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The Source for Dry Processing and Bulk Handling Technology

Technology Review

December 20, 2007

In-Line Sifters
These pneumatic in-line sifters are designed to be directly inserted into a vacuum or pressure pneumatic conveying line as a quality assurance tool for removing a small amount of oversized impurities from the product. Placed in a pneumatic unloading or transfer system, the sifters eliminate equipment such as cyclone receivers, airlocks, receiving hoppers, and blowers that would be required if a standard atmospheric pressure sifter were utilized. The sifter design allows final sifting to take place as close to the final destination as possible to protect the product. The system’s design provides rapid access for sifter inspection and accelerated sifter closing.
Great Western Manufacturing, Leavenworth, KS 913-682-2291 www.gwmfg.com

3-A Sanitary Certified X-Ray Inspection System
The PowerChek Plus-3A x-ray inspection system has been approved as compliant to 3-A Sanitary Standard 41-02 by a certified independent conformance evaluator. The unit is designed in compliance with USDA Guidelines for the Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Dairy Processing Equipment to ensure cleanability to a microbiological level. Easily cleaned product areas guarantee thorough sanitation. Nonproduct areas are designed to eliminate debris buildup and potential bacterial reservoirs. Product contact areas are corrosion resistant, nontoxic and nonabsorbent.
Mettler-Toledo Safeline Inc., Tampa, FL 800-447-4439 www.mt.com/safelineus

Blower Package with Polymer Enclosure
The BB52C features the Omega Plus trilobe blower in a molded polymer shell. Small and quiet, it comes completely assembled with blower, motor, and silencers to minimize installation costs. All maintenance points, including the automatic belt-tensioning device, oil drains, and filter elements, are accessible through a wide-opening canopy on the front. All power and process connections are at the rear, allowing multiple units to be mounted side by side with no need for additional access clearance. The scratch-, dent-, and corrosion-resistant enclosure also lowers noise levels to 75 dBA or less.
Kaeser Compressors Inc., Fredericksburg, VA 800-777-7873 www.kaeser.com

Portable Gas Detector
The TriplePlus+ full-function multi­gas gas detector can monitor up to four toxic and flammable gases at once from a list of more than 15 gases. A robust unit, it uses larger 7-series sensors and is compatible with the CheckBox calibration station, making calibration and bump testing easy. In addition, the TriplePlus+ IR (infrared) version is compatible with ISO 61779 LEL (lower explosion limit) concentrations. IR detection differs from traditional methods because it does not require the presence of oxygen, making the TriplePlus+ IR ideal for purge monitoring of hydrocarbon storage tanks.
Crowcon Detection Instruments, Erlanger, KY 800-527-6926 www.crowcon.com/usa.htm

All-Plastic Container
Featuring extrasecure molded HDPE hinges that snap lock when the lid closes, an attached lid container offers high security in shipping, storage, or picking applications. It is 100% recyclable and does not require that the lid and container be separated. Designed for long-lasting, cost-saving performance, the 21 × 15 × 12-in. all-plastic container features patented interlocking fingers on the lids for tight closure and secure stacking. Tie holes located in both ends of the container are compatible with a variety of closures to further secure lids and provide a location for tamper-evident seals. With up to 50-lb capacity, the container’s reinforced sides and corners ensure added strength for protection against breakage from loads or rough handling. Containers nest when empty to save storage space and lower return freight costs.
Buckhorn Inc., Milford, OH 800-543-4454 www.buckhorninc.com

Flexible Food-Grade Sanitary Mixer
A 30-cu-ft sanitary paddle-style mixer is custom designed for flexibility, efficiency, and cleanability. It can process a wide variety of food ingredients, from powdered sugar to freshly cut vegetables, and salt cure uncooked pasta shells. For blending fragile ingredients, a variable-frequency drive slows the mixer shaft speed. When controlled amounts of high-shear mixing are needed, a high-speed chopper is available. Liquid injection manifolds are provided for incorporating flavorings or oil. Batch sizes as small as 6 cu ft are thoroughly blended. Clean-in-place features make sanitation fast and easy.
Marion Mixers, Marion, IA 800-397-6371 www.marionmixers.com

