to enjoy from Hosokawa Micron Group equipment and process systems.

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