About Prater

Quality, reliable equipment for a broad range of processing and manufacturing industries.

In 1925, Ralph Prater began manufacturing hammer mills for the feed industry under the name Prater Pulverizer Company. The Prater family carried on the family business for many decades and built a reputation for providing quality, reliable equipment for a broad range of processing and manufacturing industries.

Prater’s business grew over the years, aided by the addition of rotary airlocks, fine grinders, air classifying mills, lump breakers, rotary sifters, air classifiers, hammer mills, briquettors, and vibrating screens. In 1987, Prater acquired Sterling Controls (Sterling, IL). The new Prater-Sterling meant more products for the expanded customer base; Sterling’s line of process controls, batching and weighing systems, bagging controls and plant automation equipment broadened what could be provided to Prater’s core customers…and vice versa.

Prater-Sterling was subsequently acquired by Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (Boyne City, MI) in May of 2014. This acquisition set in motion the re-branding of Prater and Sterling Systems & Controls as separate entities committed to serving their customer bases with core knowledge in design, engineering, application, and manufacturing capabilities. The three companies- with IMI Holding Corp as the parent company- provide a collective range of products, depth of knowledge and collaborative capabilities unrivaled in the markets they serve.

What We Do

All Prater equipment, parts and systems are designed to provide years of low maintenance, reliable service. Prater also offers highly skilled and experienced technical services on-site for start-up, troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.

Recognizing that it isn’t always feasible for customers to purchase their own equipment, Prater maintains a fully equipped, professionally staffed modern test lab for testing and toll services. The lab can test customers’ products to determine the type and size of equipment they would require for their needs. Additionally, a toll lab utilizing production-sized equipment is maintained to process larger quantities or small batches on a continuous basis for a toll or fee. These specific toll processing (also known as toll grinding, toll manufacturing, toll milling) services allow for a quick turnaround in order to provide you with the information and finished product that you need.

At Prater, every project begins with your product in mind to deliver perfectly matched performance for every application. Prater equipment has met the needs of customers in over 160 countries around the globe for the past 90 years. Our over 6,000 customers can attest to our attention to detail and dedication to service

Examples of ingredients and products which are regularly sized and produced with the use of Prater equipment include:

  • Bakery Products – Bread, biscuits, rolls, crackers, muffins, cookies, pretzels, bagels, tortillas
  • Food Mix – Sugar, powdered sugar, pizza, donuts, cakes, breading, pasta, dry mix, wet mix
  • Food Manufacturing – Gum, candies, coffees, soup, sauces, chocolate, snacks, soya protein, gelatin, bread, ice cream cones, dehydrated apples, starch, potatoes
  • Renewable Fuels – Corn ethanol, biodiesel, switchgrass, biomass
  • Neutraceuticals – Echinacea, ginseng, tea leaves, alfalfa, algae, rose hips, lemongrass, willow bark
  • Spices – Cinnamon, black pepper, salt, paprika, chili peppers, nutmeg, ginger
  • Non-Food Items – Tobacco, wood, charcoal, detergent, tissue
  • Pet Food – Dry mixes, drugs, vitamins, minerals
  • Chemical – Lead oxide, paint, fertilizer, activated carbon, phosphates, welding flux, insecticide, rubber
  • Pharmaceutical – Lactose, whey, drugs, shark cartilage
  • Cosmetics – Foundation, powders, lipstick, eyeliner
  • Agricultural – Corn, wheat, oats, sorghum, cottonseed, barley, soya meal, soya flake, distiller’s grains hay, grass, canola, bran
  • Mineral/Mining – Sand, Diatomaceous Earth, fly ash, calcium carbonate, kaolin clay, limestone, gypsum
  • Plastic – Resin, polyimide