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Feeding Technology

feederIt takes a wide range of feeding solutions to handle the many different material handling challenges found in the process industries It takes a wide range of feeders to handle the many different bulk materials and applications Feeders are often classified by the metering device employed to discharge material into the process. Each feeding device is engineered to handle specific types of materials and the challenges they present. Most of these material delivery methods may be configured for use in volumetric or gravimetric modes.

Use Volumetric Feeders for Materials with Consistent Bulk Density.
Volumetric feeders control flow by discharging a consistent volume of material. They are best used when bulk density is consistent, long term feed accuracy is not critical, and feeder performance does not need to be documented. Prochem offers two types of screw feeders: the economical single screw volumetric feeder and the twin screw volumetric feeder for difficult materials. For free flowing materials, Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) offers perfectly linear, highly accurate volumetric feeding that surpasses all other feeders, yet is economical to buy and operate. Use Volumetric Feeders in gain-in-weight batching, volumetric feeders sequentially discharge into a weigh hopper, providing a weight-based formulation. For better accuracy and faster batch times, use loss-in-weight batch feeders.

Use Gravimetric Feeders for Greater Control, Long Term Accuracy and Continuous Processes
Gravimetric feeders control material flow by weight and therefore require a scale. Gravimetric feeding provides greater feed accuracy than volumetric feeding. In addition to improving process quality, gravimetric feeders can document material content in the end product. Also know as weigh feeders, gravimetric feeders are an essential enabling technology when it comes to feeding bulk material in many continuous processes.

At Prochem we offer the right Feeding Equipment that is best suited to your Bulk Material Handling needs

Some of the products offered by Prochem includes

Screw Feeders

The Right Feed Screw Design for Every Application

Screw feeding units use Prochem's unique design with horizontal agitation to provide the most uniform fill of material into the discharge screw thus improving feeding accuracy over a greater turndown range. Single and twin screw configurations are available with a variety of screw designs to accommodate the broad range of materials that have to be fed.  We offer exchangeable feed screws in Single and Twin Screw Feeders
Single screw loss-in-weight feeders, operating at low rates, often produce an unsteady discharge within one revolution of the screw, resulting in mass flow pulsation. Our exclusive Screw Speed Modulation algorithm records the pulsation and adjusts screw speed to compensate for the effect, minimizing mass flow variability.

Vibratory Feeders

Vibratory feeders are best for feeding fragile ingredients and problem materials such as fibers, glass fibers and abrasive materials such as rough-grained powders and granules. Vibratory feeders provide excellent gravimetric feeding of very free flowing bulk materials such as granules and coarse powders. They are especially well suited for abrasive products.

Vibratory trays are available in three sizes and can be combined with various hopper sizes. All parts in contact with the material being fed are stainless steel. Modular models are designed to allow easy interchange of the hopper, drive, or even another type of feeder module such as a single-screw or twin-screw metering device.

Advanced Vibratory Feeding

Where uniform discharge is critical, especially at very low rates, Prochem’s  loss-in-weight vibratory feeders provide the best solution.
One control loop maintains tray resonance, a second loop varies amplitude to control rate, and a third loop reflects the mechanical dynamics associated with the unique combination of material and feeder to trim output to the highest attainable accuracy.

Fiber Feeder Models

Vibratory fiber feeder models are especially suited for feeding glass fibers with lengths of 3 to 6 mm. Prochem has designed a vibratory tray fiber equalizer for accurate and reliable feeding of glass fibers (or other fibers). The fiber equalizer is adjustable for different configurations to match feed rate and behavior.

The totally enclosed channel prevents fiber contamination of the surroundings. Due to the efficient function of the equalizer the vibrating tray is very short in length.

Vibratory Pharmaceutical Feeders

A pharmaceutical model, available in volumetric and loss-in-weight configurations, is designed for difficult flowing pharmaceutical powders.

Vibratory Drive Designed for Feeders

The Prochem vibratory drive is part of the control system and has been developed especially for use with feeders.

A main design feature of the drive is the large weight difference between the stationary and moving components. The leaf spring being tension free when not in operation can be easily replaced.

