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Easy Cleaning of Bulk Material Feeders

Bulk Material Feeder Cleaning

The general trend towards shorter product life cycles and towards individual customer manufacture in small batch sizes affects the whole manufacturing chain. As a result, operators of production plants require their operating organisation and machine equipment to be designed and implemented to cope with frequent product changes and small production batches with consistent quality at defined costs.

This means for the bulk material processing industry to keep manufacturing batches separated when products are changed. A contamination between the different batches is inconvenient in the best case. In the worst case, however, this can result in the total loss of the produced batch. Along with the costs of the raw material used, increased costs may arise for the disposal of the contaminated material. The resulting loss of profits must also not be forgotten if the faulty batch is not accepted and cannot be processed further.

Examples of contamination can be found in almost all sectors and industries:

Food / pharmaceuticals / animal food

•    Contamination with allergens, such as milk products, nuts or egg
•    Presence of unwanted flavourings and spices
•    Incorrect incorporation of pharmacologically active substances

Chemical / building materials / environment

•    Contamination of colour pigments
•    Unintentional mixing of reactive substances
•    Unwanted ingredients in crop protection or fertilisers

The clean separation of batches when processing bulk material normally requires the production plant to be cleaned. When designing machine and system parts, the ease of cleaning of parts in contact with the product should stand in the foreground. Cleaning time – from an operational point of view – is downtime. The design of the machine must therefore permit quick cleaning without lengthy dismantling and set-up times, as well as good accessibility.

Based on these requirements, Gericke has developed the EasyClean option for its proven dosing equipment from the GAC and GDU series. EasyClean means that the feeder body is accessible in an optimum manner from two sides for cleaning. Along with the removable front plate with the dosing tube, which is standard on both series, the rear side of the dosing trough can be opened on the EasyClean variant too. For this, the rear wall can be pulled on pull-out rails rearwards along with the motor console.

With quick-release fasteners and smooth-running bearings, handling is simple. With the least possible force it is possible to move the unit to the “open” position. It locks into place here so that safe working is possible during cleaning and maintenance. After cleaning and inspection, the EasyClean devices can be just as easily closed up again and returned to production. Lengthy and complicated assembly work for cleaning are a thing of the past.

The GAC and GDU series come in various sizes for dosing performance from 2 l/h up to 77,000 l/h. Combined with the EasyClean option, the access for cleaning and maintenance is extremely simple and safe. If higher accuracies are needed than can typically be achieved with volumetric feeding, this is also not a problem. Devices fitted with EasyClean are also available in gravimetric systems such as the type DIW hybrid scales.

GAC EasyClean installed in a hybrid scale device in the opened and closed positions

Gericke precision feeders and scales have been used globally for many years where a high level of accuracy and reliability is particularly important. It doesn’t matter if it is a heavy flowing or very lightweight material, an explosive atmosphere or there are other challenging process parameters – Gericke offers you the suitable solution for precise feeding.

Process Industry Informer

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