Ingredient processor’s own design increases product quality.

Caravan Ingredients designed and built this bag dump station, which incorporates a stainless steel platform table, a 60-in. diameter low-profile vibratory screener from Kason Corporation and a dust collection system. Source: Kason.

Caravan Ingredients, a large manufacturer of food emulsifiers and US supplier of functional ingredients to the wholesale baking industry, had an inefficient bag dump station that was equipped with a not-so-effective screener.

“At the company’s Kansas City plant, one operator was responsible for slicing and dumping bags of flour, sugar and other raw ingredients into a 3- x 5-ft. bag dump station with a square screen, a process that generated dust, accumulated material on internal edges of the station, incurred downtime for maintenance and occasionally allowed bag scraps to enter the batch,” states Caravan Project Manager Michelle Schlie. Access to the dumping area was only large enough for one operator, limiting the output of the entire process, she adds.

Caravan decided to design and build a new bag dump station that could accommodate two operators and screen out foreign matter. The new bag dump station would be equipped with a low-profile vibratory screener to boost capacity and product quality.

Caravan Ingredients fabricated a 304 stainless steel (SS) platform table 80 in. wide, 68 in. long and 32 in. high. The table allows two operators to empty bags simultaneously into a 60-in. diameter low-profile vibratory screener, which was recommended by Stuart Sundblom of Stuart Systems and supplied by Kason Corporation. The waist-high table provides room for two operators to slice open and empty bags into the screener, doubling capacity. On-size particles pass through the screen at high rates in a vertical, straight-through pathway and discharge through the screener outlet via gravity into mixers on the floor below.

“Quality is improved because the screener separates powders and potential paper or plastic pieces from contaminating the product, and produces a more uniform particle size by eliminating raw material lumps from entering the process,” says Schlie.

Dust collection devices integral to the SS table create a clean work environment during bag dumping. A center-hinged lid remains open as bags are dumped and then shuts while the screener completes its cycle. Caravan Ingredients also designed its own dust collection system located at the rear of the unit to collect airborne dust. The round design of the vibratory screener obviates the flanges and corners of the previous bag dump station that accumulated material, reducing maintenance.

At half the height of a conventional vibratory screener, the low-profile Model Flo-Thru Vibroscreen unit reduces the height to which bags must be lifted by operators, significantly reducing fatigue. Unlike older, conventional screeners with one imbalanced-weight gyratory motor located beneath the screening chamber, the new unit has two imbalanced-weight gyratory motors mounted externally on opposite sides of the screening chamber. This reduces the profile of the screener, and the minimum height of the bag dump table.

The screener provides multi-plane, inertial vibration that causes particles to pass through apertures in the screen. To prevent screen blinding, a 2-in. high ball tray anti-blinding device uses the screener’s vibratory action to bounce elastomeric balls between the upper working screen and a lower ball screen, effectively dislodging particles from apertures in the upper screen.

Schlie says the bag dump tables have become an integral part of the company’s total productive maintenance philosophy with a “cleaner, safer and reduced maintenance environment.”

For more information, Henry Alamzad, 973-467-8140,


Spiroflow’s Spirostore flexible silos are made of a durable and flexible polyester fabric supported on a steel frame. The silos can store up to 7,000 cu.ft. of dry, bulk material, support weights up to 90,000 pounds and are custom manufactured for shape, size and the type of polyester fabric. Available for indoor or other weatherproof locations, the silos can be connected to any of the company’s flexible screw, aero mechanical, pneumatic or vacuum conveyor systems to fill and/or empty the stored material.

Spiroflow Systems Inc., 704-291-9595,


IAC’s product transfer dust pulse-jet collector uses clean-in-place technology (CIP) through the use of a series of removable lance-style manifolds, each using multiple CIP nozzles.  The manifolds can be removed and each port plugged off, if periodically longer product runs are anticipated.  At each product changeover, water is used to clean down the entire circumference of filter bags and interior baghouse filter-casing surfaces.  The process consists of filling the compartment with water, draining, drying the compartment and commencing a new product run.  The CIP system lessens the need to completely re-bag the filter to avoid cross contamination between each different product run.

Industrial Accessories Company, 913-384-5511,

Particle size reduction, sieving

Andritz provides single-source PerfTech drilling, milling, punching and laser beam perforation solutions for applications such as size reduction, sieving and solid liquid separations. High quality perforated plates, screening components, cylinders and complete components are available in chrome-nickel steel, unalloyed steel, Hastelloy, Inconel, aluminum, copper, brass and titanium. Perforations are available for material thicknesses from 0.2 to 20.0mm and hole sizes from 0.1 to 20.0mm with burr- and ridge-free surfaces, varying hole cross sections and precise slot widths. 

Andritz, Inc., 570-329-6734,

Double cone blender

Three sizes of sanitary double cone blenders are available from Charles Ross & Son Company. The blenders are available in sizes of 5-, 10- and 15-cu.ft. capacities; a full range of sizes covers 0.5 to 79 cu.ft. working capacity. Each blender is constructed of 316 SS and is internally polished to a 240 grit sanitary finish. The exterior is polished to an easily cleanable 150 grit finish. The valve is positioned 24 inches from the floor when in the bottom position. Stop-Start and E-Stop push buttons are included.

