PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 40

EQUIPMENT

metal magnets for metal extraction, dust collection, hoists, bag
massagers to promote emptying of bags, and also to include
smaller bag packaging," Lewis
explained. "Often bulk bag unloading is incorporated into ingredient
batching systems directly."

Challenges of dry bulk material handling
The full-bore valve
passage of aseptic
valves ensures a
high flow rate of the
media for hygienic
process sequences
and cleaning cycles.
Festo

The proliferation of
ingredients in the pet
food and treat industry
has exponentially
increased the challenges associated with
accurately and safely
handling all of those
ingredients.
Sosland Publishing Co.

40

The handling of dry bulk materials presents pet food
and treat processors with a number of challenges that
must be addressed.
"Many manufacturers have SKUs with dozens of ingredients, presenting the challenge of how to handle so
many different minor/micro ingredients," Turner said.
"How do I consistently staff manual weighing of 40 to 50
ingredients each and every shift? Can this many ingredients be automated? If we automate them, can we ensure
they will be accurately fed into the process? What about
cross-contamination between products? These are challenges we routinely address with AZO technology."
Lewis said some challenges are related to the physical
handling of the material including the material density,
flow characteristics, cohesiveness, the hygroscopic nature of the material and other considerations.
"Challenges also include the accuracy of feeding dry
materials as ingredients into batches, and record keeping of batches and ingredients," he said.
Steve Bain, industry segment manager, food and

beverage, FESTO Corporation, Islandia, N.Y., emphasized the challenge of maintaining food safety when
handling dry bulk materials.
"Maintaining food safety during the entire transfer
process can be difficult," Bain said. "Bulk transfer often
has considerably more surface area and potential contamination points than other processes. Many older systems
aren't designed with food safety as a primary concern."

"Bulk transfer often
has considerably
more surface area and
potential contamination
points than other
processes."
Steve Bain, FESTO Corporation
Ensch agrees that food safety and cross-contamination
are major concerns for pet food and treat processors.
"Over the past several years, the proliferation of ingredients and finished product SKUs have led to the need
for improved controls to prevent cross-contamination
and cycle cleanouts," he said. "In some cases, this can
be done by using flush materials, other times manual
cleaning of equipment, or even automated clean in place
(CIP) equipment and processes are used."
Productivity and speed are additional challenges that
processors must address in order to maximize efficiency.
"Like many manufacturing processes, there are design
conflicts such as the need to move product really fast
without damaging it in the process," Ensch said. "The
number of ingredients and subprocesses in a pet food
facility require a great number of different conveyor media. That is why you see so many different material handling solutions applied."
Modern dry bulk material handling equipment helps
address these challenges in a number of different ways.
One example is ingredient batching systems that automate batching control.
"Ingredient batching systems eliminate the inaccuracies of manual batching, increase batching throughput and production cycle times and enhance product
safety through material traceability and lot tracking,"
Lewis said. "Integrated controls can be designed to be
easy to use, can include remote supervisory control and
can integrate with corporate ERP [enterprise resource
planning] systems."

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

PFP_Jun20.indb 40

5/15/2020 3:05:32 PM


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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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