< Back to products

Super Orion Ball Mill S.O.

Technology Application
Size Reduction

Hosokawa Alpine’s well-established Super Orion S.O. has been a trusted ball mill in the global mineral and ceramics industries for decades, offering cost-effective and exceptionally efficient processing of soft to hard raw materials into ultrafine ceramic or mineral powders suitable for manufacturing thousands of industrial and household products, from cosmetics and paint to wind turbines and nuclear reactors.

Engineered for dry comminution, the Super Orion S.O. has continually improved over time, employing the latest technology and meeting the needs of ever-evolving market requirements. The ball mill is available in a wide selection of sizes across the three models in the range – standard, compact and superfine – and uses free-moving ceramic or steel balls, housed in a large lined rotating drum, to impact against the mineral or ceramic feed material and the drum bed in a freefall and cascading motion. The processing material’s particle size is reduced to a consistently uniform and high-quality ultra-fine powder when used as the centrepiece of a process system incorporating a downstream Hosokawa Alpine classifier.

The Super Orion S.O. ball mill offers a number of advantages, not least low maintenance costs, an extremely high level of mechanical robustness and wear-resistance, excellent flexibility in the ultrafine range (including effortless processing of very abrasive materials) and an impressively long service life, typically of more than fifty years. The mill’s series of optional accessories is designed for optimal performance, operational flexibility and precision, including frequency convertors, self-aligning roller bearings and load cell systems.

Product Information

The Alpine Ball Mill for the dry comminution of hard materials, especially for the ultrafine range < 10 µm in circuit with an Alpine ultrafine classifier.

Hosokawa Alpine’s long-established Super Orion S.O. ball mill range is available in three models that encompass the classic standard variant (S.O.), a more compact option (S.O.-CL) and the S.O.-SF, which has been specially designed with a slotted panel for manufacturing coarse to ultrafine mineral fillers and ceramic materials with a fineness value down to d50 = 0.8µm.

The energy-efficient range comes in a wide range of sizes and with a number of standard and optional features, such as variable speed drives (ideal for operating heavy ball mills, grinding ultrafine products or when product changes are frequent) and load cell systems to precisely measure and control product levels for optimal consistency, cost-efficiency and to prevent overfilling or the mill being operated without feed material.

Typically, the Super Orion S.O. ball mill range includes either steel milling media and linings for processing minerals into fillers or aluminium-oxide milling media and linings for processing technical ceramics.

The widest range of size options is available for the classic Super Orion S.O., which currently offers no fewer than 37 options (17 for producing high-quality mineral fillers and 20 for producing technical ceramics).

Throughputs vary widely depending on the size of ball mill, the material being processed, the classifier chosen for the task and the fineness level required. For example, to process limestone, the smallest Super Orion S.O. (160/160) could typically handle half a tonne of the medium-hard mineral material per hour when used in conjunction with a Turboplex ATP ultrafine classifier to d97 10µm, while the largest version (400/500) could typically process around 15.5 tonnes per hour to the same specifications and parameters.

To establish optimal performance and guaranteed values for your particular application, in-depth product trials, using your original raw materials, are available at our dedicated test centre and would be highly recommended.

Main features for each model are listed below:

Super Orion S.O.

  • Cast side plates bolted to a rolled steel drum with integrated manhole
  • Drive with high-performance ring and pinion gear unit, automatic tooth lubrication and back gearing
  • Bearing unit with friction journal bearing and continual oil recirculation, lubrication and temperature control
  • Two-part discharge housing with top venting connection and an inspection cover
  • Product discharge via adjustable slots around periphery of drum
  • Optional self-aligning roller bearing


Super Orion S.O.-CL (compact line)

  • Welded high-grade steel milling drum
  • Direct drive with top-mounted gear unit (connection via flanged motor)
  • Drive shaft and trunnion supported by enclosed anti-friction bearings
  • Frequency converter to control mill start up
  • Nominal mill speed + or – 5%
  • Product discharge via adjustable slots around periphery of drum


