Bulk ingredient batching system

Fresco NZ Ltd
Monday, 06 July, 2009

Fresco Systems has just completed a bulk ingredient batching system for a Sydney bakery. Consisting of five bulk bag unloaders, each feeding a mini weigh hopper via a flexible conveyor, the system needed to be accurate and hygienic to suit the clean room environment.

Fresco matched each system to the product being handled. The products consisted of sugar, salt, gluten, wholemeal concentrate and lecithin powder. Fresco’s standard forklift-type bulk bag unloader, complete with bag massager flow promotion device and dust-tight spout clamp, were used. The differing height bulk bags were easily compensated for by adjusting the vertical uprights which hold the bulk bag lifting frame.

Due to the differing types of powders, various flow promotion devices were fitted to the hoppers to encourage product flow and to avoid the product bridging and rat holing. These included vibrators, fluidisers and agitators, each set up to match the product being handled. Accuracies down to ±10 g on batches of 12 kg were required. This was achieved by using mini weigh hoppers mounted on loadcells fitted with discharge flaps.

Product was elevated from the bulk bag unloader to the mini weigh hopper using a flexible conveyor. The flexible conveyors metered the ingredients into the mini weigh hoppers, which slowed down during the filling sequence giving a fast and trickle feed rate. The mini weigh hopper discharged the weighed ingredients into a lean phase vacuum conveying system which transported the ingredients to the receival hopper above the mixer. Loadcells on the receival hopper confirmed the weighed ingredients were all transferred successfully. When the mixer calls for product, the receival hopper opens the discharge valve and empties the ingredients into the mixer below. During the receival hopper discharge sequence the mini weigh hoppers are refilled providing a continuous batching system.

The whole system is controlled by a Fresco PLC and Citect recipe batching system.

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