Caravan Ingredients ups capacity, quality with bag dump screening stationKANSAS CITY, KS—Caravan Ingredients, a leading manufacturer of food emulsifiers and the largest U.S. supplier of functional ingredients to the wholesale baking industry, built a new bag dump station equipped with a low-profile vibratory screener to boost capacity and product quality.
At the company's Kansas City plant, one operator was responsible for slicing and dumping bags of flour, sugar and other raw ingredients into a 3x5 ft. (91x152 cm) square screen bag dump station, a process that generated dust, accumulated material on internal edges of the station, incurred downtime for maintenance, and occasionally allowed bag scraps to enter the batch. Access to the dumping area was only large enough for one operator, limiting the output of the entire process.
New Bag Dump Station Accommodates Two Operators, Screens Foreign Matter
Caravan Ingredients overcame these limitations by fabricating a 304 stainless steel platform table, 80 in. (2032 mm) wide, 68 in. (1727 mm) long and 32 in. (813 mm) high, that allows two operators to simultaneously empty bags into a 60 in. (1524 mm) diameter low-profile vibratory screener from Kason Corporation, Millburn, NJ. The waist-high table permits enough room for two operators to slice open and empty bags into the screener, doubling capacity. On-size particles pass through the screen at high rates in a vertical straight-through pathway, gravity discharging through the screener outlet into mixers on the floor below.
Product quality improves as the screener separates powders of uniform size and free of lumps and/or paper scraps from cut bags.
Dust collection devices integral to the stainless steel table create a clean work environment during bag dumping. A center-hinged lid remains open as bags are dumped, then shuts while the screener completes its cycle. Caravan Ingredients also designed its own dust collection system located at the rear of the unit to collect airborne dust. The round design of the vibratory screener obviated the flanges and corners of the previous bag dump station that accumulated material, reducing maintenance.
Low-Profile Screener Reduces Dumping Height
At half the height of a conventional vibratory screener, the low-profile unit, called a "FLO-THRU™ VIBROSCREEN® screener," reduced the height to which bags must be lifted by operators, significantly reducing fatigue. Unlike conventional screeners having one imbalanced-weight gyratory motor located beneath the screening chamber, the FLO-THRU VIBROSCREEN unit has two imbalanced-weight gyratory motors, mounted externally on opposite sides of the screening chamber, significantly reducing the profile of the screener, and the minimum height of the bag dump table.
The screener imparts multi-plane, inertial vibration that causes particles to pass through apertures in the screen. To prevent screen blinding, a 2in. (51 mm) high ball tray anti-blinding device utilizes the screener's vibratory action to bounce elastomeric balls between the upper "working screen" and a lower "ball screen," effectively dislodging particles from apertures in the upper screen.
Bag scraps and other oversize particles prevented from entering the material stream are vacuumed from the screening chamber between production runs.
Caravan Ingredients built seven such bag dump tables, the first in 1998. Michelle Schlie, project manager, says the bag dump tables have become an integral part of the company's Total Productive Maintenance philosophy with a "cleaner, safer and reduced maintenance environment."