SaltWorks is a sea and mineral salt company located in Woodinville, WA, producing a range of specialty salts for wholesale customers, private labels and direct to consumers.

It produces custom order salts with varieties like Himalayan pink, red Hawaiian, Mediterranean black, Andres Mountain, Balinese, Mexican and French, and offers grind sizes ranging from extra coarse to medium, extra fine and powder. What makes SaltWorks unique is its operational approach, applying advanced process technologies, such as light sorting, specialty grinding and packaging, to its gourmet salts.

SaltWorks reached out to MPE because its previous grinder was not able to achieve the desired grain sizes. The yields might contain up to 25 percent fines by weight, which would mean more product was used than necessary to fulfill the order. While excess fines were still valuable for use in other products, the salt had to be processed a second time, which was not ideal in terms of production efficiency. SaltWorks wanted to achieve a significantly lower fines rate and give managers repeatable accuracy as they move from one order to the next.

Switching between salts also requires cleaning the inside of the grinder to ensure batch purity and integrity. However, cleaning the old grinder was a laborious and time-consuming process. SaltWorks wanted a grinder that could be wet washed and was corrosion resistant by design for quick transitioning between varieties.

“SaltWorks maintains the highest salt purity standards, and the ability to sterilize the grinder without having to hand dry between batches was a huge factor for us moving forward with the MPE Gran-U-Lizer,” says Colin Mclane, engineering manager at SaltWorks.

MPE built a custom IMD 79 Gran-U-Lizer for SaltWorks with two roller stages, affording an ideal amount of control and particle size reduction precision. The programmable logic controller (PLC) allows operators to electronically adjust the roll gaps for nimble transitioning between orders of varying grain sizes—with repeatable accuracy. Additionally, the IMD79’s four rolls are stainless steel and can be quickly wet washed as part of SaltWorks’ CIP system.

SaltWorks production managers are now experiencing a fines rate of only 2 to 3 percent, and plant managers have never been happier when it comes to their new cleaning process. MPE Gran-U-Lizers achieve on-target yields because of 60 years of R&D behind their roll corrugation designs and roll speed ratios, which cut and shear particles down to size, not crush them like other grinders that produce the fines SaltWorks wanted to avoid.

“Before our IMD 79, certain grain sizes weren’t economical to produce due to the high rate of fines produced. Now, we’re able to comfortably manufacture most sizes,” states Mclane.

MPE’s offerings are designed to provide the most robust fines-reducing solutions for all applications, ranging from powders, desiccants, candies, peanuts and spices to tea and coffee. MPE also produces the tubular drag conveyor (Chain-Vey) and custom process system designs, from simple upgrades all the way to greenfield projects.

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