Spiroflow’s flexible screw conveyor (FSC), the mainstay of many global conveying operations, now includes a new patented feature. To assist in the breakdown of conglomerated product during conveying, rotating cutter bars have been added to the device, which are powered by the FSC’s drive motor. The addition will not only result in less agglomerated material in the end process, it will also prevent foreign objects from progressing through the conveyor and stalling or damaging the apparatus, thereby creating downtime.
Spiroflow has been synonymous with flexible screw conveyors for over 45 years. The brainchild of Michel Podevyn, Spiroflow’s president, who pioneered its early development, the FSC continues to offer a system that’s hygienic, low on installation and maintenance costs and high on efficiency and performance.
In explaining the FSC’s early development, Podevyn said: “We tried various systems such as a rigid screw, which deposited metal contaminants in the end process, and vacuum, which was not the best for handling powder. I therefore looked at combining a screw with an open spiral to get mixing and conveying. There were already flexible augers on the market, but they all used corrugated pipe.
FSCs work by having a rotating helical screw inside a ultra-low friction polymer tube running at speeds normally in the 500-960 rpm range. The rotating flexible screw conveyor spiral, centralised within the conveying tube, gently moves material without degrading it. Its unique action also eliminates the risk of mixed product separation. The system is simple to clean, with the electric motor able to be reversed to empty the conveyor of residual material. It can then be flushed out with water or cleaning solution. If necessary, the spiral can be quickly removed from the tube, and optional quick release connectors enable rapid dismantling and reassembly to minimise downtime.
Over the years, the FSC has undergone improvements to meet customers’ ongoing requirements. The spirals themselves have been improved to offer more types to suit different products. And the plastic tubes, originally manufactured in Nylon 11, have since been replaced with UHMWPE. Other upgrades have included a decrease in motor speed rpm, which is now at an optimal speed for maintaining an ideal mix and blend of materials. This has been done principally to combat the failings of pneumatics, which would suck heavier materials first and result in an unblended mix into a bag.
“The FSC continues to go from strength to strength, much due to Michel’s foresight in keeping the operation as simple as possible and eliminating the need for additional operating equipment. The rotating cutter bars will be a useful feature for customers, assisting with achieving the correct mix in the process, whilst stopping the occasional foreign object, such as a bulk bag liner, passing through the conveyor with the dry bulk solid,” said James Podevyn, Spiroflow’s managing director.
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We have expanded our technical sales capability with the appointment of Stephen Bunn as a senior support engineer. The new role reports into Chris Brennan, technical sales manager, and will be based at the firm’s headquarters in Clitheroe, Lancs.
A professional engineer, Stephen has worked in the powder handling industry for nearly 30 years, his previous engineering positions have been with component manufacturer, DMN-Westinghouse, where he provided solutions to companies handling powder and granular materials and Flomat Ltd where he managed large contracts to supply materials handling equipment to major companies globally, designing equipment to meet client’s specific applications.
Spiroflow views the role as being key in bridging the gap between sales and design engineers. By having technical expertise at the front end, providing technical information and drawings to accompany sales quotations, the company believe that they will be able to avoid any potential misinterpretation in meeting customers’ requirements. The role would thereafter be pivotal in a project management capacity, overseeing system projects and contracts through the design, engineering, assembly, testing, installation and commissioning, through to successful client handover.
Commenting on the appointment, Spiroflow’s managing director, James Podevyn, said: “A warm welcome to Stephen – we very much look forward to him making an impact in the role. This is an important step for the company and a means of providing our sales teams with information, engineering solutions, details and advice, to assist them in meeting customer requirements. We want to ensure that the customer is provided with the right solution, which is on budget and completed on time, and by having experienced technical input at an early stage, we will achieve this consistently.”
Stephen added: “I have known Spiroflow for many years, and have an in-depth knowledge of the company, its products and key personnel, so it feels as though I have hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.
We are taking steps to advise our customers on our range of conveying solutions that are ideally suited to the safe handling and containment of titanium dioxide (TiO2) powder. The move comes as a result of legislation changes made by the European Commission in February 2020, in classifying titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a suspected carcinogen (cat 2) by inhalation. The regulation becomes official on 1 October 2021, meaning that businesses handling TiO2 will need to upgrade the containment of their processes, so that their operators are protected. Even products containing as little as 1% TiO2 will need to be included.
TiO2 is an inert inorganic compound that is used as a white pigment in many industrial applications. These applications include the manufacture of paints, coatings, printing inks and wall coverings where TiO2 plays a critical role in providing essential product properties: whiteness, covering power, brightness, stability and durability of colour that cannot be achieved with other raw materials. TiO2 is also used in many other consumer products such as foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Handling TiO2 in a production environment can often be problematic, particularly in conveying, where due to its cohesive properties, equipment such as screw conveyors can stall and ultimately fail. Dust and containment is also a major consideration.
We regularly provide solutions for the safe and efficient handling of TiO2 through either our flexible screw or aero-mechanical conveyors. A flexible screw conveyor, having only one moving part – the spiral – makes it ideal for conveying TiO2. The pro-screw in the tube will move round in a spiral formation, the flat-leading edge and closer gap tolerance between the tube and the screw both assisting in reducing the product residue and smearing in the conveying tube, thereby limiting halts in production.
