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Spiroflow Ltd

Bulk Bag Discharger and Flexible Screw Conveyor in action at sausage producer

Thursday, 23 February 2012


CLITHEROE (GB) – Spiroflow was the automatic supplier of choice for a Bulk Bag Discharger system for a leading sausage producer in the North West of England when they rebuilt and massively extended their manufacturing site. The factory there was closed whilst this major demolition and building work was carried out to accommodate the relocation of sausage making from a location in the South East.

At their South East of England sausage factory, the customer had used a 'Spiroflow' Bulk Bag Discharger with integral Flexible Screw Conveyor to convey rusk from Bulk Bags, stored in the warehouse, through a wall to the high-hygiene production area. The system worked so well that their Group Engineering Manager had no hesitation in turning to Spiroflow for the same application at the North West site. Manufacturing in the North West had to be ramped up whilst that in the South East was ramped down which meant that a new Discharger System had to be bought to cater for the overlap. The Discharger from the South East factory has been retained and kept in storage and will be used to increase production at the North West location in due course.

Our customer operates 19 sites in the UK and markets their products under iconic brands. The North West factory is not only the newest factory in the customer's group; it is also the newest sausage making facility in the UK. It has been specifically designed to take advantage of the latest technology to deliver consistently high quality sausages. It will also be a centre of learning for sausage making and for sausage innovation. The on-site facilities include a new innovation centre and a new training facility for everyone on site to learn the art of sausage making. The building has been designed with the environment in mind with significant investment in lowering energy and water usage specifically. At the North West factory, some 270 people produce up to 80 tonnes/week of fresh and frozen sausages. The factory's standards of hygiene are second to none.

The 'Spiroflow' Bulk Bag Discharger supplied to this customer has stainless steel contact parts mounted in an epoxy coated carbon steel frame. The bulk bags are lifted into place by a forklift truck and suspended by way of a lifting frame that rests on spring-loaded support arms. As the contents of the bag are discharged, the support arms rise on their springs to keep the bag in tension. This ensures maximum discharge by preventing the bag collapsing into folds that would otherwise hinder the flow of product from the bag into the collection hopper below.

The collection hopper is protected by a dust cabinet located between it and the bag support dish which takes the weight of the bag. Within the support dish the bags sits on an annular flexible membrane that allows the outlet spout of the bag to pass through. This membrane seals the bag to the discharger.

Untying of the bag outlet takes place within the dust cabinet. Access to the outlet spout is facilitated by an interlocked access door. The Bulk Bag Discharger is furnished with pneumatically operated outlet spout pinch bars. Firstly, with the access door open, the operator pulls the neck of the bag down through the pinch bars. Then, with the door closed, the pinch bars are closed around the outlet spout. With the door re-opened, the operator can un-tie the outlet spout tapes. He then closes the door and open the pinch bars. Thus, as rusk flows from the bag, any dust is contained within the dust cabinet. In fact, the cabinet is connected to the factory's central filtration system so that any airborne particles are drawn away before the access door is opened to tie the bag off ready for removal when empty.

Discharged rusk is conveyed some 3 metres from the Discharger, which is located in the bulk materials/ingredients warehouse, through a wall and into wheeled tubs in the production area. So accurate are 'Spiroflow' Flexible Screw Conveyors that rusk is volumetrically metered into the tubs using a timer. In the tubs the rusk is married up with other minor ingredients according to the recipe of sausage to be produced. Spiroflow supplied the support frame for the conveyor outlet, the flat deck sifter below, the control panel and printer that generates batch detail labels for every tub that is filled.

The equipment was installed and commissioned by engineers from Spiroflow in March 2010.
In conclusion, the customer's Group Engineering Manager comments, 'We continue to be well pleased with the performance of our new Spiroflow Bulk Bag Discharger.'

To learn more about Spiroflow's Bulk Bag Dischargers and Conveyors and also about their Bulk Bag Fillers too, visit their web site at www.spiroflow.com or call them on +44 (0)1200 422525 to discuss your specific requirements.

© Spiroflow Ltd.