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Accurate dispensing of concentrated bakery ingredients

16 December 2020

Modern research and process techniques have been employed by AB Mauri, a manufacturer and supplier of bakery ingredients, to produce a range of enzymes, bread improvers and enhancers in a highly concentrated form. 

To maximise the benefit of these concentrated ingredients accurate dispensing is critical, both to ensure optimal ingredient performance, and to minimise overdosing. 

Traditional weighing and diaphragm pump dispensing, even with the best of metering control, can lead to significant variations in the actual additive level to each batch of dough. To find a better solution A.B. Mauri set out to find a solution that better met its demands for accurate dispensing.

Concept Controls was approached to find a solution, and after technical analysis of peristaltic, lobe and double diaphragm pumps it was agreed that a high performance pump was needed to ensure accurate repeatable dispensing of concentrated ingredients from bulk containers.

During the research process the SEEPEX progressive cavity (PC) pump, was identified as offering a solution. PC pumps are able to provide a sooth pulsation free delivery of material delivering repeatable accuracy of +/-1%. The flow rate is linear, proportional to motor speed and regulated by a simple speed controller over a very wide range. This was useful as there is a limited time (less than 25 sec) for dosing of the ingredients when operating on a standard bread mixer, hence a high rate of delivery is needed for rapid dispense, but a low rate of delivery for accuracy of dispense.

The pressure capability of the pumps is also very wide, and the Concept Controls system uses this to deliver a high pressure and high accuracy phase at the end of the dosing cycle. The pumps can also accurately dispense products with a wide range of viscosities.

By coupling the PC pump, orifice plates, and a high accuracy Coriolis flowmeter, Concept Controls, in conjunction with its partner company PVSL, was able to meet the challenging specification requirements of the application. 

The result is an easy to apply dosing system that includes bulk frame storage for IBC containers with buffer tanks to allow a practical regime for maintaining product stock. The PC pumps are more able to deliver the various ingredients to a dosing frame mounted close to the mixers, and hence through the associated mixer lids and into each batch of dough.

The dosing frame is a small matrix of fast acting ball valves which allow the product to be fed either directly to the mixer, or via the flow limiting orifice plate. 

The net result is a system that can deliver as low as 50g into a batch of product, and also extend to several kilogrammes, all within the 25 second window, and every batch can be metered to the nearest gram.

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