Charles Ross and Son Company, 800-243-7677,

Radar for powders

Bindicator’s TDR-1000 guided wave radar provides continuous, non-mechanical level measurement of solids, granules and powders by means of low-power radar pulses guided along a stainless steel cable. Suitable for a variety of tank sizes and geometries, the device can be installed in new or existing vessels. The transmitter is two-wire loop powered with a 24 Vdc input and an output of 4-20 mA. The level meter does not require additional calibration beyond its initial setup. The unit is available with a SS wave guide of up to 78 ft. and is compliant with IP66 and NEMA 4X standards.

Bindicator, 800-778-9242,

Pivot-head filler

This combination bulk bag/drum filler from Flexicon features a fill head that pivots down for connecting empty bags at floor level, and a swing-arm-mounted chute for filling of drums. The unit’s swing-down fill head enables the operator to connect bag spouts and resume filling operations rapidly, eliminating the need to step over roller conveyors, strain to reach overhead connection points or injury associated with operation of conventional bulk bag fillers. The device simultaneously lowers and pivots the fill head, stopping it in a vertically oriented position that places the bag inlet spout inflatable connection, inflator button and 4 bag loop latches within an arm’s length of an operator standing on the plant floor.

Flexicon, 888-353-9426,

Bulk solids activator

K-Tron’s ActiFlow smart bulk solids activator prevents bridging and rat-holing of cohesive bulk materials in SS hoppers. The unit is a non-product contact device, consisting of a vibratory drive and intelligent control unit. In applications involving difficult flowing materials, the system eliminates the need for flexible side-wall agitation devices or aeration pads.

K-Tron America, 856-256-3265,

Flash drying

The Hosokawa Drymeister Model DMR-1 flash drying system is available in a range of sizes with evaporation rates as high as 6,000kg/hour. The architecture of the machine and its high-speed dispersion rotor in combination with the usage of a classifying rotor dries product quickly and efficiently. With the ability to handle a wide range of feed viscosities from slurries to pastes to filter cakes, the machine maintains dispersion of solids for efficient drying and high inlet gas temperatures up to 600°C. There is minimal product build-up on internals and minimal reagglomeration. The machine can dry products as fine as 250nm.

Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems, 908-273-6360,

Vibratory screener

Pennwalt’s Vibroscreen is a circular, unitized gyratory screen with 3-component, multi-plane mechanical vibration. The motion is obtained through a motor with a double extended shaft fitted at both ends with eccentric weights. The whole drive assembly is mounted on a circular base by rugged springs that allow the unit to vibrate freely while preventing transmitted vibration to the floor. Screens can be mounted one on top of the other within the screening assembly.

Pennwalt Ltd., 856-241-9970,

Rotary valve batch feeder

IEDCO’s rotary valve batch feeder works in sanitary applications and provides batching accuracies of +/-4 grams. The valve reciprocates back and forth 180° and prevents product separation;  when regulated using a dependable weighing instrument, it delivers accurate batches. During full “bulk mode,” the rotary valve allows the continuous, metered feeding of powders and granules. Once the weight of the batch reaches a set point, the valve goes into “dribble mode” and pulses rather than rotating the full 180° to meter much smaller amounts of product. The valve also handles volumetric feeding applications and is commonly used for feeding mills, tablet presses, capsule filling machines, microdosing machines and sieving machines, etc.

IEDCO, 856-728-6400,

Ergonomic sack tipping station

Gericke’s sack tipping station is available in mild or SS configurations and features an ergonomic design that allows a safe and complete emptying of all types of bags. Featuring continuous welding, open profile and no unnecessary surfaces to accumulate dust, the station has integrated safety sieves and metal separation. The unit provides an integrated fan that generates a laminar air stream in the filter housing to keep dust away from the operator, plus cartridge air filters and easy handling of the access door using gas pressurized telescopes.

Powder Technologies Inc., 609-914-0521,

Explosion-proof bag filler

The MTS Material Master PowerFill explosion-proof bulk bag filling system provides Class 1, Division II, Group D explosion-proof service. The system includes 316L SS product contact surfaces, the company’s Power-Lift fill head adjustment system, SS loading deck, a bag presence sensor and a fully integrated bag inflation package. A dust-tight inflatable spout seal, washdown duty weigh modules and digital weight indicator ensure precise, dust-free material filling. The controls are housed in a pressurized NEMA enclosure.

Material Transfer Systems, 800-836-7068,

Gentle horizontal conveyor

Triple/S Dynamics’ Slipstick horizontal motion conveyor provides gentle motion, minimizing conveyor-imposed product damage. The conveyor features a horizontal, slow-forward, quick-return motion, which glides food products down the pan, eliminating breakage problems for fragile foods such as chips, cookies and cereals. The unit provides a consistent conveying motion throughout the length, width and depth of the product bed, preventing build-up of oily fumes.

Triple/S Dynamics, 800-527-2116,