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Posts Tagged ‘blenders’

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Pneumatic conveying – vacuum

Vacuum conveying is often a low cost method of pneumatic conveying where product can be conveyed up to 60m at rates up to 15tph.

It is ideally suited to the loading of extruder hoppers or direct loading of blenders or other such vessels.

The receiving vessel is put under vacuum and the product metered into the conveying line at a rate suitable to the conveying velocity and at the desired air to product ratio. 

Filters fitted to the receiving vessel or a stand alone filter separate the product from the conveying air prior to the air passing through the vacuum source.

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Ribbon Blenders are the most commonly used blenders.

The products to be mixed constantly circulate from end to end, making the Ribbon Blender particularly good for blending minor additives in the mix.

The agitator consists of an outer ribbon which moves the product from the ends to the centre while the inner ribbon moves the product away from the centre. The agitator design lends itself to mixing low-density free flowing products with a high degree of efficiency and accuracy. 

Fresco Ribbon Blenders are available in single, double or triple ribbons with either central or end discharge. The close tolerance of the ribbon to the body ensures nearly 100% product discharge.

Ribbon Blenders are also available in both direct drive and chain and sprocket drive depending on the application. 

All blenders should be connected to a dust collection system to prevent dust escaping into the environment. Various tip hatches and grills can be supplied to suit specific plant or product requirements. All Fresco Ribbon Blenders are supplied standard with a Dust Collection spigot. Access for cleaning and maintenance is gained through a fully opening hinged access lid, supported by gas stays and secure clamps. A smaller access hatch, complete with a hinged lid, gas stay and safety grill allow the operator to load manually while the blender is operating. CIP sanitisation and wash down units are also available.

Read About Blending Systems

Fresco recently responded to a customer’s requirements by providing a full turn-key blending system with ingredient traceability.

The scope was to provide a food grade blending facility capable of blending and tracking various ingredients including sugar, milk powder, flour, flavors and colorings to a better than 99% homogeneity at a rate of 6,000kg/hr. The system also required two blending lines to be run simultaneously.

Additional restraints also include the raw materials coming in various packaging types including bulk bags, 50kg sacks and 25kg bags.

After consultation with the customer, Fresco Systems offered a solution that meet all of the current requirements and allowed for future increases in plant capacity and the option to receive materials in bulk tanker delivery.

The solution consisted of a CITEC recipe based electrical automation system where the recipe for each blender is entered by the production manager for the day. Operators follow the schedule by manually weighing macro ingredients and tip these into the bag dump station following the prompts on the HMI operator interface panel. As each ingredient is entered the operator acknowledges it on the screen.

Minor ingredients are then tipped into the bag dump to flush the macros through the system. The bag dump stations are fitted with integral dust collectors so that any collected dust is returned to the product stream avoiding waste and cross contamination. All ingredients tipped through the bag dump station are passed over a vibratory separator sifter to ensure the ingredients are free of lumps or foreign objects. Major ingredients are received in 1000kg and 1200kg bulk bags which pass through an inline rotary sifter while conveyed on a gain-n-weigh basis to the receival hopper. A common dense phase vacuum system then conveys the ingredients to either of the two mixer receival hoppers. To allow for continuous operation, the macros, minors and major products are assembled in the receival hopper while the previous batch is being blended in the ribbon blender below.

As each ingredient is weighed, the actual weight is logged in the SCADA system for track and trace purposes as well as recording production details. Loadcells on the receival hopper also provide confirmation that the weighed product is completely discharged to the blenders. A magnet is also installed prior to the blenders to ensure that all metal contaminants are captured.

Flavours and colorings which would otherwise contaminate the vacuum conveying system are tipped directly to the blenders via a mini bag dump station. This removes the need to clean the system between recipe changes increasing process capacity. The mini bag dump stations are fitted with vibratory security screens and dust collection systems. The dust collection system also doubles as the balance for the displaced air as ingredients are discharged for the receival hopper in to the blenders.

The blenders are fitted with variable frequency drives ensuring that the product is handled with care reducing the risk of degradation during the mixing cycle. Once the blend time is reached the batch is discharged into bulk bags for storage and transferring to the various packing lines.

Fresco Systems tailors their standard range of bulk materials handling systems to suit each customer’s unique needs providing a tailored solution suitable to the operation and budget of each customer. As Fresco Systems designs, manufactures, installs and commissions their own systems, they are in complete control of the entire process offering customers cost competitive solutions of the highest quality.

Read More About Ribbon Blenders

The Fresco blender’s double ribbon configuration moves products through, constantly circulating them from end to end, making it particularly good for blending minor additives in a mix.

The agitator consists of an outer ribbon that moves the product from the ends to the center while the inner ribbon moves the product from the center to the ends.

The agitator design lends itself to mixing low-density free flowing products with a high degree of efficiency and accuracy. Various, standard sizes are available to suit the batch size and bulk density of the material being mixed. Shaft mounted and chain drive geared motors are available as required. The range of ribbon configurations include paddle, single, double or triple ribbons with either end or central discharge.

When filling the blender the operator can tip 25kg bags of various powders through the minors loading hatch or they can load via various lid configurations from bulk bags, mechanical conveyors or pneumatic conveyors. Loss in weight or gain in weight from bulk bags or pneumatic hoppers is also common methodology for major ingredients. The lid is fitted with safety switches and is hinged supported by gas stays providing the operator with full and easy access for cleaning between batches. Fresco blender can be fitted with a flush fit valve on the discharge feeding directly into a dust tight bulk bag fill head or a conveyor to processes downstream. Rotary sifters and magnets can also be incorporated into the system.

Fresco’s standard range of ribbon blender sizes range from 150 litres up to 4,000 litres and can be constructed in mild steel, 304 or 316 stainless steel with finishes ranging from industrial to pharmaceutical. With standard features such as integral mounting feet, air purge lip seals, double ribbon and easy access, the Fresco ribbon blender can also be tailored to meet a specific requirement.

For more information and to discuss potential systems, please contact or visit our contact page to find our nearest office.

Case Study:

Cone Blender
June 27, 2014/0 Comments
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Bulk Bags to Packaging Equipment

More and more of our customers are separating the blending and packaging process.

Where in the past they directly pack from under the blender, they now blend into bulk bags which separate the blending to the packaging process.

This has many advantages including independent scheduling on both operations.

Fresco Systems assist customers by fitting our bulk bag filling head under the existing blenders. Our single hand operated spout clamp and venting system enables quick and dust tight connection between the blender and the bulk bags. The bulk bags will then need to feed a form fill seal machine or any other packaging equipment. The packaging equipment usually provides a start/stop signal which is controlled by its weigh hopper.

Fresco Systems supplies various types and combinations of this system into the industry and recently we supplied an electric hoist type unloader coupled with a flexible conveyor to feed pre-blended flour products into a form fill seal machine. Due to the various type of pre-blend that needs to be fed, Fresco Systems selected the beveled spiral flexible conveyor which is capable to handle difficult products which packs, smears and compacts. This selection combined with the incorporation of vibration and agitation in the charging hopper ensures that the product flows consistently. A hinged hopper cover was also supplied to allow loading of smaller batch products. The start/stop signal from the packaging equipment communicates with our supplied control system which triggers and activates all the required flow aids above including bag massagers and the flexible conveyor.

Our experience and detailed system design ensures that the system was delivered, installed and commissioned with no hassles and all safety requirements to CAT 3 are met satisfactorily.