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Powder/Bulk Solids

The Source for Dry Processing and Bulk Handling Technology

Technology Review

November 6, 2007

Bucket Elevator
Segregation of particles in powder blends can cause serious problems, resulting in reduced product quality, dissatisfied customers, the need to rework or scrap the batch, missed deliveries, and additional disposal costs. The gentle-handling TipTrak can help eliminate segregation by running horizontally, vertically, and horizontally without risky transfer points. The mixture remains in the buckets until it is discharged to the next process. Interlocking buckets never come apart, guaranteeing that spillage or product loss will not occur during the elevation process.
UniTrak Corporation Ltd., Port Hope, ON, Canada 905-885-8168 www.unitrak.com

Capacitance Point Level Sensors
TrueCap RF-capacitance point level sensors do not have moving parts such as rotary paddle bin indicators or other mechanical-type level switches. They are sensitive enough for virtually any powder and bulk solid material and can be used on slurries. The TrueCap family includes a variety of probe types to meet virtually every application in feed and grain. In addition, high-sensitivity and automatic build-up immunity make the units high performers. The Model MK2 uses a universal power supply, push-button calibration, and built-in temperature sensors for automatic calibration compensation. The Model MK2e is based on standard analog electronic technology with a simple two-step calibration and cost-effective design.
Monitor Technologies LLC, Elburn, IL 800-766-6486 www.monitortech.com

Metal Detector
With advanced coil technology, the PowerPhasePLUS RB metal detector has a wide aperture that is well suited for bulk bags, yet it can also inspect any dry, wet, loose, or packed bulk product. The patented core technology provides excellent levels of sensitivity on bulk products in bags, sacks, and cartons. It also detects metals in loose bulk products. Built on the PowerPhase software platform, the unit finds even the most difficult-to-detect nonmagnetic stainless steel and fine wire contaminants. Its design allows for easy integration into bulk processing and packaging lines, and the user interface is easy to operate through a robust menu-driven membrane key panel.
Mettler-Toledo Safeline Inc., Tampa, FL 800-447-4439 www.mt.com/safelineus

Direct-Drive Compressors
Direct-drive-series rotary screw compressors are available from 25 to 450 hp. Available with flows from 72 to 2003 cfm and pressures to 217 psig, all units are designed for efficiency, reliability, and minimal maintenance. The state-of-the-art compressors feature the optimized Sigma Profile air end, patent-pending Sigma Control, and the latest one-to-one direct-drive technology. True direct-drive compressors, the units have an oversized air end connected directly to the motor via a maintenance-free coupling device, achieving zero-loss transmission efficiency. Their unique airflow cooling design reduces noise levels and provides increased cooling. All units are fitted with a redesigned high-efficiency separator system for extremely low oil carryover.
Kaeser Compressors Inc., Fredericksburg, VA 800-777-7873 www.kaeser.com/sigma

Air Knife
The 48-in. Super Air Knife provides wide surface coverage, offering a way to clean, dry, or cool parts, webs, or conveyors. At 80 psig, the sound level is 69 dBA, a noise level 11 times quieter than ordinary blowoffs. The knife directs the compressed airflow to a precise, slotted orifice. It creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length that immediately pulls in surrounding room air. Air amplification ratios (entrained air to compressed air) of 40:1 are produced. The knife achieves an air savings of 63% over typical blowoffs. Compressed-air inlets are provided on each end and the bottom of the knife for easy mounting. Multiple units can be mounted end to end without dead spots.
Exair Corp., Cincinnati, OH 800-903-9247 www.exair.com

Fluid-Bed System
This fluid-bed system employs a tangential design and a filter system that dries, coats, and granulates a wide variety of materials. The unit’s angled spray and circular airflow provide maximum coating uniformity and process flexibility. Operators are provided with critical control of all process parameters. Capacities range from 5 to 480 kg, and a patent-pending filter system prevents clogging. Options include PAT moisture detection via NIR technology and WIP or CIP cleaning.
L.B. Bohle, Warminster PA 215-957-1240 www.lbbohle.com

Bucket Elevator and Conveying System
The Elecon bucket elevator and conveyor system can move materials in all three directions. The buckets actually turn corners. The three-axis capability is a result of the patented chain design and wedge-shaped buckets. Because of its flexibility, the system can handle virtually any circuit design imaginable.
Gough Econ Inc., Charlotte, NC 800-264-6844 www.goughecon.com

