Frequently Asked Questions

Flexible Screw Conveyors

When comparing mechanical conveyors, a flexible screw conveyor is the most economical option out there but determining the cost depends on several application-specific factors.  Because this is such a common question our Director of Sales, Deron Seibert, has written a brief article on the topic.

Would you like to understand all of the benefits of flexible screw conveyors?  Our UK/Europe Director of Sales, James Podevyn has written an article on this topic that reviews relative cost, materials readily conveyed, speed & capacity, layout constraints, standard materials of construction, components, cleanability, maintenance and more.

Would you like to understand how a flexible screw conveyor compares to aero mechanical and tubular drag conveyors? Our UK/Europe Director of Sales, James Podevyn has written a nice synopsis on this topic.

Flexible screw conveyors readily convey thousands of materials and mixtures from fine powders to large pellets too numerous to list. Our engineers are experts who can consult our extensive testing database and advise you on the suitability of a flexible screw conveyor for your application. They know how these conveyors perform. For example:

  • Material degradation is less than might be expected compared to other mechanical conveyors. There is moderate shear stress produced by the screw against the tube. Typically degradation is not an issue with most granular products like sugar but material testing is recommended for fragile products.
  • We recommend material tests in one of our test labs for fragile, hygroscopic, and cohesive (materials that smear) products.
  • Maintaining blends depend on densities and material characteristics of materials in a blend.
  • Moist materials, sludge, and slurries are not suitable.
  • Flex screws can transport hot and cold materials. Typical UHMWPE tubes with a steel spiral can handle material temperatures up to 180˚F (82˚C). For higher temperatures, up to 300˚F (149˚C), a steel tube is required.
  • Very fine particles that fluidize readily may require a flat spiral. In some cases, a center core may also be needed.

If you are thinking about what spiral profile will best move your material in a flexible screw conveyor we can help.  In fact, James Podevyn, our Director of Sales in our UK office, has written an article about the various spirals & their respective uses.

What is the Best Spiral for Your Flexible Screw Conveyor?

Don’t think you have to sort this out on your own.  Our sales engineers are very experienced in this area & we often perform material tests in our test labs to determine the exact specifications of the conveyor to meet & exceed your application requirements.

Like any conveyor, processors can sometimes run into ‘problems’ with their flexible screw conveyor. Whether it is an issue with installation, setup, parts wearing too quickly, a lockup or other type of failure we can likely help. Check out the article by Deron Seibert, our Director of Sales in the North America. It covers a list of things to check.

Problems with Flexible Screw Conveyors: Finding the Best Setup

Aero Mechanical Conveyors

When comparing mechanical conveyors, an aero mechanical conveyor is extremely efficient but determining the cost depends on several application-specific factors.  Because this is such a common question our Director of Sales, Deron Seibert, has written a brief article on the topic.

How much does an aero mechanical conveyor cost?

Aero mechanical conveyors are fast & efficient but it is paramount to always select the conveyor based on the material you need to convey and all other application requirements. 

 

Aero mechanical conveyors are sometimes referred to as ‘mechanical pneumatic conveyors.’  To understand the differences check out our article Aero Mechanical Conveyors vs. Pneumatic Conveyors.  You can also consult our sales engineers.  Our top priority is to evaluate your application needs and give you an unbiased, objective recommendation. 

There are three important ways to keep your aero mechanical conveyor maintained and running smoothly; Keeping the proper tension, monitor the sprockets and pay attention to the product. Steve Simmons takes an in-depth look at these three points in his blog post: Keeping Material Moving in and Aero Mechanical Conveyor.

 

Aero mechanical conveyors are one of the most efficient methods of conveying materials because they are dust-free and have clean handling properties.  This type of conveyor is custom-built for conveying a variety of applications in many industries. To learn more about how an aero mechanical conveyor can help your process, read our blog post: Why consider Aero Mechanical conveyors? Written by our Marketing Manager Carolynn Sarver.

Cableflow Cable Drag Conveyors

If you are looking for a mechanical conveyor to gently move your fragile material you might be thinking about a tubular cable drag conveyor.  Check out our article What are the Best materials for a cable drag conveyor?

You can also see a list of Typical Materials for this type of conveyor. It is in the last ‘file folder’ to the right.

When comparing mechanical conveyors, a cable drag conveyor is very gentle with fragile materials but determining the cost depends on several application-specific factors.  Because this is such a common question our Director of Sales, Deron Seibert, has written a brief article on the topic.

How much does a Cable Drag Conveyor cost?

If you have more questions please let us know!