Compressed Air System Control
The Sigma Air Manager (SAM) monitors, sequences, and analyzes compressed air system performance. Integrating an industrial PC with Internet technology, it balances service hours, prevents simultaneous motor starts, and maintains tight pressure control. SAM can be adapted to almost any system and manage up to 16 compressors or vacuum pumps, including multiple types and differing brands. It also manages dryers, filters, and drains. The unit alerts operators to service requirements and provides trending data for plant operational analysis.
Kaeser Compressors Inc., Fredericksburg, VA 800-777-7873 www.kaeser.com

Return Idler Guard
The Safe-Guard line that works on CEMA B-, C-, and D-series idlers up to 7 in. in diameter has been expanded to include CEMA E and F return rollers. The transverse support of the new heavy-duty guard is angled to provide a more robust design that prevents bending and is sized to fit over CEMA E and F return roller brackets. Both the mounting brackets and the end plates are made from powder-coated A-36 steel. The lightweight return idler guard was designed to prevent injuries from pinch points and to catch the return idler if it should fall. The durable UHMW slotted cage is designed to prevent material buildup and to enable easy cleanup. Removing just two stainless-steel pins to drop open the side of the cage provides full access to the roller, easing replacement and maintenance.
ASGCO, Allentown, PA 800-344-4000 www.asgco.com

Audit Software
Browser-based PocketdynaQ audit software is easy to use and compatible with the latest Windows-based PDAs. Users can control content, manage assessments, monitor follow-up actions, analyze data, and run reports using one system. Personal, team, and enterprise editions are available. Pricing starts at $495 for the personal edition.
Aerie Technologies, Madison, WI 608-663-3734 www.aerietechnologies.com

Multiport Diverter
A multiport wye line diverter automates the routing of dry material in pneumatic conveying systems up to 15 psig. It can be engineered for any number of sources to any number of destinations, increasing flexibility and process efficiency. It operates with PLC controls, eliminating the material spills, switching errors, and safety hazards associated with manual hose-manifold stations. It can be used to converge or diverge material flow of nonabrasive to moderately abrasive powders, granules, or pellets. Control options include DeviceNet, Profi-bus-DP, and other communication protocols. It is available in 2- to 8-in. pipe or tube sizes.
Salina Vortex Corp., Salina, KS 888-829-7821 www.vortexvalves.com

Robotic Palletizing Cell
The AR-200 robotic palletizing cell handles up to four different products simultaneously, with custom grippers for bags and boxes. At speeds up to 25 units/min, the robot uses the latest addition to the Fanuc robot family in the high-payload four-axis category. It palletizes all types of open-mouth bags and polyethylene FFS bags, fills tote boxes, and bags in a box. This cell can also handle unlimited layout configurations and features quick changeover of palletizing patterns through stored recipes. Layout configuration flexibility allows installation in tight spaces and compliance with the latest safety standards.
Premier Tech Systems, Quebec, ON Canada 418-868-8324 www.premiertechsystems.com

Shaft-Collar Handle
This handle for shaft collars that require frequent repositioning features a wrench flat and through-hole for added tightening torque. The Grip & Go high-torque handle replaces the standard socket cap screw in any shaft collar to allow fast repositioning without sacrificing holding power. Providing a knurled surface for simple hand tightening, this new version also features a wrench flat and through-hole, where high-torque tightening using a wrench or screwdriver is preferred.
Stafford Manufacturing Corp., North Reading, MA 800-695-5551 www.staffordmfg.com

Flexible-Screw Weigh Batching System
This weigh batching system for mezzanines and other low-headroom areas utilizes low-profile flexible screw conveyors that are configured with motor drives at the inlet end of the conveyor, reducing height and width requirements at the discharge end. The automated system is composed of eight low-profile conveyors fed by roof-mounted storage vessels, with each group of four conveyors feeding either of two gain-in-weight hoppers that gravity-discharge through the mezzanine floor to a ribbon blender on the plant floor. A system controller starts and stops each conveyor to weigh ingredients in sequence, then opens the slide-gate valve to discharge the batch.
Flexicon Corp., Bethlehem, PA 888-353-9426 www.flexicon.com

