This system is a packaging line that was added in an existing facility for a new product. The customer had a short window to meet a production and delivery schedule, we worked together to meet the 6 month time frame from inquiry to start-up.
The system handles 3 different ingredients that feed into a packaging line under the mezzanine. The two Bulk Bag Unloaders with pneumatic agitation, effectively discharge material from the bags into enclosed conveyors. The conveyor on the left side is a Slipstick conveyor, engineered and manufactured by Triple S Dynamics, a Hapman sister company. The Slipstick conveyor is a horizontal motion design known for gentle handling of ingredients. The two conveyors on the right are Helix Flexible Screw Conveyors. The Helix conveyors handle a bulky ingredient that clumps when compacted. To break up the clumps coming out of the bulk bag, a Lumpmaster lump breaker is in place at the discharge of the bag. The second Helix feeds the same material but acts as an overflow. The three transfer conveyors feed two additional conveyors on top of the mezzanine. System controls time valves that are opened and closed to make sure the ingredients are accurately distributed to the packaging line below.
Materials Handling: Dried Fruits, Oats, and Sugars
Customer Challenge: Our customer secured a new large client to deliver a consumer breakfast product. The window for production was 6 months
Goals Achieved: Handled each product based on unique material characteristics and accurately metered directly into a packaging line with integrated controls. Customer met the production window they promised.
The process of lithium mining is a water intensive production process. Depending on the environmental or reuse requirements, the wastewater treatment process can be equally as intense. We worked with our customer to develop a skid mounted assembly for mobility and easy utility connections. The bag dump station with dust collector, empties into a feeder hopper. The feeder meters flow of dry material into our exclusive SolidQuid eductor system. The eductor combines the dry material with the dirty process water to make a slurry. The slurry is pumped to one of two mixing tanks where further blending occurs. The metered feeding and the SolidQuid eductor system gave the customer the accuracy and the pre-mixing they needed to properly bring the chemical and PH levels of the wastewater into compliance for recycle or reuse. The bag dump station and skid-mounted system gave workers a safe and easy way to add material to the wastewater treatment process while saving money through efficient use of the additive material.
Materials Handling: Lithium
Customer Challenge: As the demand and price for Lithium escalated, the labor intensive process of waste water treatment became unmanageable and cost prohibitive. The challenge was to automate a labor intensive mixing process of combining dry materials with neutralization properties with process water for waste water treatment.
Goals Achieved: Cost reduction of wastewater treatment materials and safe, effective labor processes.
This system is engineered for the batch processing of major and minor ingredients to create a blended mixture for further processing downstream. The engineered bulk material handling system uses vacuum conveyors to effectively pull materials from each unload point and deliver a mixed materials batch into one of two storage silos. A complete controls package continually monitors the delivery of each material to produce the required feed rate. The batch controls allow operators to adjust the mixture and ratios on demand, giving processors the ability to create thousands of recipe variations within the framework of a single system.
The components of the system work together to form the batching system, these components include;
Major Ingredient Handling:
Bulk Bag Unloaders – Each is equipped with a 2 ton electric hoist and pneumatic bag agitation for efficient material flow. The unloaders have load cells for the accurate, real-time measurement of material flowing out of the FIBC’s (loss-in-weight). Each bulk bag unloader also contains a bag tie box for full-flow shut-off prior to full bag emptying.
Gravimetric Screw Feeders – located at the discharge of each bulk bag unloader, the feeders meter the flow of material to an accuracy of +/- 1%. Actuated diverting valves open to the percent required to meet the formula call for material.
Minor Ingredient Handling:
Bag Dump Stations – Each of the minor ingredient stations have manual bag dump with integral dust control to 1 micron. The discharge has an actuated diverting valve that is opened and closed automatically at the required ratio to meet the recipe material call.
Vacuum Conveying System:
The vacuum system is sized to handle the maximum required flow rate of the blended product. An actuated diverting valve allows for controlled filling of the holding tanks. The integral regenerative blower on each conveyor generates the vacuum that effectively pulls material through the piping and into the tanks. No expensive plant air is required to operate the conveyors. The self-pulsing system keeps the filters clean. When maintenance is required, the tool-less access side door provides for quick and easy change of the filters. The storage tanks have level controls that open or close the discharge valves on the conveyors. The controls allow for minimum and maximum levels to continually and automatically be maintained inside the tank.
The requirements of this mineral packaging application had to effectively handle three separate materials with varying bulk densities. Each material is accurately metered, within +/- 1% with our gravimetric feeders. Material is conveyed, on demand from the Bulk Bag Unloaders using the Helix Flexible Screw Conveyor, and from the storage silo using our Tubular Drag Conveyor. The metered material is discharged from each feeder into a mill below the platform where a second Tubular Drag Conveyor takes the blended material to a load-out station outside the building.
Materials Handling: Minerals
Customer Challenge: Customer produced bagged fertilizers and needed to expand packaging to meet growing seasonal demand
Goals Achieved: the upgrade to a more accurate and automated packaging system helped the customer meet the seasonal spike in demand.
System Summary: The mobile mixing system is a fully powered and operational system that produces a slurry from water mixed with dry chemicals. The system, outlined in the illustration, allows the dry material to be trucked in and water used on location to make the required slurry. This operation saved our customer significant time and money over the old method which required trucking in the mixture which was needed in large volume and was very heavy to transport.
Materials Handling: Dry Chemical
Customer Challenge: Some mining operations use chemicals and other additives to help with extraction. For one particular company in a mining related industry, the chemicals needed for safe, effective extraction required a dry material to be mixed with water right before use. Mining in remote areas of the country where utility infrastructure is very limited, paved roads do not exists, and the terrain is hilly. Due to the lack of available water and utilities, the customer was forced to pre-mix the water with chemicals and haul them into the remote project site locations. This process was inefficient, time consuming, and costly.
Goals Achieved: Reduced operating costs and dramatically improved efficiency through a unique mobile mixing unit.