The electronic control system provides a quick response to changing feed and environmental conditions. The control feedback signal is produced by means of a permanent magnet and spool.

Design Features:

  • Few parts
  • Maintenance free: no mechanical parts and joints that could wear
  • Vibrating Tray: Three sizes depending on feed rate
  • Fiber feeders include adjustable fiber equalizer in different configurations to match feed rate and behavior
  • Outlets: Horizontal, Verticle, and Verticle with pressure compensation

Bulk Solid Pump Feeders

Bulk Solids Pump is suited for precise feeding of free flowing bulk materials.  Prochem's Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) feeders have been specifically designed and engineered to provide gentle, precise feeding of free-flowing materials The Features Prochem Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) feeders have been specifically designed and engineered to provide gentle, precise feeding of free-flowing pellets, granules, and friable products.

The BSP feeders do not use the usual screws/augers, belts or vibratory trays to convey the material. The feeder utilizes positive displacement action to feed free flowing materials with astounding accuracy, offering uniform discharge, consistent volume and gentle handling.

The BSP feeders have vertical rotating discs that create a product lock-up zone, conveying the material smoothly from storage hopper to discharge outlet, achieving true linear mass flow.

Utilizing a simple design and the principle known as "lock up", the material in the feeder is moved together in true positive displacement, producing excellent linearity and breakthrough accuracy levels.

With no pockets or screws and only one moving part, the compact feeder is cleaned in seconds, making it ideal for applications with frequent material changes.

The Principle of Operatioon is

  1. CONSOLIDATION - Interparticle forces produce lock-up at the end of 
  2. ROTATION - Material is in lock-up condition throughout Zone 2 and rotates as a solid body
  3. RELAXATION - Interparticle forces fall below lock-up threshold
  4. ACTIVE DISCHARGE - Material discharge occurs.

Benefits of the BSP Technology

  • True Positive Displacement Action
  • Linear Over Full Operating Range
  • Uniformity of Discharge
  • Active Discharge (minimal residual material)
  • Unaffected by Differential Pressures
  • Mechanical & Maintenance Simplicity

Weigh Belt Feeders

The Weigh Belt Feeder is a relatively simple, extremely reliable gravimetric feeder providing high feeding precision and efficient process monitoring Weigh belt feeders can be used as a feeder, batcher, or meter. The most typical application is for feeding / weighing into a continuous process. By utilizing different control software, Prochem's Smart Weigh Belt can also be used to feed material into a batch system.

Weigh Belt Feeder Principle of Operation

In a weigh belt feeder, product is fed as a continuous band onto a conveyor belt, through an inlet slide gate or automatic pre-feeder. A load sensor under the belt continuously measures the weight of the product over a defined length of belt.

The controller continuously compares the actual weight with the setpoint weight, and automatically adjusts the motor speed to either increase or decrease belt speed, in order to maintain a constant feedrate. Any variation in the density of the material is reflected as a change in belt loading, which is compensated for by adjusting the belt speed.

Weigh-belt feeders can be positioned directly beneath a silo, making them suitable extraction devices for foodstuffs, animal feed, detergents and plastic pellets. The ideal inlet gate has an adjustable width, so that the profile (and thus the volume) of the material being discharged can be varied to meet the needs of the application.

For inventory control or metering, the Smart Weigh Belt can be placed into a constant speed configuration to measure or totalize the amount fed into a process.

When to choose a weigh belt feeder rather then a loss-in-weight screw feeder:

  • Relatively lower price for high mass flow feed rates
  • No refill device required
  • Compact height allows easy fit in low headroom situations 

All Prochem Smart Weigh Belt feeders use digital load cells instead of analog load cells with the following benefits:

  • High resolution
  • Insensitivity to electrical noise during data transfer
  • On-board microprocessor to linearize the weight output and compensate for temperature fluctuations
  • Calibration done at the factory
  • Elimination of low frequency vibrations without reducing the resolution

Loss-in-Weight Belt Feeders

Loss-in-Weight Belt Feeders combine the gentle material handling advantages of a belt feeder with the accurate control of a loss-in-weight system. The belt feeding device employed by this loss-in-weight feeder assures gentle handling of fragile products or materials with a low melting point.

