Food Engineering

Eye on Equipment in Powder and Bulk Material Handling

November 1, 2006




Bin unloader

Thayer Scale's line of loss-in-weight portable bin unloaders allows accurate discharging and metering of material stored and transported in side or bottom discharge portable bins. The system can be configured for continuous loss-in-weight feeding or batch. Weighing is accomplished by a low-deflection, non-wearing FMSS flexure scale that measures vertical loading and can take high-load directed overloads. The FMMS scale uses counterweights to negate the tare weight of the support structure, feeder and bin. One-hundred percent of the scale capacity is used to weigh material, resulting in good weight signal resolution, says the company.

Thayer Scale-Hyer Industries; 781-826-8101; www.thayerscale.com

Cooling system

Bulkflow Technologies' high-temperature bulk powder cooling system has a tube exchanger that minimizes thermal stresses and accommodates thermal expansion. The unit cools bulk solids with temperatures up to 1,832

Drum discharging system

Material Transfer offers a 180-degree rotation discharging system for drums of non-free powders at 49 in. above floor level. The Lift & Seal System hydraulically docks drums to a PTFE-lined 304 stainless steel pour cone for dust-tight operation. The Control Line rotation system inverts the drum, providing maximum product discharge with minimal product heel. Units can be custom designed.

Material Transfer; 800-836-7068; www.materialtransfer.com

Oscillating mounts

Lovejoy offers the ROSTA AB oscillating mounting system, which gives operators greater control over the movement in the sifters, as well as dampening and lessening sound and excess vibration. The mounts consist of two metal squares separated by four cylindrical elastomeric elements, preventing metal-to-metal friction. The elastomeric elements in the design transmit the oscillations of any system, while they dampen vibration, shock and noise.

Lovejoy, Inc.; 630-852-0500; info@lovejoy-inc.com

Rotary valve

The MEI rotary valve from IEDCO serves as a batch feeder. The company says the equipment has achieved batching accuracies of ±0.00 kg. The unit does not revolve 360 degrees. Instead it reciprocates 180 degrees, which prevents product separation and, when regulated using a dependable instrument, it delivers highly accurate batches. During full bulk mode, the valve allows the continuous metered feeding of powders and granules and when the weight of the batch reaches a particular set point, the valve goes into dribble mode and pulses.

IEDCO; 856-218-7330; info@iedco.com

Vacuum conveyors

PIAB says its IC Series of vacuum conveyors features patented multi-stage ejector technology, which uses less energy than other compressed air-driven technology. The unit is suitable for transporting beans, flakes, pellets and powders. It is completely enclosed and constructed of high-grade steel and offers a unique filter design that traps particles to prevent materials from being contaminated by dust or other external elements. The IC series features a compact design to conserve floor space. For flexibility, material can be transported via pipes or hoses.

PIAB USA, Inc.; 800-321-7422; www.piab.com

Heat exchanger

Bulkflow Technologies' heat exchanger uses mass flow and a bank of evenly spaced vertical hollow plates connected to a cooling water system to cool bulk powder. Pellets, granules and other bulk solids can also be heated or cooled. The unit combines heat transfer through moving beds of solids and the mass flow of bulk solids. The equipment consists of a number of vertical, closely spaced, hollow stainless steel plates. Bulk solids or powders pass slowly downward between the plates as heat transfer fluid flows through the interior of the plates to heat or cool the material by conduction.

Bulkflow Technologies; 866-379-3500; info@bulkflow.com

Vacuum conveyor

K-Tron's PCS batch weigh vacuum receiver offers multi-material batching into a common weigh vessel by a single vacuum source. The equipment allows individual ingredients to be conveyed and weighed so that accurate batching of ingredients can take place on a cumulative or sequential basis. This system is suitable for loading mixers and bulk bin filling when ingredients are stored at a remote location.

K-Tron Process Group; 856-589-0500; www.ktron.com

Feeder system

The Vibra Screw LIW (Loss-In-Weight) feeder system is a single unit featuring a large supply hopper and feeder combination. Proprietary bin activators, vibrated feeders and a sensitive scale allow the unit to avoid frequent refill and eliminate the need for an extra refill hopper and connecting interfaces, valves and seals. The company says the equipment requires 30% less headroom than most LIW feeders used in food production.zes (depending on product density) up to 1,500 kg.

Vibra Screw; 973-256-7410; info@vibrascrew.com