Super Orion S.O.-SF (superfine)

  • Ultrafine fillers and ceramic materials d97 < 10µm
  • Fineness to d50 = 0.8µm
  • Slotted panel to separate milling balls from the product in the discharge area
  • Special milling media
  • Optional load cell system on mill



Design Options

  • S.O. (standard), S.O.-CL (compact) and S.O.-SF (superfine)
  • Choice of wear-resistant classifiers for closed-loop operation
  • Variable speed via special frequency converter
  • Load cell system for precise product level control
  • Drum-lining options for optimal wear-resistance and to prevent contamination


Optional Accessories

  • Load cells
  • Self-aligning roller bearing
  • Classifiers (circuit-air, air and single or multi-wheel ultrafine)
  • Feed silo with metering and dedusting
  • Weighbelt feeder
  • Magnetic separator
  • Sampling port
  • Rotary valve
  • Air inlet
  • Pneumatic butterfly valve
  • Automatic reverse jet filter
  • Fan
  • Pneumatic flap valve
  • End product silo with auto discharge and shut off
  • Control cabinet


Test Centre Product Development Solutions

Hosokawa Micron Group is proud to be able to offer a comprehensive product trial service as part of the development of your application processes and equipment designs. The in-house service is backed up by the latest powder and particle processing technology and state-of-the-art digital support, which can be 100% online if an in-person visit to one of Hosokawa Micron Group’s Europe-based test centres or laboratories is not feasible.

Collaborating with your engineering team, our in-house team of expert technicians, scientists, engineers and operators will rigorously put your application requirements to the test to devise the optimal process system or piece of equipment.

We perform well in excess of 500 product trials per year, each one typically taking up to a week to complete, and, for your convenience, our team is available at all times during the trial process to assist you and answer any queries, either remotely or in-person at our facilities.

Product, application and equipment trials can be carried out at laboratory or production scale using our comprehensive suite of Hosokawa-brand powder processing equipment and systems, and we provide full documentation, reports, test results and sample material throughout the process.

As one of the world’s leading powder processing specialists, Hosokawa Micron Group has more than a century’s-worth of in-depth knowledge and experience working with a huge and complex variety of materials and for a wealth of applications in increasingly diverse and exciting sectors.

Whether its traditional manufacturing industries such as minerals, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, chemicals and food, or more contemporary sectors such as rechargeable battery materials, recycling and advanced materials, we can test your products in a realistic environment to ensure you can achieve the largest, most high-quality yields from your raw materials prior to supplying your optimised equipment or process system.

We have in-house test centres dedicated to a range of applications and industries. Our set up also includes a pharmaceutical-based clean room featuring containment equipment, a circuit-air mode and an OEL < 10µm/m3, along with a fully equipped laboratory dedicated to particle analysis, rheological properties and microscopy.

From feasibility studies, process optimisation, scale-up and product development to special designs that meet challenges such as potentially explosive environments and products, abrasive and hazardous products, process simulation, clean room designs and particle size analysis – the possibilities and opportunities are endless.

For more in-depth information about the Super Orion S.O. ball mill range and process system specifications, including full details of the design options available and our cutting-edge testing centre services, please feel free to contact us on +44 (0)1928 755100 or complete our short enquiry form – we would be delighted to trial your processes and materials and help you to choose the perfect ball mill or process system for your application.

The extremely tough Hosokawa Alpine Super Orion S.O. range offers excellent flexible solutions for dry processing mineral, technical ceramic and various ceramic raw materials into high-quality, contamination-free ultrafine powders and is particularly effective when used in conjunction with a suitable classifier from Hosokawa Alpine’s extensive range.

Popular for creating fine and coarse mineral fillers from materials such as limestone, chalk, marble, dolomite, kaolin, bentonite, talc and baryte, the high-performance equipment is also very suitable for processing various ceramic materials (including specialist advanced ceramics), such as zirconium silicate, aluminium oxide, feldspar, quartz sand, silicon carbide and silica sand.

