Processed bulk solids: palatability enhancers, flavours for dog and cat food
Company SPF. To cope with its development, the French company SPF, the "petfood" branch of the international DIANA-Ingredients Group, has set up a new powder mixing workshop.
The construction of this workshop was carried out by Palamatic Process for the entire production lines including big bag discharging, pneumatic conveying, screening and dosing, including the integration of existing industrial mixers (five pneumatic conveyors, two industrial mixers and big bag filling stations for fresh products).
Objectives of the installation
Design and set up a workshop to improve blending and increase productivity.
Palamatic Process was chosen for the design, supply and assembly of the FIBC emptying, pneumatic conveying, dosing, screening and loading lines. Palamatic Process also provided the displacement and adjustment of existing industrial mixers.
A dust-free operating process:
The various lines set up by Palamatic Process are designed to prepare a premix in a pre-weighed hopper from different powders and raw ingredients packed in big bags, to feed the mixer, then to pack the mixture in big bags. They include five big bag dischargers, a pneumatic conveying cyclone for powder conveying, installed on load cells with a capacity of 6,500 liters/hour, a vibrating screen, a support frame for big bags to be filled, an industrial dust collection system with its pipe network and a hopper under the industrial mixer.
Once the big bag is placed on the dispensing tray, the operator opens the stripping box and undoes the knot in order to empty the big bag. This can be optimized by activating the massage system. Thanks to the optional installation of a discharge control valve, the operator can stop or regulate the discharge of the big bag at any time. The big bag discharger is the EasyFlow® EF0.
Once the emptying is complete, the big bag is removed using the hoist and the handling cross. In order to minimize dust emissions, the unlacing cabinet is connected to the industrial dust collection unit.
To achieve precise dosing, a pneumatic conveying system VFlow® is installed on a 1,300-litre hopper, mounted on load cells. The automated system determines the required weight. Once the weight has been chosen, the cyclone vacuums the required amount of powder into the pre-weighed hopper upstream of the mixer.
When the weight is reached, the PLC cuts off the supply to the pneumatic conveyor and closes the corresponding fluid inlet valve. The premix is then ready to be introduced into the industrial mixer.
Big bag dischargers and their equipment:
The structure of each big bag emptying station supplied by Palamatic Process is made of 304 stainless steel. All its welds are stripped and passivated for the parts in direct contact with the bulk materials and the station is equipped with an articulated access door in clear lexan. Sealing is ensured by flange mounting with FDA seal.
The static powder discharge chute (buffer hopper) is manufactured from 304 stainless steel. Its outlet diameter corresponds to the dimensions of the pneumatic conveyor speeding box.
The self-supporting structure is reinforced to support the weight of the big bag.
In order to optimize the emptying of the big bag, an autonomous tensioning system avoids retention pouches and thus guarantees an optimal emptying of the big bag without loss of bulk material.
In order to facilitate the flow of bulk material, all the slopes of the system were determined according to the angle of the slope of the most difficult flowing bulk material.
The dust extraction system, designed by Palamatic Process, consists of a stainless steel frame in which the filter cartridges are installed; a 3 kW motorised fan provides the necessary air flow. Adjustment registers are installed on the piping to adjust the vacuum flow rate on each big bag discharge station. In order to select the device to be dedusted, a pneumatic control valve is installed on each of the big bag discharge pipes. The valve is operated via the control cabinet.
A nozzle cleaning system has been installed on each cartridge. The cleaning is controlled by an electronic sequencer which allows to adjust the cleaning intervals as well as the duration of the compressed air pulses. A programmable off-line cleaning cycle is available to ensure the recovery of fines before product changeover. The fines are collected in a clamped bucket under the industrial dust collector.
Dense phase pneumatic conveying:
With a capacity of 6,500 liters/hour, the pneumatic conveyor is installed directly on the 1,300 liters pre-weighing hopper upstream of the industrial mixer. The cyclone + hopper assembly was installed on three load cells.
The cyclone separator, with its automatic compressed air cleaning system, is connected to the big bag dischargers. The pipes are gathered on the body of the buffer hopper and the selection is made by controlled valves.
The vacuum pump is equipped with two additional filters to ensure that the workshop is not contaminated.
All parts in contact with the bulk materials are made of 304 stainless steel with pickled, passivated and polished welds, and a 500 micron internal and external microblasting.
Increased mixing possibilities, improved products diversity, optimized mixing quality, increased plant productivity, doubled capacity, guaranteed traceability.
Thanks to this new installation, the possibilities of industrial mixing have been multiplied, allowing an improvement in the diversity of products, the quality of the mixtures has been optimized by a better accuracy of industrial dosages, the productivity of the plant has been increased, the capacity doubled and the traceability ensured under the best safety conditions.
After a few months of operation, Philippe FONTENAY, project manager at SPF, can already make a first assessment. He says: "The team spirit that inspired this project made it possible to complete this installation in a very satisfactory manner within eight months. All the objectives, both quantitative and qualitative, have been achieved. Productivity has been increased and capacity has doubled. In addition, the recording of parameters has been automated, allowing zero paperwork and absolutely flawless system traceability.