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September 27, 2007
9 Min Read
Developed in conjunction with an international group of pharmaceutical manufacturing and process professionals, the PureFeed AP-300 is available in volumetric and gravimetric configurations for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic applications involving feed rates from 500 g/hr to approximately 150 kg/hr. The feeder features a flexible hopper and programmable external dual-arm agitation system to maximize material handling versatility. However, it uses flexible FDA-accepted EPDM feed hoppers that are “disposable” and “recyclable,” resulting in simpler, shorter cleaning cycles and virtually no chance of cross-contamination when moving from one material to another. Type 316L stainless steel is used for most of the feeder parts, including the 4-, 12-, and 36-L extension hoppers and covers.
Schenck AccuRate, Whitewater, WI 800-606-9248 www.accuratefeeders.com
The Dyna-Slide high-precision air-activated feeder with dribble-feed control provides up to a 100:1 turndown ratio when feeding most fine (30 mesh to submicron) fludizable powders and granules. It has completely variable feed rates from as low as a few grams per minute to hundreds of pounds per minute. The low-profile design is totally enclosed and dust-free, making it ideal for conveying from silos or hoppers to weigh scales or for feeding from multiple discharge points to mixers.
Dynamic Air Inc., St. Paul, MN 651-484-2900 www.dynamicair.com
PLC-Based Gravimetric Feeder Controller
This Allen-Bradley PLC system directly replaces typical proprietary LIW controllers and can quickly integrate into other PLC-based units. The system can easily expand to control any required refill pneumatics or powder-liquid metering systems and can include automated recipes with data-logging functions. The controllers have been developed around the ControlLogix and CompactLogix PLC hardware using industry-standard Ethernet IP components. The universal system can be used with feeders from all manufacturers, and the interface look and feel is identical on all lines for operator and maintenance familiarity. All the feeder algorithms and process control PID are programmed in Rockwell Automation RSLogix5000. The hardware and software are open architecture and can be easily maintained, modified, and expanded.
Melfi Technologies Inc., Mississauga, ON, Canada 905-760-9080 www.melfitechnologies.com
All High Deflection (HD)–series feeders are designed to handle products that normally cannot be fed successfully in an electromagnetic feeder. Their totally enclosed patented magnetic drive enables feeding of practically any bulk material from micron size to bulky chunks. With Hi–Vi magnetic-drive circuits, they provide a simple yet powerful solution to difficult material feeding applications. Simple ac controls operate the feeders with precision. Standard models are available for the majority of feeding applications, and special units can be ordered with multiple drives for greater capacities. A wide variety of standard and special trays are available.
Eriez, Erie, PA 888-300-3743 www.eriez.com
The Model TSF twin-screw feeder is designed for precise batching and weighing. Its dual-helix design combines fast, high-volume filling with accurate dribble flow at the cycle’s end. The unit is ideal when limited space prohibits multiple individual screw units. At maximum revolutions per minute, two helixes—1½ and 4 in. in diameter mounted on an 18 × 22-in. hopper—are rated at 17 and 283 cu ft/hr, respectively. Conveying is 100% efficient and takes place without slippage. The hopper inlet’s mechanical material conditioner delivers uninterrupted flow. Regreasable lubricated bearings with air-purged shaft seals prevent product leakage from the rear of the unit.
Metso BEST Inc., Brunswick, OH 800-827-9237 www.bestvibes.com
Extrusion Control System
This extrusion control system gravimetrically measures the throughput of the extruder and adjusts its speed to maintain the desired rate and provide consistent end-product quality. It is primarily targeted for use with single-screw extruders in both mono- and coextrusion applications such as profile extrusion, cast sheet, blown film, cable coating, and laminating. The system is implemented in the KCM feeder controller and also in the Smart Commander (KSC) feeder operator interface for coextrusion of multiple layers. The package offers mass-flow or weight-per-length control, gravimetrically controls the layer recipe, and acts as a mass-flow sensor.
K-Tron, Pitman, NJ 856-589-0500 www.ktron.com
The Model MT12 Microfeeder includes several design upgrades for increased accuracy and performance, particularly when it is being used for feeding rates as low as 20 g/hr. The SFS 12 scale incorporates additional design features, including overload and underload protection, internal routing of all signal and power wiring to avoid interference issues, internal routing of feeder-seal purge lines, and standard execution to meet ATEX 2GD and Class I Div 1 hazardous-area requirements. The revised bellows design used at the feeder discharge also allows for greater flexibility and improved performance. All design changes were incorporated as a result of extensive field testing, which particularly involved the feeding of high-value-added ingredients into continuous processes where performance accuracy optimization is critical
K-Tron Process Group, Pitman, NJ 856-589-0500 www.ktron.com
Split-Shaft Seals for Screw Feeders
Original MECO air-purged seals effectively contain dry, abrasive, bulk powders, pastes, and slurries in screw feeders, conveyors, and other rotating equipment. These seals can reduce equipment downtime by a factor of four or more over packing and can be quickly rebuilt on site. The fully split versions permit installation and maintenance without disturbing the bearing or drive assembly. The patented MECO concept is based on the use of a driving elastomer that corotates with the shaft. Since this self-compensating driving elastomer is the seals’ only contact with the shaft, the seals accommodate significant radial shaft misalignment and shock loads while protecting the shaft and bearings from abrasion damage. FDA-approved materials are available.