Due to their excellent functional properties, ceramic powders and mineral fillers are used extensively throughout a number of manufacturing sectors. The powders and fillers are routinely used for making products such as jet engine turbines, electronics, nuclear reactors, solar panels, thermal barrier coatings, brake pads, hybrid vehicles, sensor technology, valves, wind turbines, water purifiers, medical instruments, dental crowns and braces, bioceramics such as artificial knee and hip joints, thermoplastics, building and construction materials, thickening agents, cosmetics, paints, car tyres, polymers, pesticides, fertilizers, coated paper, small household appliances, jewellery, tableware, glass and porcelain tiles, amongst many, many other products.

  • Extremely robust and efficient
  • Constructed from high-grade stainless-steel
  • Typical equipment longevity of 50+ years
  • Silex, ceramic, steel or aluminium oxide lined, if required
  • Well-proven technology for consistently excellent performance
  • Continually evolving and improving designs
  • Processes soft, medium-hard, hard and abrasive materials
  • Excellent flexibility in the ultrafine milling range
  • Various ball sizes available up to several centimetres in diameter
  • Three models: S.O. (classic), S.O.-CL (compact) and S.O.-SF (superfine)
  • Cast side plates bolted to rolled steel drum with integrated manhole
  • High-performance ring and pinion gear unit with automatic tooth lubrication
  • Friction-bearing unit with permanent oil-recirculation lubrication and temperature control
  • Product discharge via adjustable slots around periphery of drum
  • Discharge housing with top venting connection and inspection cover
  • Variable mill speed +/- 5% via frequency converter (S.O.-CL)
  • Cost-effective and energy-efficient
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Huge range of sizes available
  • Various design options include load cell systems, frequency converters and classifiers
  • Optional features include self-aligning roller bearings
  • Tailor-made specialist process system designs available
  • In-house production trials and product testing at our dedicated test centre
  • Product trial documentation
  • 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

Equipment speed is absolutely critical when using any ball mill to process material into ultrafine, high-quality powder. If the speed of the mill is set too slow, the free-flowing balls – which are housed inside the grinding drum and crush material by impact and shear forces – would simply roll off each other so the product couldn’t be successfully ground. Conversely, excessive speed would mean that the centrifugal force created would pin the balls against the mill’s interior drum walls, which would also prevent the material from being ground. Hosokawa Alpine ball mills usually operate at 75% of the critical speed and the balls take up around 30-40% of the drum volume.

Product trials using test material are essential to ensure the optimal tailor-made milling solution is created for your application and fineness requirements.

The highly efficient Hosokawa Alpine Super Orion S.O. ball mill has been designed and engineered to effortlessly dry grind a variety of mineral and ceramic materials to an ultrafine size range and has been developed and improved over decades to meet changing market trends and keep pace with new technology. Principally, the Super Orion S.O. uses a freely moving grinding media, such as ceramic or steel balls, to perform this milling task.

The centrepiece of the robust mill is its giant drum, which is 30% to 40% filled with grinding balls that range in size depending on how fine the powder needs to be – the smaller the balls, the finer the powder. Generally, the balls are between one and several centimetres in diameter and are made from steel or ceramic.

The mill’s energy-efficient drive operates at around 75% of the, mathematically calculated, critical speed and slowly rotates the drum, setting the bed of grinding balls into action so that they are lifted and then fall back against the bed of the rotating drum in a cascading or freefall motion. A mill drum of two metres in diameter, for example, would rotate at around 23rpm, translating to a peripheral speed of 2.4 metres per second. Equipped with steel balls, a mill of this size would convert approximately 50kW per cubic metre of raw material.

The raw material feeds continually into the drum through the mill’s trunnion and is discharged through open slots positioned on the opposite side to the feed entrance. The discharge rate can be adjusted by opening or closing the slots around the periphery of the drum. Processed material is usually pneumatically transported to a classifier downstream where it will be classified as suitable for discharge into an end product silo or will be recirculated back into the drum (along with any new and unprocessed material) for further processing, eliminating the potential issue of out-of-spec waste product or product that is too coarse to be commercially useful.

