Flavorchem Uses Centrifugal Force To Double Screening Capacity
When Flavorchem needed to screen flavor powders at twice the previous rate, a centrifugal sifter offered the solution
Growing demand required Flavorchem Corporation to double production of its flavor powders by replacing an existing vibratory screener with a Kason CENTRI-SIFTER™ three-bearing centrifugal sifter, boosting output from 100 lb/min (45 kg/min) to 250 lb/min (113 kg/min) while allowing faster wash downs.
A Kason Model MO Quick-Clean CENTRI-SIFTER was specified after extensive research and trial runs, explains David Russo, chief engineer at Flavorchem Corp. "Based on laboratory tests with some basic powder flavors, our Kason representative, Bob Steiner [Windum Process Equipment, Sugar Grove, IL], sized the sifter for the flow characteristics, bulk density, and flow rate we required," he explains. "We then ran some of our most difficult products on a demonstration sifter."
The four basic carriers—cornstarch, yellow corn flour, dextrose, and maltrin—are combined with as many as 10 additional ingredients, both wet and dry, producing free-flowing and non-free-flowing blends having bulk densities of 28 to 50 lb/cu-ft (448 to 800 kg/cu-m).
Centrifugal Force = High Flow Rate
Carrier materials are loaded into an 80 cu-ft (2.2 cu-m) capacity blender in 3000-lb (1359 kg) batches, after which liquid and dry ingredients are added. Following a blending cycle the batch is gravity-fed into a centrifugal sifter whose feed screw redirects the material into the unit's horizontally oriented, cylindrical nylon screen. Here, rotating helical paddles, which never make contact with the screen, continuously accelerate the flow of on-size particles through apertures in the wall of the screen cylinder and serve to break up soft agglomerates. Over-sized particles and trash are propelled through the downstream end of the screen cylinder and ejected through a discharge spout.
The compact design of the screener allows it to be positioned in a restricted space between the blender and 40 in. (1.25 m) high fiber drums being filled with100-lbs (45-kg) of the material.
Cantilevered shaft allows rapid access to internals
Frequent product changeovers necessitate a minimum of one wash down per shift, a task that incurs minimal downtime, owing to the screener's three-bearing design. The shaft cantilevers on a bearing located between the motor end of the shaft and the material feed screw when the hinged end cover is open, allowing the paddle assembly and screen cylinder to be slid off of the shaft for cleaning or screen changes. During operation, the shaft rides on both shaft-end bearings, with no dependence on the inboard bearing for support.
"The three-bearing design affords smooth operation," adds Russo. "Bearings at both the motor end of the shaft and on the hinged cover at the discharge end provide extra strong support and eliminate vibration at high speeds and loads."
"Operators have cleaned the unit in as little as one hour," reports Russo. "That includes wet washing and blow drying all the assemblies and the machine's interior."
Configured on a caster-mounted frame, the screener can be rolled to a cleaning station, as well as to other blenders, eliminating the cost of multiple units.
To keep pace with continued growth, Flavorchem will triple plant capacity by adding a second three-bearing centrifugal sifter and a 6000-lb (2718-kg) capacity blender.
The circular vibratory screener that was displaced has been dedicated to a third blender, while an additional Kason vibratory screener will sift ingredients upstream of a fourth blender.
Flavorchem is a full service flavor company offering finished flavor products as well as R&D to confectionery, bakery, dairy, beverage, and other markets.