Woodex Bearing Co., Georgetown, ME 800-526-8800 www.woodex-meco.com
This company offers a range of vibratory feeders and conveyors to assist in process control. By inducing gentle vibration, products are fed at a controlled rate to the next stage of the process to ensure efficient and effective transfer under control. This ensures that product integrity and product quality are maintained within the process. Electromagnetic and vibratory motor-driven units are available.
Gough Econ Inc., Charlotte, NC 704-399-4501 www.goughecon.com
This patented, sanitary 3-A Dairy-approved volumetric or gravimetric feeder offers uniform mass flow of dry bulk products. The unit disassembles in seconds, is easy to clean, and accurately feeds any type of product with no degradation. It can achieve accuracies to ±0.00001 lb and gently feeds products that cannot be fed with flexible-wall/auger-style feeders, improving product quality and decreasing operator hours.
Millerbernd Design & Fabrication, Winsted, MN 320-485-2685 www.millerbernd.com
A mass-flow feeder is a controllable high-capacity gravity feeder for relatively coarse granular materials. The unit consists of a mass-flow hopper with two movable sides. The discharge rate is controlled by synchronous rotation of the movable sides. The flow rate is a function of the discharge opening width and the slope of the blades. Minimum flow rate is limited by the opening width at which the material arches across the opening. Turndown rates of 10 to 1 can normally be expected. At a specific setting, the feeder discharges consistently with little variation. The rate varies with different materials and their flow properties.
Pebco Inc., Paducah, KY 270-442-1996 www.pebco.com
Volumetric and Gravimetric Feeders
The PosiPortion feeder features a sturdy tube-frame construction, easy side-panel access for cleaning and maintenance, and a steel-reinforced flexible hopper that can be removed from the front or top. Opposing massage paddles, located below the hopper, ensure consistent dosing screw flow. Open-control architecture and advanced gravimetric electronics provide for “weightless” calibration and remote diagnostics. A variety of options are available.
Hapman, Kalamazoo, MI 800-427-6260 www.IdeasThatMove.com
Fully Enclosed Vibratory Tube Feeder
A vibratory tube feeder is ideal for a large variety of powder and bulk solids conveying applications that require reduced dusting. The one pictured has an overhead drive arrangement and is used to convey raw mill rejects at a cement plant. Material such as limestone, clinker, and gypsum are conveyed at a rate of 127 tn/hr and a distance of 15 ft to be delivered to a takeaway conveyor. The material is abrasive with a 10% moisture level. Because there are no internal moving parts, a friable product does not experience the degradation that is common with screw feeders. The product is conveyed via innovative microthrow motions. This light conveying motion is extremely gentle on friable product. The feeder’s vibratory drives are designed specifically for powering vibratory machines and can run 100% of the time at 100% force output. They also offer highly accurate feed-rate adjustability. The low-maintenance drives are dust-tight and suitable for washdown.
JVI Vibratory Equipment, Houston, TX 832-467-3720 www.jvivibratoryequipment.com
Continuous Weigh Feeders
Better-Weigh continuous feeders are available for gravimetric feeding of dry bulk materials where it is necessary to determine actual feed rates on a loss-of-weight basis. Available in seven models with feed rates from 1 to 550 cu ft/hr (with larger sizes available), these units are designed to provide feeding in either batch or continuous mode, depending on the arrangement of the feeder's control electronics. In batch mode, the batch controller is used to control the fast (bulk) and slow (dribble) speeds of the feeder. Accuracies of 0.5% can be easily achieved with batches weighing 2 lb or less, while accuracies of 0.25% can be achieved with batches weighing 3 lb or more with time spans of 30 to 90 seconds. In continuous mode, the feeder’s electronic controller is used to constantly monitor material weight loss per time in order to maintain a continuous loss of weight with an accuracy of 0.25 to 0.50%. Standard features include a platform or lever balance scale, sealed tactile keyboard, seven-digit numerical keyboard, automatic manual batching, and a 2- or 5-cu-ft hopper. Sanitary construction is also available.
Metalfab Inc., Vernon, NJ 800-764-2999 www.metalfabinc.com
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