Sunday 26th May, 2019

Bulknet boosts productivity by breaking blockages

Bulk materials handling specialist Bulknet helped a NSW company increase its throughput with a triple screw live bottom bin.

Bulk materials handling specialist Bulknet helped a NSW company increase its throughput with a triple screw live bottom bin.

A NSW-based multi-national company had encountered an issue with its product hanging up in the hopper of a dust collector.

The company’s product line was often sticky and formed clumps that went on to cause blockages in the bottom of the hopper as well as the rotary valve and the blow line returning to the product stream.

These blockages were causing productivity issues across the company, which is why it reached out to screw conveyor solution specialist Bulknet to design, manufacture and install a solution.

Discussions began with the company to find a design that would fit the company’s needs, and address its multiple criteria. By working closely with the company to understand the reasons behind the change, Bulknet created a detailed concept of what their planned system would entail.

The design that was selected removed the bottom of the hopper and replaced it with a triple screw live bottom bin. It uses a small screw with opposing flights that brings the product to the centre outlet, then through a rotary valve to a belt weigher and inline screw onto an aero mechanical conveying system.

Because of the sticky nature of the product, the system required steep angles on chutes to avoid any hang ups. Additionally, the company examined the technical aspects of redesigning the bottom of the dust collector and the use of an air lock to encourage material flow.

The winning design was selected as it achieved a specific throughput, recertified the structure and ensured safe working methods. Site meetings and measurements were then taken to ensure the system’s modular design would be quick and easy to install.

Included within the electrical installation was seven motor and gearbox combinations, with low- and high-level sensors, that were then integrated into the site’s automation system. Bulknet worked with local mechanical and electrical contractors that knew the site to ensure there was a smooth transition. The system is now up and running, after a short commission and some minor tweaks.

Bulknet has more than 50 years of experience as a designer and manufacturer of screw conveyors. It also specialises in providing custom built screw feeders, multi bin dischargers, dewatering screws, screw classifiers and centreless screw conveyors. Factors such as extreme material heat, lumpy materials, corrosive materials, materials that require high containment and systems operating under pressure or a vacuum are taken into account by Bulknet’s engineering team.

A number of potential flight types are available for bulk handling systems, from standard screws with a pitch spacing equal to the diameter suitable for most conveyors, to notched flights to provide a gentle mixing action, through to a centreless flight for extremely sticky and fibrous materials.