Weighing Systems
This company offers a “Build Your Own Tank Scale Kit” with up to 20,000-lb capacity for less than $1000. Kits include four load cells, four weighing assemblies, a junction box, and digital weight computer. Designed for harsh environments, they have IP67 watertight load cells, stainless-steel assemblies, and a NEMA 6 J-box. The kits have a one-year factory warranty. All sizes and capacities are available. Options include an IP67 watertight digital weight computer, setpoints, serial or analog outputs, solid-state relays, emergency-stop and start buttons, remote displays, printers, and batching systems.
Transducer Technologies, Colchester, CT 800-955-9004 www.transducertechnologies.com

Pipe-Repair Clamp
The Quick Fix pipe-repair clamp provides a quick, durable fix for wear-generated leaks in pneumatic conveying lines and elbows that carry abrasive materials. The clamp consists of tough, wear-resistant alumina ceramic tiles encased in a flexible polymer pad and includes a strong nylon strap with a hand-operated tightening ratchet. For holes up to 3/8 in. in diameter, the clamp can contain pressure up to 290 psi. For holes from 3/8 to ¾ in., pressure capability is 145 psi. Clamps are available for pipe diameters from 3½ to 20 in.
Reparex Inc., Latrobe, PA 724-537-0444 www.reparex.net

Membrane Filter Bags
These membrane filter bags are effective for dust-particle collection and emissions control. Because of the ePTFE membrane’s ability to integrate to the base filter media, the bags can achieve 99.99% filtration efficiency. Their smooth surface provides a primary dust cake, and the media’s lack of loose fiber ends provides a hydro- and oleophobic characteristic to provide a secondary cake release. The use of a membrane helps reduce emissions, lowers pressure drop, achieves longer bag life, reduces the need for cleaning, and saves energy.
Midwesco Filter Resources Inc., Winchester, VA 540-504-8096 www.midwescofilter.com

Process Indicator
For use in process automation applications, the X3 process indicator provides easy control of process hopper scales with strain-gauge load cells. The standard Ethernet TCP/IP interface allows easy integration into existing computer networks for instant transmission of weight values, process status messages, or other controllable information via integrated OPC server technology. Wireless LAN can be used with any standard WLAN module, and remote service is available through a virtual private network (VPN) connection. For simple identification within networks, an IP address is automatically assigned to the X3 by the unit or a network server. The IP address can also be assigned manually by the user.
Sartorius Corp., Edgewood, NY 800-635-2906 www.sartorius-usa.com

Panel-Mount Programmable Timers
The PTC900 timer and PTC901 clock/timer feature performance capabilities to suit a wide range of industrial applications. Both timers can be programmed as elapsed or preset timers, have 12- or 24-hour time displays, and provide cycle-counting capability. The meters feature user-friendly front-panel keys, three programmable inputs, and a six-digit, 14-mm bicolor LED display for easy viewing. The timers include a lithium battery for power backup and PC software options for meter configuration. Both timers are ideal for the water treatment, chemical, plastics, rubber, automotive, and food industries.
Omega Engineering Inc., Stamford, CT 203-359-1660 www.omega.com

Rectangular Multifrequency Screeners
These units utilize the proven technological principles of the company’s round screeners. Powders can be processed at rates up to 10 times those of conventional screeners. Rectangular units are available with lengths from 0.5 × 1 m to as large as 2 × 4 m. Extensive testing was performed in mining applications in South Africa. After several successful installations there, the units are now available in the United States and worldwide.
Minox/Elcan, Mamaroneck, NY 914-381-7500 www.minox-elcan.com

Threadlockers
Permatex Gel Squeeze threadlockers prevent fastener loosening and failure commonly caused by vibration and shock. They flow easily into threads, even in blind holes, and cure in the absence of air once confined between close-fitting metal surfaces. They cure at room temperature without cracking or shrinking and withstand service temperatures from –65° to 300°F.
ITW Devcon, Danvers, MA 800-933-8266 www.devcon.com

Size-Reduction Systems
Type PKM and PM high-capacity fine grinding systems allow the production of high-quality powders that are fine-tuned to market and customer requirements for bulk density, flowability, uniform particle size, and distribution. The youngest generation of this series is equipped with newly designed housings, individually exchangeable grinding elements, and a grinding gap that is easily settable from the outside and carries the Eco Advanced label. With the Plast-Agglomerator, type PFV thermoplastic waste and compounded materials are prepared and reintroduced into the production cycle. System advantages include relatively low acquisition costs and limited thermal stress to the material, which generally allows material to retain its original characteristics. The systems reduce installation time, increase the lifetime of the agglomerating elements, and reduce the cost of wear parts.
Pallmann Pulverizers Company, Inc., Clifton, NJ 973-471-1450 www.pallmannpulverizers.com

