Agribusiness & Food

Kotzur cracks into food storage

Australian silo manufacturer Kotzur uses custom designs to ensure food manufacturers can keep their product clean, quality and continuously flowing.

Australian silo manufacturer Kotzur uses custom designs to ensure food manufacturers can keep their product clean, quality and continuously flowing.

Facilities processing food products face a unique range of challenges, ranging from maintaining product quality and facility hygiene to flow behaviours
and dosing characteristics.

The materials being conveyed also tend to exhibit a diverse range of properties and behaviours, often requiring an equally diverse range of specialist equipment to store and handle them.

Ben Kotzur, PhD Engineer at Kotzur, says this is why the family-owned business specialises in designing reliable solutions for its clients and has been doing so for more than 60 years.

One of the company’s recent projects required 400 cubic metres of storage and subsequent dosing for a processed grain ingredient used in food manufacturing. Food-grade internal finishing was achieved through Kotzur’s smooth wall silo design, using stainless-steel construction for all contact surfaces.

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The silos incorporate pneumatic filling capability, and inventory management through mounting on load cells, with stairs independent of the silos and conforming to AS 1657 provide access to the roof platform.

Kotzur says the silos are discharged through a proprietary design plane flow hopper, permitting a silo outlet diameter greater than the arching dimension of the material.

“This also enables interfacing with a screw feeder, configured to promote an even drawdown of material – critical to minimising the probability of eccentric silo discharge,” Kotzur says.

“The feeder was designed to deliver a known volumetric flow rate of material, giving close control over the input of product into the process. At the request of the client, the silos were fitted with skirting – custom designed and professional in its presentation.

“All structural and mechanical equipment in this project was
designed and will be manufactured locally, providing a responsive service to the client.”

He adds that the company’s storage is as much focused on maintaining product quality as it is on hygiene, which could be seen on a recent project involving nut drying silos.

Kotzur had been contracted to supply four, seven-tonne silos for the process, which required drying air to be evenly distributed through the entire product bed in the silo. This was achieved through a bespoke plenum design, constructed from 316 stainless steel and incorporated mountings for over-silo conveying.

The client’s engineering partner, Enerbi, worked closely with Kotzur to finalise the insulation and clean-in-place details to help deliver the project.

Kotzur says the business has a demonstrated track record of exceeding this benchmark over the decades.

“It is an essential feature for any storage vessel that is to be used to treat product with fumigant or controlled atmospheres,” he says.

This was incorporated on a Kotzur designed, manufactured and constructed nut storage facility, totalling some 3100 cubic metres of storage in the first stage.

Belt conveyors were used in both the loading and unloading of the silos and specified to accommodate the natural oils present in the product.

Broken product was a major concern of the client’s, so a spiral chute was developed and installed in each of the silos to minimise impact loading during silo filling. The elevators were LAO configured to minimise product speed out of the head.

Kotzur says on top of the diverse material requirements of the bulk handling industry, food manufacturers need to trust suppliers to provide specific standards for hygiene.

“The benefits of having a dedicated supplier – working with you to achieve the desired outcome – become apparent,” he says.

“Kotzur have dedicated design, engineering, manufacturing and construction facilities, enabling you to take an initial concept through to implementation and ongoing support with a single point of contact.”

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