Our aero-mechanical conveyor creates an airstream which moves the product up the tubes along with high-speed discs and a rope. TiO2 is conveyed in the air stream created by the rope and discs in the tube where the product is handled gently. This conveyor is a great choice for conveying TiO2 because any dust created during conveying will be all contained within the conveyor itself. This conveyor is contained, runs quietly and with minimal energy, which also makes it a superior choice for conveying larger volumes of TiO2.
“As material handling specialists, we have always understood the need to test materials and to offer a proven solution to the customer,” said Jeannette Carter, a regional sales manager at Spiroflow with a NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. “With many years of experience, we’ve trialled and developed products to ensure the smooth running of difficult cohesive materials such as titanium dioxide, resulting in us developing our flexible screw conveyor, which prevents the smearing and potential buildup of material in the conveying tube. Typically, we’d still select the aero-mechanical conveyor when presented with applications, but use the pro-screw in a steel tube as a metering device to offer a guaranteed solution. Containment in delivery, either from a bulk bag or sack tip, is a major consideration and one we handle on a daily basis.”
Watch Jeannette Carter discuss the reclassification of Ti02 and how to safely handle it in this video:
To continue to support our global customers, Spiroflow are pleased to announce the Alriad will be representative agents in Egypt. Alriad will be offering local support to customers in Egypt backed by Spiroflow engineering and manufacturing. Head of Export, Craig Suttle, coordinates with all our overseas agents to manage the project from enquiry to installation.
ALRIAD International Agencies and Trading is a leader in the field of industrial processing and packaging solutions. Throughout their 40 years of experience, engineers are expert in understanding needs, designing solutions, consulting and supplying highest quality machines and equipment. Alriad have gained the trust of customers by offering them from a single machine solution to a complete turnkey solution. By collaborating with leading innovation brands and technologies for serving different sectors as the pharmaceutical, food, commodities, chemicals and textiles industries.
Spiroflow has a network of highly skilled representatives across the world. To view our interactive map and find your local representative please click here: https://www.spiroflow.com/about-us/locate-a-rep/
Furthermore, if you are interested in becoming a representative for Spiroflow please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For a fully adaptable and reliable conveying solution, Spiroflow’s flexible screw conveyor (FSC) is hard to beat. Not only does it provide an extremely cost effective method of conveying dry bulk solids and ingredients, such as rice, milk powders and sugars, it is also ideal in maintaining mix integrity throughout the process. FSCs are also easy to clean and high on efficiency and performance.
FSCs can convey in any direction – from horizontal to vertical, routed around fixed obstacles and equipment, and from one room to another. Additionally, flexible conveyors are ideal for lifting materials from bag dump stations or storage bins. They can convey products at ceiling height to feed a line of processing or packaging machines – as multiple discharge points can be placed along horizontal sections.
The conveyor works by having a rotating helical screw inside a ultra-low friction polymer tube running at speeds normally in the 500-960 rpm range. The rotating flexible screw conveyor spiral, centralised within the conveying tube, gently moves material without degrading it – this unique action also eliminates the risk of mixed product separation. And because FSCs are totally sealed during operation, there’s no risk of dust contamination or humidity from the atmosphere – a critical factor when used in food and pharmaceutical applications.
Spiroflow also manufacture heavy-duty screw conveyors with ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tubes for abrasive or high bulk density materials. For the most abrasive metals, aggregates and materials such as glass cullet, they offer the RHINOVEYOR FSC, which has an abrasion resistant rubber conveying tube in addition to a heavy-duty spiral, thereby providing an extended life over standard UHMWPE tubes in aggressive applications.
Watch the Flexible Screw Conveyor in action with our video:
We have started offering virtual machine demonstrations, via either Teams or Zoom platforms, utilising the test bay facilities located at our Clitheroe-Lancs HQ. The space is fully equipped with a range of equipment, including mobile and static flexible screw conveyors (FSC) – the mobile version featuring our new remote monitoring system – SAM, various FSC tubes and spirals, aero mechanical and tubular drag conveyors, as well as bulk bag fillers and bulk bag unloaders. The test bay facility has also proved to be an ideal venue, with the online demonstrations providing a captivating alternative solution to on-site visits.
We have since expanded our virtual interaction to include full factory tours as well as virtual machine demos, engineering processes, SAM (Spiroflow Active Monitoring) demonstrations, comprehensive Factory Acceptance Tests and Pre-Delivery Inspections for customers to attend, albeit virtually. For free of charge testing and material trials. Customers can either witness the proceedings live online, via a recorded live link, or a video and test report can be forwarded in their absence. Additionally, Spiroflow’s service engineers and electrical software engineers have the capability to remotely commission delivered equipment, which they have been doing successfully for over 12 months now.
“Clearly the preference of course is to have customers visit us here at Spiroflow and see their equipment in person,” said Spiroflow managing director, James Podevyn. “However, given the restrictions created by the pandemic, we have found that online and virtual demonstrations work really well.
“Through real-time streaming video technology, we can give an engaging showcase of our equipment, or deliver full blown factory tours. For example, I’ve recently given a virtual factory insight to our new sales representative in Egypt. I am happy to do this for anyone, in any time-zone, anywhere in the world.”
Spiroflow’s regional sales managers have also benefitted from virtual engagement tools, by actively offering consultative online forums to both customers and prospects.