Manual Bag-Dump Stations
These manual bag-dump stations provide complete compact work areas to break and dump bags of material into conveying systems. Each station is equipped with a cartridge-filter dust collector, exhaust fan, and collecting hopper. As a bag of material empties into the unit, the airborne fines it produces are drawn away from the work area and conveyed into the cartridge. When the cartridge is reverse-pulse cleaned, the collected fines are released into the hopper and conveyed to the process, ensuring that 100% of the material is recovered and utilized. Standard features include heavy-duty steel construction, heavy-duty filter media, and manual cartridge cleaning. Optional features include hopper aeration, a self-cleaning timer, stainless-steel construction, a differential-pressure gauge, an extended work surface, interior coatings, a special discharge flange, a drum-dump hopper, and a door.
Nol-Tec Systems Inc., Lino Lakes, MN 651-780-8600 www.nol-tec.com

Inverting Filter Centrifuge
The F-series second-generation inverting filter centrifuge incorporates new technologies and features, including a compact design, a smaller footprint, higher G-force results in lower residual moisture, higher production throughput, a 50% reduction in machine parts, new pressure-added centrifugation (PAC) technology, high flexibility for products that can be centrifuged, and easy CIP cleanability for multiproduct applications.
Heinkel USA, Swedesboro, NJ 856-467-3399 www.heinkelusa.com

Label Printers
Available in 203 or 300 DPI models, H-400/H-600-series thermal-transfer product identification and bar code label printers feature durable all-metal construction with a cast aluminum center wall for added strength. The large media window allows easy viewing and monitoring of supplies. Standard features include a high-speed USB 2.0 interface for superfast data transfer and a real-time clock for time- and date-stamping of labels. The standard stripper sensor on the H-400 series can be used for either strip-and-peel or tear-off applications. The printers ship with a free version of Easylabel Start software for custom designing and printing labels. Options include a cutter, an internal rewind mechanism, an Ethernet adapter, and an applicator interface.
Tharo Systems Inc., Brunswick, OH 800-878-6833 www.tharo.com

FIBC Static-Monitoring and Interlock System
This system controls the danger posed by static electricity during the filling or discharging of material from Type C FIBCs Designed for these applications, the Earth-Rite FIBC grounding system constantly monitors Type C containers, ensuring that the containers’ antistatic features maintain a positive ground connection. The system verifies that the bag’s antistatic construction is functional and correctly grounded. The interlock design allows product transfer only when the resistance through the container is less than 1 × 108 Ω. The system can also monitor similar static-dissipative materials such as drum linings, kegs, hoses, etc.
Newson Gale Inc., Lakewood, NJ 732-987-7715 www.newson-gale.com

Checkweighers
The enhanced Cornerstone series of checkweighers features new X-series controllers. Featuring a new color touch screen control panel, a new embedded industrial PC, and extended real-time controller (XRTC), X-series controllers have adopted OMAC standards to ease machine integration. The systems can be easily connected to plantwide networks using Ethernet, PLC, or serial connectivity. A fully integrated checkweigher can be used to control upstream processes, reducing under- and overfill products by providing automatic, real-time feedback to fillers on trends or out-of-tolerance conditions. The new XS controller offers as standard a large 15-in. color touch screen, five weight classification zones, a 200-product memory, statistical reporting, and IP69K protection for the display.
Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed, Ithaca, NY 800-836-0836 www.mt.com/hi-speed

Tubular Dryer
The Air Swept Tubular (AST) dryer is designed for rugged duty and versatility. Its adjustable paddles and air dams permit optimum air-to-solids heat transfer. Materials ranging from filter cakes and dilatant slurries to powders and granules can be effectively dried. Even slurries with dry solids content as low as 5% can be dried efficiently to as high as 99% dry solids in a single pass.
Scott Equipment Co., Arlington, TX 817-819-8937 www.scottequipment.com

Split-Shaft Seals for Hostile Processes
Patented MECO EX-PAC seals are built to withstand harsh environments, including aggressive solvents and other chemicals, temperatures up to 260°C, thermal shaft growth, pressure-vacuum fluctuations, high shaft runout or misalignment, and some axial shaft motion. These seals are used on slow-turning process equipment such as reactors, dryers, and conveyors. Available with either elastomeric or mechanical drive mechanisms, they work well in abrasive applications, while protecting shafts from damage. Seals can be custom engineered to suit individual applications. Fully split models can be retrofitted without the removal of a bearing or drive.
Woodex Bearing Company, Inc., Georgetown ME 800-526-8800 www.woodex-meco.com

