Dust-Tight Bulk Bag Discharger with Flexible Screw Conveyor Eliminates Waste, Improves Safety
Flexicon Corporation (Australia) P/L
Food Manufacturing, Bulk Bag Discharger, Flexible Screw Conveyor
Danisco A/S, a multinational ingredient manufacturer with operations in 147 locations in 47 countries, prides itself on competitive processing and helping its customers find ways to cut costs. An inefficient production system at the company’s food-ingredient plant in Beaminster, Dorset, for nisin, a natural antimicrobial food preservative and shelf-life extender used in cream cheese, liquid egg and many other foods, prodded managers to rethink their system -- they needed to streamline flow and reduce material handling to eliminate waste and cut manpower costs.
As a solution, Danisco installed a Flexicon bulk bag discharging system that conserves plant floor space and reduces costs, waste and dust while improving plant hygiene along with worker health and safety.
Flexicon designed a bulk solids handling system that uses a bulk bag discharge frame featuring a cantilevered “I” beam from which the bulk bag gravity-feeds ingredients into a receiving hopper that feeds a 4.5 m long flexible screw conveyor housed within a polymer tube. A BAG-VAC® dust collection system mounted on the side of the bulk bag frame collects 99.99% of particles 5 microns or greater in size. The dust collector produces a vacuum, to collapse empty bags prior to bag disconnection, eliminating the need for manual flattening and thus reducing the risk of the operator inhaling dust. All ingredient-contact parts are made from Type 316 stainless steel with a food-grade finish, meeting the plant’s stringent requirements.
The bulk-bag discharger frame enables Danisco to purchase ingredients cost effectively in bulk bags; the need for 25 kg bags is reduced by about 90%. The forklift operator positions a bulk bag in front of the discharger frame and attaches it, via straps, to an electric hoist that lifts the bag above the receiving hopper. A Spout-Lock® clamp ring positioned above a pneumatically activated Tele-Tube® telescoping tube enables the operator to make a quick, dust-tight connection between the bag spout and hopper.
With the push of a button, the telescoping tube raises the clamp ring assembly, allowing the bag spout to be pulled through the ring. The operator then lowers the clamp ring, sealing the clean side of the bag spout to the clean side of the telescoping tube. The bag’s spout is then manually untied, with the dust tight seal allowing full open discharge from the bag without risking particulate inhalation by the operator. The telescoping tube assembly exerts continual downward tension on the spout, elongating the bag as it empties, thus promoting complete material discharge into the receiving hopper. A side-mounted hopper sensor informs the operator about the status of material flow.
From the receiving hopper, the free-flowing raw material gravity-feeds into the intake adapter of the flexible screw conveyor, which moves the material 4.5 m at a 45-degree angle, then down through a discharge adapter that empties into the blender that begins downstream nisin production.
The new system occupies half the footprint of the old one. It significantly reduces manual bag handling and related injuries, while the dust-tight connections and BAG-VAC dust collector eliminate plant contamination. The bulk bag discharger system also promotes uniform ingredient flow and transfer, giving Dansico greater control over its nisin mixing, while reducing bag waste and ingredient costs.
Finally, the new system meets Danisco’s internal and audited quality-assurance programs, which include Health and Safety, Environment, Quality and Food Safety (SHEQ), Preferred Supplier Processes, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), and Social Responsibilities.
Bulk Bag Discharger
, Bulk Bag Discharging System
, Dust-Free Bulk Bag Discharger
, Flexible Screw Conveyor
, Food Manufacturing
Contact Flexicon Corporation (Australia) P/L
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