Learn how to keep your cable drag conveyor running smoothly with tips from our VP of Engineering, Dave Hesketh, in his article ‘Cable Drag Conveyor Problems:  Keeping Material Moving

So you are interested in tubular cable and chain drag conveyors but which one is right for your application?

Learn about the similarities and differences in our article Cable Drag vs Drag Chain Conveyors.

Better yet, share your application details with one of our sales engineers and let them advise you as to which type of conveyor will meet your requirements.

Chainflow Drag Chain Conveyors

Choosing the best drag chain conveyor will allow you to handle your product without fear of system downtime or mechanical failure. There are several factors which can affect which drag chain conveyor is the best fit for you.

If you are looking for a mechanical conveyor to gently move your fragile material you might be thinking about a tubular drag chain conveyor.  

So you are interested in tubular cable and chain drag conveyors but which one is right for your application?

Learn about the similarities and differences in our article Cable Drag vs Drag Chain Conveyors.

Better yet, share your application details with one of our sales engineers and let them advise you as to which type of conveyor will meet your requirements.

Dynaflow Drag Chain Conveyors

Choosing the best drag chain conveyor will allow you to handle your product without fear of system downtime or mechanical failure. There are several factors which can affect which drag chain conveyor is the best fit for you.

 

Which drag conveyors are best? Should I go with a tubular chain drag conveyor or a tubular cable drag conveyor? If those questions are on your mind, we can help you out. At Spiroflow, we have more than 45 years of experience in the dry bulk material handling industry and we make both types of drag conveyors.

Before we go any further, I want to make a few things clear. This article will only discuss chain drag conveyors that operate within a tube. We consider these heavy duty chain drag conveyors.

We talk about chain drag conveyors that operate within a structural pipe in a different post. We classify these ultra heavy duty chain drag conveyors as those that operate only inside a structural pipe with discs that can be made from a variety of materials including steel and cast iron.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get into what qualities are shared between chain and cable drag conveyors.

The best materials for a structural drag chain conveyor are those materials which won’t convey in any other conveyor. We call them problem solvers in a pipeline. These ultra heavy-duty structural drag chain conveyor built with schedule 40 pipe are the conveyor to pick. 

Dynaflow conveyors are mechanical tubular chain drag conveyors operating within the confines of a pipe. In this conveyor, discs connected by articulated metal links (chains) move material within the pipe making it ideal for heavy duty applications. The discs are made from a variety of materials including steel and cast iron. Dynaflow conveyors are suitable for applications with temperatures up to 482 °F (250 °C).

Structural drag conveyors are a big investment for any business.

To understand the full cost of a structural drag conveyor read our article How much does a structural drag chain conveyor cost?

Bulk Bag Fillers

The parts of a custom bulk bag filling station can include the following. A bulk bag filling station should be designed taking into consideration: bag style, liner type, loop type, and material / application considerations (eg. dusting, particle size and shape). For lower volume bulk bag filling needs, a basic frame may be suitable to meet requirements.

  • support frame/structure
  • bag support (suspended via bag loop arms or directly placed on pallet)
  • filling nozzle/head
  • inflatable neck seal and retaining ring
  • dust extraction valve
  • weigh frame
  • vibration platform
  • bag removal system (conveyor, forklift, etc.)

Both the bulk bag itself and the bulk bag filling equipment must be designed to control dust during filling. First, always use an inlet-spout bag (vs. an open-top duffle bag) with a dust-tight connection to the fill tube for the best in dust control. A fill tube with an inflatable collar that expands to securely hold the inlet spout onto the tube or cylinder during filling will provide the most seamless, dust-tight connection.

Second, check to make sure that the product cannot escape through the bag fabric or bag seams. This may require a coated bag or bag with a liner if you are filling the bag with very fine particles. 

Next, select a system built specifically to contain displaced air and dust via a dust vent and collection system. This can be accomplished via a twin-tube bulk bag fill head that contains an inner cylinder through with product passes into the bulk bag while displaced air and dust are routed through the outer cylinder and into a dust collection system. 

Lastly, look for a bulk bag filler design where the bag inlet spout is sealed in an enclosed chamber and kept under a slight negative pressure to minimize dusting as the bag is released and closed or sealed. Read our article “Controlling dust in your bulk bag filling operation” to learn more about bulk bag and equipment features that help to prevent dust escaping into the surrounding environment and operator exposure to dust when filling bags.