The Super Orion S.O. mills have a great deal of flexibility in the ultrafine range, producing everything from fine 2µm-sized material suitable for paper coatings to coarse filler material of d97 = 100µm in particle size, which is suitable for bitumen filler. In conjunction with a turbo twin classifier, the fineness range could be as small as d50 = 0.5µm.

Conveniently, wear-resistant materials such as aluminium oxide or high-grade steel can be used to line the drum and other relevant components (such as the grinding balls and classifier) if the raw material is particularly abrasive or it is critical that the end product remains contamination-free and doesn’t suffer from discolouration during the milling process, which is particularly important when producing high-quality fillers for plastics, paint or paper.

In addition, mill designs can incorporate a special frequency converter to allow a heavy ball mill to operate at variable speed, while the inclusion of sophisticated load cell technology allows for precise control and metering of product levels during processing.

The Super Orion S.O. ball mill by Hosokawa Alpine can be supplied as an individual piece of size reduction equipment but may also be supplied as part of a larger, tailor-made process system designed, engineered and manufactured by Hosokawa Micron Group to precisely cater for your specific application, material and requirements.

With a wealth of experience and innovation expertise – as well as an industry-leading portfolio of processing equipment encompassing containment, milling, classification, mixing, particle design, agglomeration, drying etc – we are adept at creating bespoke, complex material processing systems that combine optimal functionality, quality, performance and reliability.

We can combine the Super Orion S.O. ball mill with equipment for dry processing a wide range of soft to hard industrial mineral materials – such as limestone, dolomite, kaolin and talc – to manufacture ultrafine mineral powders, fillers and technical ceramics.

For example, the ball mill can be integrated into a complex, bespoke closed circuit process system for manufacturing high-quality fine fillers, comprising multiple fully integrated components. Process system equipment might include a feed silo with metering and dedusting functionality, a weighbelt feeder, magnetic separator, sampling port, the centrepiece Super Orion S.O. ball mill, load cells, milling inlets, a rotary valve, a Turboplex ATP ultrafine classifier, secondary air inlet, pneumatic butterfly valve, automatic reverse jet filter, a fan, pneumatic flap valve, an end product silo with activated discharge and shut off, as well as a control cabinet. Wear-resistant mills can be designed, while and the integration of a classifier helps to prevent waste by recirculating any oversized particles back into the mill for further processing.

Trusted by leading manufacturing companies spanning a wide variety of sectors – from pharmaceuticals, nuclear and chemicals to minerals, food and cosmetics – Hosokawa Micron Group is known globally for equipment and process system innovations that perfectly complement our game-changing processing techniques.

A first-class in-house project management and engineering service, along with technical services such as contract manufacturing, particle design and powder testing, offer you a complete, professional solution to match our adaptable high-performance products and the process systems that we can precisely tailor-make for you.

Our equipment portfolio is also 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.

Similar Products

Browse though the Hosokawa Micron product catalogue to view all of our innovative processing equipment or contact us directly on

ANR Agitated Media Mill
The Alpine ANR Agitated Media Mill is designed for the cost-efficient ultrafine grinding of highly concentrated limestone slurries.
AWM Table Roller Mill
Alpine Table Roller Mills operate in accordance with the principle of pressure comminution.
AFG Fluidised Bed Opposed Jet Mill
Hosokawa Alpine’s revolutionary, high-performance jet mill for contamination-free grinding of challenging soft to hard materials into pure, ultra-fine powders
ACM Air Classifier Mill
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.
Services we provide
Training Packages
Protect your investment by up-skilling your operators
Maintenance Packages
Our bespoke Maintenance Packages will ensure the optimal performance of your equipment
Optimisation Upgrades
Future-proofing your equipment, intelligent manufacturing and digital strategy solutions
Refurbishments & Repairs
Economical refurbishments and repairs to extend the life of your equipment
Your form has been submitted successfully
A member from the Hosokawa team will be in touch