Intermediate Drive Conveyor and Idler Assembly
An intermediate drive conveyor and low-profile idler assembly are versatile new options in the company’s Designer System conveyor line. The intermediate drive conveyor requires only a 26-in. straight section and allows gear motor placement to be determined by customer preference. With a nose diameter of only 3½ in., the low-profile idler can often eliminate the need for transfers—even for products as small as 4 in. In conjunction with an intermediate drive, low-profile idlers can be used at both ends of the conveyor.
SpanTech LLC, Glasgow, KY 270-651-9166 www.spantechllc.com

White Cleanroom Hose
Flexadux T-7 White is a flexible, medium-weight, thermoplastic hose that is reinforced with a spring steel helix and operates over a –40°F to 250°F range. Featuring a smooth interior that promotes efficient airflow, the hose is made with FDA-acceptable materials and is designed for a wide range of fume and dry material–extraction applications in cleanrooms. Offered in standard 2 to 12-in. ID sizes and custom sizes to 24-in. ID, this food-grade hose is supplied in standard 25- and 50-ft lengths. It exhibits excellent chemical, abrasion, moisture, and UV resistance.
Flexaust, Warsaw, IN 800-343-0428 www.flexaust.com

Industrial Vacuums
Lightweight and maneuverable, SL vacuums pick up powders, liquids, dust, and debris. They are available with HEPA filtration to capture 99.97% of particles, down to and including 0.3 µm. A release lever that lowers the wheeled collection container simplifies the disposal of collected debris. The SL series is compatible with the company’s comprehensive line of hose and accessories to suit a wide range of cleaning applications.
Nilfisk-Advance America, Malvern, PA 610-232-5469 www.nilfisk-advance.com

Permanently Lubricated Bearings
This company has replaced its standard bearings with Lube-for-Life bearings, which feature a permanently applied micropoly lubricant that makes conveyors maintenance free. The new greaseless design eliminates the need to periodically lubricate bearings, eliminating the possibility that grease will escape and contact product on the surface of the conveyor. In addition, the bearings are sealed to prevent contamination from debris, significantly extending their life. The lubricant is composed of polymers and oils. The oils retained by this porous structure continually lubricate the bearing surfaces—even those in hard-to-reach places—through capillary action. The precision roller bearings provide increased surface area, accommodating greater load capacities and promoting longer bearing life. The bearings are approved by the USDA and FDA for H-1 food-processing applications, in which incidental contact between food and the bearing can occur.
QC Industries, Cincinnati, OH 513-753-6000 www.qcindustries.com

Conveyor System
The XR-series conveyor, the latest addition to the company’s state-of-the-art Quickdraw conveyor systems, features load-carrying ability of up to 120 lb, delivering assembly-line functionality for mid-range conveyed material applications. The series bridges the capacity gap between the Quickdraw MR series, which can convey up to 20 lb of product, and the HD series, which can convey loads of up to 200 lb. Modular and sectional with clean, quiet, and ESD-safe operation, it is easily configured and integrated into existing production lines. It features bidirectional operation with an open-center slip-roller design for accumulation and precise product movement.
MagStar Technologies Inc., Hopkins, MN 800-473-8837 www.magstar.com

Fully Split Shaft Seals
MECO’s original “EAS” externally adjustable seals offer complete containment of dry powders, pastes, and slurries where traditional packings fail to seal. Available in FDA materials, the fully split EAS is custom designed and manufactured to each application. It can retrofit most process equipment, including mixers, blenders, and agitators, without the removal of bearings or drives. Sanitary designs are available. The patented MECO seal concept is based on the use of a driving elastomer: there are no fixed-load springs to loosen, corrode, or break. Seal face pressures can be fully adjusted without the need for disassembly. Since the self-compensating driving elastomer is the seal’s only interface with the shaft, the seal accommodates significant radial and angular shaft misalignment, shock loads, and thermal growth in high-temperature process machinery.
Woodex Bearing Company, Inc., Georgetown, ME 800-526-8800 www.mecoseal.com