An automated bulk bag filler uses an integrated control system to inflate, tare, vibrate and fill the FIBC bulk bag. During filling, the automation stops and starts the flow of material and vibrates the bag at key points to achieve the desired weight and densification. Automatic bulk bag fillers increase bagging throughput and reduce the risk of human error in the fill process, thus increasing the fill accuracy and densification. Additionally, an automated bulk bag filler increases operator safety by removing the operator from being as actively involved in the fill cycle.

Are you looking for the best bulk bag filler for your application? There are many choices so our North American Director of Sales, Deron Seibert, has written an article on this topic. 

Check out Finding the Best Bulk Bag Filler for your Application.  

What should you look for in a bulk bag filler? This is a question we are asked all the time.

Deron Seibert, our North American Director of Sales, has written an in-depth article which covers all the things you should know about selecting a bulk bag filler.  It includes very helpful information on requirements, characteristics of your material, understanding your needs, specifications and even costs: ‘How much does a bulk bag filler cost?’

Are you looking to invest in a bulk bag filler but need more information about the cost? Cost can depend on which model of bulk bag filler you need for your application. To answer this question our Deron Seibert, our North American Director of Sales, has written an in-depth article on the cost of a filler & all of the considerations that go into the cost.  

How Much Does a Bulk Bag Filler Cost? 

Spiroflow’s CTE bulk bag filling system allows anyone to efficiently fill bulk bags using one operator which reduces labor. You can improve efficiency by reverting back to filling other packages quicker than you could in the past. To learn more about how bulk bag fillers can save you money read this article:

Bulk Bag Fillers Save Money

bulk bag filler can be a significant capital investment and is often a crucial piece of equipment for a process that involves bulk ingredients. Regularly monitoring your equipment might be the best way to avoid mechanical failure. Deron Seibert, our North American Director of Sales, has written an article covering many of the issues which can prevent a bulk bag filler from operating such as damaged load cells and improper inflating of the neck seals.

Read the full article here: Bulk Bag Filler Problems: Staying Safe & Keeping it Operating

Are you getting an incorrect weight reading? Does the neck seal or bag liner fail to properly inflate on your bulk bag filler? Do you need general information on recommended maintenance?  Deron Seibert, our North American Director of Sales, discusses many of the problems that can occur when operating a bulk bag filler and how to troubleshoot these issues.
Read the full blog post here: Bulk Bag Filler Problems: Staying Safe and Keeping it Operating

The CTE Bulk Bag Filler’s patented cone table densification is ideal for powders, granules or pellets that are easily aerated and/or difficult to compact.  When the bulk bag is properly stretched and the material is deaerated with a flattened angle of repose, the result is a very safe and stable bag.

Learn more about how the cone table on our CTE Bulk Bag Filler can deaerate your material. Visit the ‘How It Works’ tab on our product page here.

Bulk Bag Unloaders

Whether your dry bulk material bag emptying application is best suited for a manual bag dump station (also known as a sack tip station) or a bulk bag unloader primarily depends on:

  • required unloading rates
  • operator availability
  • dust control requirements
  • availability of materials in different bag sizes

Bag dump stations require an operator to manually empty smaller (20-50 lb. / 10-25 kg) bags into a hopper. As the bag size and required rate of unloading increase, bag dump stations become a less viable solution; operators would not be physically able to safely handle the bags or achieve the required unloading rates. Bag dump stations can be the most economical option when feed rates of certain dry ingredients are relatively low, batch times are of a longer duration, operators are freely available, the ingredient bags are small enough to safely handle and dusting can be effectively managed via bag dump station dust control options. Additionally, smaller mobile bag dump stations can enable one unit to feed multiple vessels or processes throughout the plant and can also be moved quickly for easy cleaning between different flavor batches.

If material feed rates are higher, labor is scarce, automated feeding would be beneficial or improved dust control is required, then the additional investment in a bulk bag handling system can have a quick and impactful payback.

To learn more or to discuss your specific process requirements, contact our experts here.

The T2 Universal Unloader is the best bulk bag unloader for discharging by volume. Visit our product page to see how this bulk bag unloader will help you unload your material by volume: T2 Universal Unloader

Or explore all of our bulk bag dischargers.

If you are looking to discharge product from single trip bags then the T4 Unloader is the most effective bulk bag unloader to use. Visit our product page to see how this bulk bag unloader will help you unload your material in single trip bags: T4 Universal Unloader

To unload bulk bags by weight rather than volume our T3 Loss-in-Weight bulk bag unloader is the ideal product for you. Find out more about this product and how it can help you unload material by weight on our product page: T3 Loss-inWeight Bulk Bag Unloader

 
Explore all of our bulk bag dischargers.