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Bulk Bag Unloaders & Flexible Screw Conveyors a Success for Instant Potato Manufacturer

Customer Requirements

Bulk bag unloader
The new Spiroflow system has improved product quality.

Premier Foods makes SMASH Instant Mashed Potato, one of the UK’s best known consumer brands.

It was a change in the SMASH production and handling methods that brought about the need for new Bulk Bag Unloaders and a Conveying system.

1) Previously, product made on Premier Foods’ Histon, UK site was held in storage hoppers.

2) It was then transferred from the production area to the packing hall via an overhead conveyor belt system feeding each of the 4 main packing lines.

3) Processed product is now filled into and stored in 440 gallons/ 2m3 bulk bags.

4) These are brought to the packing hall by forklift truck 16 times each day.

5) In the packing hall, these bulk bags need to be discharged in an efficient and dust tight manner.

Spiroflow Solution

2 Bulk bag unloaders
The two Bulk Bag Unloaders inside the Premier Foods factory.

We supplied 2 Bulk Bag Unloaders and 4 Flexible Screw Conveyors to deliver processed product to the packing lines.

– A forklift truck places full bags into position on the Bulk Bag Unloaders using the Bulk Bag Lifting/Support Frames supplied as part of the equipment solution.
– Each of the collection hoppers below the 2 Unloaders has bifurcated outlets where 2 Flexible Screw Conveyors deliver product to 4 packing lines.
– These conveyors are controlled by ‘low’ and ‘high’ level probes in the buffer hoppers above the filling machines.
– The Flexible Screw Conveyors range in length from 26-33’/ 8-10m and operate at a variety of angles.
– There is a fifth, pre-existing Flexible Screw Conveyor that is used to return perfectly good product to one of the packing machines after it has been recovered from any ‘out of spec’ packaging.

It was this existing conveyor and other Spiroflow’ equipment on site that encouraged Engineering Manager, Kevin Murray, and his colleagues to choose us as the supplier for their new SMASH handling system.

The Results

The equipment operates for 10 hours a day. Engineering Manager, Kevin Murray, reports that the equipment has performed to his entire satisfaction. Since installation, Premier foods have benefited from improvements to product quality and have also seen reductions in both labor and utility costs.