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Safe unloading and transfer of powders

04 January 2020

Food Processing looks at some recent solids handling solutions for food and beverage production areas. 

Raw materials and ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk powder, spices and flavourings are often supplied in bulk bags, sacks and pouches which are too heavy for operatives to repetitively lift and unload without support. Furthermore, when bags are unloaded into equipment such as industrial sieves or hoppers, dust is often emitted – potentially hazardous if inhaled repetitively. 

Seeking a solution to these hazards one food manufacturer contacted Russell Finex to help it identify more operator-friendly bag tipping sieve.

This food manufacturer, which offers a wide range of cooked, fresh and dried meat products as well as sauces and oils, identified the powder screening stage as an area for improvement. Flavourings and food additive powders supplied in large sacks are unloaded and check-screened before use in food processing. The company sought a high-capacity industrial sieve for screening food powders, with a bulk bag unloading station and dust containment solution to protect operators. In addition, the system needed to integrate within the existing production line without interfering with surrounding systems or downstream equipment.

The Russell Finex Compact 3in1 Sieve was identified as offering the best solution for this application. The bag dump screener, with dust extraction, has been specifically designed to safety sieve food ingredients through low-level bag emptying. A manual bag dump station is integrated to allow safe and easy bulk bag unloading. To further protect operators, dust control curtains were fitted to the dust hood. These PVC strip curtains provide an added dust control measure - alongside an optional dust extraction system – to safeguard operators and the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, to allow easy integration into the existing production line, the product outlet was moved from directly below the mesh screen to the side of the machine. This allowed the safety sieve to be installed in line with the existing downstream equipment, without compromising throughput.

More effective transfer
For a food ingredients company, Ajax Equipment has supplied a horizontal screw conveyor to replace an existing screw vibratory feeder, to handle biscuit fines.
The stainless-steel screw feeder features a cantilevered screw with full flights. The use of a screw offered the company more effective transfer of material than a vibratory feeder, helping to ensure a consistent flow of biscuit fines. The dust tight feeder also includes a hinged cover and polished finish to ensure ease of cleaning.

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