Magnetic Grates and Ducts
All magnetic grates and ducts are now fabricated to sanitary standards. All housings, tubes, and support bars are constructed of Type 304 stainless steel unless otherwise specified by the customer. Joints are TIG welded and finished to eliminate the possibility of pits or crevices, after which they are carefully inspected and certified as sanitary. The grates and ducts are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects.
CECSO Magnetics, 877-624-8727 www.cescomagnetics.com

High-Speed Robotic Palletizing System
This high-speed robotic palletizing system uses multiple robotic arms to achieve higher palletizing rates than those reached by typical robotic palletizers. In some applications, the use of robots to achieve high palletizing rates offers distinct advantages over conventional palletizers. Robots use servo wrists, instead of conventional case turning and row pushing, to rotate packages, achieving faster, gentler product handling. A multiple-robot palletizing cell may also be an alternative to traditional palletizing in facilities in which floor space is at a premium. This system enables four-way case orientation, which is ideal in an industry trending toward smaller packages and full pallet displays in big-box and club stores. With full control of package label positioning, customers can easily showcase the same graphics on all four sides of the pallet or orient bar codes to streamline scanning operations.
FKI Logistex North America, St. Louis, MO 877-935-456 www.fkilogistex.com

Ball Bearing Tank Mount
The Supermount tank scale kit has a ball bearing suspension. The mount is essential where high-resolution, repeatability, and thermal expansion and contraction are an issue. The assembly encloses the high-accuracy ball bearing suspension system in a rugged self-contained leveling pad. The swivel/lock design floats the pad on uneven floor and allows for thermal expansion and contraction. This arrangement enables quick and easy installation and self-checking. Applications include tank, bin, hopper, and silo weighing and batching; mixing; blending; set point determination and relay; and inventory monitoring.
Transducer Technologies, Colchester, CT 800-955-9004 www.transducertechnologies.com

Fall-Protection System
The Twin FlexRail features two individual enclosed tracks, allowing users to bypass one another. This capability increases productivity by allowing users to pass each other. Furthermore, it increases safety by eliminating the requirement that one user must disconnect from the system in order to pass another user, as is the case with old-style exposed-flange trolley-beam designs. 
Flexible Lifeline Systems, Houston, TX 800-778-9048 www.flexiblelifeline.com

Bursting Disk Assemblies
A new range of bursting disk assemblies is designed to satisfy the needs of OEMs in the automotive, fire suppression, gas transportation, and refrigeration industries. Investment in a new and exclusive automation line has increased the company’s ability to meet custom job requirements with fast turnaround. The fully automatic machine can rapidly produce large volumes of capped disk assemblies in a wide variety of sizes, designs, and burst pressures. The automation line manages the entire process, from the foil stage to packaging the finished product. Optionally, the process can also place a protective washer onto the assembly, minimizing the possibility of disk damage. With in-house CAD design capabilities, the company can produce a wide range of customer-specific designs to meet exact requirements.
Elfab Ltd., Erlanger, KY 859-372-6272 www.elfab.com

Direct-Drive Rotary Screw Compressors
Available in flows from 424 to 1024 cu ft/min and pressures to 217 psig, DSD-series compressors are designed for efficiency, reliability, and minimal maintenance. These state-of-the-art units feature the optimized, patent-pending Sigma Profile air end sigma control system and the latest one-to-one direct-drive technology. DSD units are true direct-drive compressors with an oversized air end that is connected directly to the motor via a maintenance-free coupling for maximum efficiency. Remote grease fittings for the drive and fan motor also increase bearing life, adding to longevity and durability. The compressors’ cooling airflow design reduces noise levels and provides superior cooling. All units are fitted with a redesigned high-efficiency separator system for low oil carryover.
Kaeser Compressors Inc., Fredericksburg, VA 800-777-7873 www.kaeser.com