Application

Gravimetric feeding of flakes, chips, pellets and similar bulk materials. The feeder is equipped with an agitator for feeding powders with special characteristics (e.g. powders with very low melting points, powders with wax additives, or powders with very abrasive characteristics).

Design

The belt feeder with drive unit and storage hopper are mounted on a 3-point weighing system or D5 scale. The housing is made of stainless steel. The removable side cover is equipped with a window for observing the material flow. Slide gates at the hopper outlet allow the material flow to be easily adjusted.

The easy to clean belt is made of a polyurethane coated polyester. The unit can be easily cleaned by sliding the conveyor out of the housing.

For bulk materials that tend to clump, a brush is fixed at the outlet of the belt.

Liquid Loss-in-Weight Feeders

Liquid loss-in-weight feeders provide accurate gravimetric feeding of liquids and pastes in continuous or batch operations The liquid loss-in-weight feeding system is the most accurate and reliable solution for a wide variety of liquids and many different viscosities and temperatures

The liquid or paste to be fed is metered by a pump outside the scale area. The feed pump is selected based on the feeding capacity required. Prochem’s  control system allows for single or multi-component control.

For systems with a central controller, interface modules have been built into the control module.

Liquid Feeder Designs

Prochem offers two weighing options for liquid gravimetric feeders. On the K-ML-D5-P (above right) the storage tank is mounted on a platform scale. The scale housing is stainless steel and completely closed.

With the K-ML-P model  the storage tank is mounted in a 3 point weighing system.

Both feeder models feature the exclusive, Smart Force Transducer (SFT) with vibrating wire technology and an on-board microprocessor.

To keep the pump isolated from the weighing area, a flexible connecting line is required between tank and pump.Depending on the application a hose made of silicone, natural rubber or PTFE may be used.

Depending on the needs of the application, additional equipment such as heaters or mixers can be supplied as well.

Micro-ingredient and Compact Feeders

Microfeeders can attain the lowest rates for high accuracy micro ingredient feeding while Compact Feeders offer a low rate solution that fits easily in limited spaces, laboratories and pilot lines.

Prochem’s low rate, Micro-ingredient Feeder has been expanded to include interchangeable MT12mm and MT16mm twin screw feeding modules or MS12mm and MS16mm single screw feeder modules. Overall feed rate capacity is from 0.02 dm³/hr to 27 dm³/hr.

The Micro-ingredient Feeder is ideal for applications feeding high value / high cost additives in any food, pharmaceutical, plastics and chemical process that require second to second performance with a high degree of accuracy. The interchangeable twin to single screw feed modules provides versatility to handle a broad range of materials from powders to granular.

The unit has a smaller overall profile and footprint allowing for closer discharge dimensions, and is ideal for multi-ingredient cluster arrangements. The design also allows for extended screw profiles. The unit is easy to take apart, clean and maintain with a totally enclosed weight sensor and drive motor with improved higher torque for handling difficult materials.

Compact feeders

Compact feeders are avaialable in volumetric and loss-in-weight models, with single screw, twin screw or vibratory tray metering devices. With the variety of metering configurations available, Prochem's Compact Feeders are able to handle a wide range of bulk solids, from free flowing pellets to difficult powders or fragile materials.

Compact feeders are used where headroom is a problem, or where a process requires high accuracy at low feed rates. Feed rates range from 0.07 - 313 dm3/hr (0.003 - 10 ft3/hr).

Design

Both the single screw and twin screw Compact Feeders offer interchangeable feeding tools, which provides the flexibility to handle a variety of bulk materials. All parts in contact with the bulk material being fed are stainless steel. Feeding equipment is easy to dismantle.

The screw feeders employ a horizontal agitator that gently moves bulk material to the large throat and into the discharge screws. For all loss-in-weight models, the scale housing is completely enclosed.

Micro Cone Feeder

The Prochem Micro-Cone Feeder features a highly innovative screw-less feeding mechanism to accurately dose free flowing color, masterbatch or additives into a blending system or directly into the process screw of an extruder.

