Dry Processing

Sieving systems speed tea production

dry processing tea production
The Compact 3in1 sieve bag-tipping station lets operators load 165-lb. bags of tea into the sieve, from where it travels by conveyor to further processes. Source: Russell Finex.
Established in 1984, Clipper Teas is one of the fastest-growing hot beverage brands in Britain, delivering 24 percent value growth per year. As a leading manufacturer of green, white and black teas, Clipper was the first to introduce green tea to the mainstream market.
 
Clipper has a wide range of teas available, with more than 200 SKUs from its Sleep Easy and Detox Infusions to Earl Grey and Assam Specialty blends to the Everyday cuppa. On average, the company produces 16,000 to 18,000 lbs. of tea per day, and with handling and blending critical to the production of high-quality tea, the processor is continuously looking for ways to enhance its product quality.
 
Clipper initially used one loading system to transfer 165-lb. bags of raw material onto a bucket elevator. The tea was then processed through a reciprocating screen to remove any contamination, and then fed into two cone blenders.
 
Having only one loading system proved to be problematic, as production was halted if the system required cleaning or maintenance, compromising business continuity. In addition, the reciprocating screen was difficult to dismantle and clean, usually requiring three operators to handle it, resulting in production downtime and increased labor costs. Furthermore, the screen could not be visually inspected without dismantling the unit, contributing to further inefficiencies.
 
“It became clear that in order to efficiently meet demands, the process had to be reviewed, not only to maintain business continuity but also to improve the screening process,” says Steve Norris, Clipper Teas engineering and maintenance manager.
 
With this in mind, the processor decided to search for a new loading and screening system where the key search criteria included ease of changing screens and the ability to visually monitor the tea as it is screened.
 
Clipper wanted to invest in a system that would enable two identical production lines to ensure production would not be disrupted during maintenance. This would allow the processor to expand and increase capacity during busy periods.
 
Having worked with Russell Finex previously, Norris approached the supplier for a solution. Although an inline sieve was initially being sought, following a test on four different teas, it was determined the Russell Compact 3in1 sieve would be the most appropriate machine, as it met both Clipper’s loading and screening requirements. 
 
Two large 36-in. diameter sieves were incorporated, due to the oversized nature of the bags being tipped into them. Designed for check-screening ingredients through low-level bag emptying, the sieve is easy to assemble and disassemble, and enables screens to be changed quickly and efficiently.
 
“The two Compact 3in1 sieves have enabled screening capacity to be doubled, allowing for greater flexibility, improved screening and therefore a reduction in waste and labor costs,” says Norris.
 
With the new machines in place, Clipper Teas has been able to enhance its quality control procedures, ensuring every box of tea that leaves the warehouse is of the highest quality. 
 
For more information:
Rob O’Connell, 704-588-9808, rob_oconnell@russellfinexinc.com, www.russellfinex.com.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Wayne Labs, Senior Technical Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering March 2015 cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how a surprise FDA audit could be serious if you're not recording key data.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.