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Z-Tech Corporation

Zirconia Producer Assures High Quality with CENTRI-SIFTER

Although there are many competitors willing to offer zirconia to other companies that use it as an ingredient for ceramic tile pigments, structural components, plus refractories, electrical components and other products, Z-Tech Corporation of Bow, NH, is gaining market share rapidly by providing powder that meets very tight specifications for particle size. The company decided to upgrade its processing line and has achieved ISO 9002 certification.

Part of the processing line upgrade involved screening to prevent foreign materials and oversize particles from entering the packaging line. Originally, the company had relied on shaking screens. Unfortunately, they broke frequently, delaying deliveries to customers and cutting into productivity. In addition, each time a screen broke, maintenance staff members had to install a new screen, adding a screen replacement and labor cost.

Furthermore, the shaking screen system limited the types of screens that could be used while the company was striving to offer smaller powder sizes to customers. Because of all these conditions, Z-Tech managers decided to install a centrifugal sifter. They found that the Kason Model MO CENTRI-SIFTER unit equipped with a monofilament screen would solve many of the challenges.

This sifter minimized the screen breakage problem and allows for screening to smaller particle sizes, explained Z-Tech Maintenance Manager Bruce Bunnell. An added benefit of relying on this centrifugal sifter is that it provides enclosed screening, keeping dust from becoming airborne.

Once the zirconia powder has passed through this sifter, it is sampled and packaged in bags or barrels, depending on the customer needs. The trace amount of oversized particles and foreign materials are disposed of.

The company has the capacity to sift at rates up to 1500 pounds (680 kg) per hour. By controlling particle size precisely and making deliveries quickly, the company has boosted the number of repeat orders and increased the size of its list of satisfied customers.

Screen Tips - Volume 11, Number 2 Summer 1996