Design

Utilizing a simple induced flow rotating cone, the Micro Feeder is designed to dose down to a few granules at a time and up to 2 dm3/hr (122 in3/hr or .07 ft3/hr) of normal masterbatch. With use of an extension tip, the feeder can feed as low as 0.1 dm³. The minimum dispersive rate is > 2 pellets per second.

With no pockets or screws, the design is simple, providing ease of use and almost zero maintenance. The feeder housing swings open for fast material change. There are practically no areas for the product to trap so cleaning is very easy.

Reliability is assured with few parts and very little strain on any one item due to the low friction of the system. Easily damaged or low melt point additives are also protected from degradation.

The inlet slide gate allows for material shut-off and removal of the feeder for cleaning and hopper emptying. The feeder can also be mounted in opposite discharge position (180°) to discharge material in a non-process direction.

A low power stepper motor drive and controller provide excellent turndown and flexibility ensuring a wide operating range.

Quick Change Screw Feeders

Specially designed for applications requiring the maximum possible material handling and changeover flexibility along with the convenience of fast cleaning capability, Prochem’s T35/S60 Quick Change Feeder is available in economical volumetric or high-performance loss-in-weight configurations.

Single Screw feeding elements handle free flowing powders, granules, pellets and other non-flooding materials, while Twin Screw elements control floodable powders and more difficult sticky or hard-to-flow materials.

Applications:

  • Where frequent and easy cleaning is required
  • Where product contamination is not allowed
  • Where only one feeder must handle a large variety of products
  • Where ingredients must be changed quickly and cleanly

Benefits:

  • Maximum material handling capability and conversion flexibility
  • Fast and easy changeover, disassembly and cleaning
  • Convenient for remote wet washdown
  • Minimizes installation cost and process downtime
  • Full compatibility with K2M feeders

Pharmaceutical Feeders

The complete Prochem line of pharmaceutical equipment is engineered to meet the rigid requirements of the industry, including strict adherence to cGMP guidelines and standards, as well as the use of FDA approved materials of construction.

Prochem's  vacuum receivers and Prochem pharmaceutical design feeder line are easily disassembled. All units are specifically designed to meet the cleaning requirements of the end user, including options on complete wash-in-place and  rinse-in-place cleaning.

Additional design options available include the ability to provide complete product containment during feeding and product transfer, isolation in glove boxes, and executions suitable for use in hazardous environments according to ATEX and NEC guidelines.

Systems Design and Integration

Prochem  specializes in supplying systems focused on material transfer and process ingredient feeding on a worldwide basis. Prochem’s experienced technical engineers are available to discuss your process requirements in detail and recommend specific design options to optimize your process, both in feed accuracy as well as process quality.

Design

All Prochem feeders are available in volumetric and gravimetric lossin-weight configurations. Standard design features include

  • All stainless steel product contact surfaces with FDA approved elastomers
  • Material certification and surface finish confirmation on product contact surfaces.
  • Integrated horizontal agitator to ensure optimal screw fill Gas purging connections for all shaft seals
  • Prochem Smart Force Transducer (SFT) digital weighing technology with true resolution for optimal accuracy, critical in continuous applications
  • Minimum surface finish on all contact surfaces of 0.8 micron Ra (25 micro inches Ra). Higher surface finishes optional.
  • All seals, gaskets and O-rings are constructed of FDA approved materials.

Pharma Feeder Applications

Typical applications of pharmaceutical design feeders include:

  • Feeding of mills and micronizers for both excipients and APIs
  • Pharma extruder feeders including hot melt and wet granulation extrusion
  • Single and multiple ingredient dispensing and batching, including reactor loading
  • Lubrication of tablet press tooling
  • Feeding of continuous pharmaceutical processes including mixing/blending, wet and dry granulators, coaters, and drying.
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Prochem Turnkey Projects Pvt. Ltd. (India)

Tel: +91 20 27462656, Mail: marketing@prochem.co.in
2

Prochem Turnkey Projects Pvt. Ltd.

P.O.Box 2579, Al-Jubail - 31951, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tel: +966 13 363 2387, Mail: shashi@amaco.com.sa