PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 39

EQUIPMENT

EVERY
WHICH
WAY
BUT

LOOSE
Equipment innovations and automated process controls are
facilitating safer, more efficient dry bulk ingredient handling.
By Richard Rowlands | petfoodprocessing@sosland.com

D

Dry bulk material handling refers to the movement, processing, measurement and storage of dry ingredients or
finished dry products that are handled in bulk. Refining
this process enables pet food and treat processors to
handle dry bulk materials with greater accuracy, efficiency, reliability and safety.
"Dry bulk material handling ranges from storage of
product ingredients to material movement and feeding, material size reduction, weighing, mixing, drying,
movement or transport and other processes," explained
Joe Lewis, marketing, Sterling Systems & Controls,
Inc., Sterling, Ill. "In addition, dry bulk material can be
a powder or granular material of a wide range of sizes.
The dry bulk material can have a range of physical
properties that need to be considered when storing or
processing the material."

Handling options

Thanks to the wide variety of materials used in pet food
and treat processing, it is necessary for processors to utilize a diverse range of dry bulk material handling systems.
"Depending on the material and part of the process,
you will see just about every type of conveying media
out there: bucket elevators, bucket conveyors, screw
conveyors, slat conveyors, food grade belting, plastic
modular belting, vibratory feeders and pneumatic conveyors," said Pete Ensch, chief executive officer, WEM
Automation, LLC, New Berlin, Wis.

Zach Turner, sales engineer, food, AZO, Inc., Memphis,
Tenn., highlighted the unique benefits of mechanical and
pneumatic conveying.
"The most common options with regard to ingredient
delivery are mechanical conveying and pneumatic conveying," Turner said. "The former is known for its ability
to keep blends together and gently move products, while
the latter is preferred for its cleanliness, efficiency and
low-maintenance operation. At a high level, two types of
pneumatic conveying are vacuum and pressure. While
each of these has its pros and cons, there's usually a way
to appropriately convey products that are granular or
powdery in nature."
Other types of equipment that handle dry bulk
materials include ingredient batching systems, bulk
bag packaging systems and bulk bag unloading or
discharging systems.
"Batching systems can include semi-automatic and
automatic ingredient batching systems," Lewis said.
"Batches can be fed into containers for manual transport to a mixer or can be automatically transported to
the mixer by pneumatic or mechanical means. Bulk bag
filling systems are those pieces of equipment that bag a
typically finished product in flexible intermediate bulk
container (FIBC) bags.
"Bulk bag unloading or discharging systems can
include everything for the simple discharging of bulk
bags into transport hoppers, to include weighing, tramp

Automated bulk
batching systems
offer improved
process efficiency
and food safety
by reducing the
potential for human
error, product loss,
inconsistencies and
cross-contamination.
AZO, Inc.

www.petfoodprocessing.net | June 2020 | PET FOOD PROCESSING

PFP_Jun20.indb 39

39

5/15/2020 3:05:30 PM


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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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