IBC Lift
This IBC lift can be used for bins, bags, drums, or any container. It raises, lowers, rotates, inverts, and dumps for filling, manipulating, or dispensing into hoppers, containers, etc. It can be designed to pick up bags, bins, or drums, or it can be used as a platform lift. A single-column lift requires lower overhead clearance than conventional cranes or hoists and eliminates the need to tie up a fork truck.
ALM Corp., Streator, IL 800-544-5438 www.almcorp.com

Sanitary Triple-Shaft Mixer
The Model VMC-40S triple-shaft sanitary VersaMix is designed to provide maximum process flexibility. It is constructed using all Type 316 stainless-steel wetted parts polished to a 180-grit finish. The unit includes a self-contained high-shear rotor stator mixer with SLIM for solids induction, a conventional high-speed disperser, and a three-wing anchor with Teflon scrapers that clean the sidewalls of the vessel. The vessel is jacketed to ensure heating or cooling and can operate to 29.5-hg vacuum and 15-psi internal pressure.
Charles Ross and Son Co., Hauppauge, NY 800-243-7677 www.mixers.com

Explosionproof Drum Crusher and In-Drum Compactor
The drum crusher and in-drum compactor system reduces waste volumes for safe and economical disposal. Its totally explosionproof construction makes it ideal for use in NFPA Class 1 Division 1 areas. Features include 60,000 lb of compaction force, rugged welded steel construction, a nonsparking compaction chamber, and a quick-change head for easy conversion to in-drum compacting mode.
Benko Products Inc., Sheffield Village, OH 440-934-2180 www.benkoproducts.com

S-Beam Load Cells
LCR-series S-beam load cells offer high accuracy and five-point NIST-traceable calibration. Available in common ranges from 25 to 10,000 lb, these rugged industrial load cells are protected to IP55 and are constructed of lightweight aluminum for ranges up to 1000 lb and durable stainless steel for ranges greater than 1000 lb. IR 0.25% interchangeability makes them ideal for multiple load-cell applications. Each unit is supplied with a 20-ft four-conductor jacketed cable. Applications include tank level detection, hoppers and bins, and industrial weighing.
Omega Engineering Inc., Stamford, CT 800-826-6342 www.omega.com

Shaft Seals for Screw Conveyors
Original MECO air-purged seals contain dry, abrasive bulk powders, pastes, and slurries in screw conveyors and other rotating equipment. They can increase mean time between failures by four or more times over packing glands (stuffing boxes) and can be quickly rebuilt on-site. The fully split versions can be installed and maintained without disturbing the bearing or drive assembly. Designed to accommodate diametric shaft run-out of 6 mm and more, the seals are suited to horizontal or inclined screw conveyor applications. Both CEMA-standard and custom-engineered seals for conveyors are offered; suitability is determined by process conditions. Airflow rates are low in applications that require an air- or gas-purge line to be installed to the seal.
Woodex Bearing Co., Georgetown, ME 800-526-8800 www.woodex-meco.com

Bearing Protection Ring
This company offers a lifetime bearing protection guarantee for any new motor equipped with the Aegis SGR bearing protection ring. When the SGR is installed on a new ac motor (up to 100 hp/75 kW), the company guarantees that the motor will not fail from bearing damage resulting from electrical fluting. When a failure occurs, the company will pay to replace the bearings (up to 35% of the original motor cost). If not diverted, high-frequency shaft currents and circulating currents induced by variable frequency drives discharge through motor bearings. With multiple rows of conductive microfibers that surround the motor shaft and provide millions of discharge points, the ring safely channels harmful currents away from bearings to ground.
Electro Static Technology, Mechanic Falls, ME 866-738-1857 www.est-aegis.com

Dust-Removal System
The compact XP-series DeDuster is available in various sizes for discharge capacities from 1000 to 200,000 lb/hr. It separates particles as small as 1 µm and long streamers or paper contaminants. The system is ideal for cleaning all kinds of granular products and regrind before processing or packaging. The system is half the height of other dust-removal systems, while its 100% expanded cleaning area increases cleaning efficiency. Reduced air consumption results in energy savings.
Pelletron Corp., Lancaster, PA 717-293-4008 www.pelletroncorp.com