Friday 22nd Jan, 2021

Pulsarguard 2010 goes with the grain as flap switch replacement

NWF Agriculture, a major animal feed manufacturer that supplies feedstuffs across the UK, has installed a number of Pulsarguard 2010 acoustic monitoring units to provide non-invasive and wear-free flow detection on key items of production equipment

NWF Agriculture, a major animal feed manufacturer that supplies feedstuffs across the UK, has installed a number of Pulsarguard 2010 acoustic monitoring units to provide non-invasive and wear-free flow detection on key items of production equipment.

The company produces material in excess of 5000 tonnes per week, meaning it can’t afford breakdowns.

One particular area with potentials for breakdowns are the continuous conditioning mixers. The company operates four of the machines, each taking a feed of dry meal and combining it with steam and molasses. If there is a problem with the dry feed, the liquid components are pumped into an empty mixer, the mixer then becomes clogged, and an expensive and time-consuming clean-up is needed.

Flap switches have been used to monitor the dry feed for many years, but the abrasive nature of the product wears the flap away, necessitating regular replacement, taking time and requiring a line to be taken out of production.

The Pulsarguard 2010 is an acoustic monitoring device, which is non-invasive with no moving parts, so there are no wear issues.

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At NWF, after consultation with the Pulsar technical team, the first unit was bolted directly on to a flange on the outside of a feed chute, directly underneath a screw conveyor.

The unit sits ‘listening’ to the flow of material in the chute. A feed mill is a noisy place with a lot of background vibration, but the 2010 unit proved itself by ignoring the competing noise in the plant.

Since that first unit was installed, it has consistently and accurately monitored the flow of materials in the plant.

“The non-invasive nature and ease of installation, have proved a cost-effective solution to a problem area of our production system,” Steve Ridout, the NWF technical engineer says.

Since the first unit was installed, NWF have installed a further four Pulsarguard 2010s in a variety of applications, including, on the raw material intakes which handle a wide variety of materials from pelleted product to whole grain to powders, and over the next few months they have plans to replace all of their remaining flap switches.