Dry Processing

Weigh belt feeder reduces product giveaway, improves quality

February 1, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+



The SWB-300 weigh belt feeder, installed at Wander Foods’ Berne, Switzerland, Ovomaltine drink mix facility, has a low profile to accommodate low-headroom applications. Source: K-Tron.



In today’s tough global economy, food manufacturers have become very sensitive to the effect of exact product dosing and ingredient delivery during packaging. An improvement of even 0.25% in dosing weights can equate to thousands of dollars saved in long-term operating costs, as well as valuable improvements in overall product quality.

Wander Foods, located in Berne, Switzerland, recently found itself facing a similar situation with its Ovomal-tine drink mix packaging line. Known to US consumers as Ovaltine, the chocolate-malt flavored drink mix was previously packaged using a manual delivery and dosing process that was unreliable. In automating the process, Wander required a contained, high-accuracy metering solution. It selected Smart Weigh Belt (SWB) gravimetric feeders from K-Tron.

The designed solution required two lines for the contained transfer of the powdered drink blend to a dosing device with design rates of up to 6,000 kg/hour. Additionally, the existing space offered limited headroom to accommodate equipment height. The low profile of K-Tron’s SWB-300, coupled with a system for contained vacuum transfer of the powder, offered the solution.

The addition of a rotary valve directly above the feeder facilitates controlled delivery of the material to the weigh belt below. Flexible bellows in between the airlock outlet and the feeder inlet isolate the belt feeder so that accurate weighing and dosing can occur.

The current installation operates on a three-shift basis, processing approximately 4.5 ton/hour of the Ovomaltine mixture. The material is conveyed directly to a hopper mounted above the feeder. It is then metered, via the weigh belt principle, directly to the packaging line. 

The SWB is designed for continuous controlled gravimetric feeding of bulk materials, but it can also be used for gravimetric batch feeding or continuous metering of bulk material flow. The feeder includes a primary weigh bridge located below a continuously rotating belt. In addition, an optional secondary weigh bridge - which was included in the Wander installation - reduces maintenance, frequency of calibration and improves long-term stability.

As material falls onto the belt, the material weight on the primary weigh deck and belt tare weight on the secondary weigh deck are determined by K-Tron’s patented SFTIII weighing technology with vibration and temperature immunity, zero deflection and one part in four million resolution. A controller compares the desired mass flow or setpoint with the actual mass flow measured and adjusts the belt speed accordingly. The combination of the weighing technology and the detailed control algorithms provide high-accuracy metered feeding of the product to the process below.

The SWB can be designed for capacities ranging from 20 to 40,000 kg/hour and is available with a variety of options; high pressures and temperature requirements can also be accommodated.

“K-Tron did not only supply us with a single piece of equipment, they provided us with a whole solution,” said Peter Roth, tonic food production manager, Wander Foods.

For more information: Sharon Nowak, 856-589-0500, snowak@ktron.com

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

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

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.

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

What was your favorite part of FA&M 2014?

View Results Poll Archive

THE MAGAZINE

Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

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.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

 

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

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png