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Solids Handling & Processing Supplement June-July 2017

CHANGING TIMES By Ian Birkinshaw, General Secretary – Solids Handling & Processing Association


ith the General election behind us and a new stable government nearly in place for now the focus is again returning to the difficult negotiations ahead with the European Union on the terms of our future relationship with our closest neighbours. Whether we will be in the single market, the customs union or striking out on our own with no deal in place only time will tell, however, one thing that you can be certain of in these uncertain times is the help and assistance that SHAPA gives to its members and the wider solids handling community. There are signs that business is starting to bounce back from several years of slow growth especially for those exporting products and services throughout the world. New opportunities are opening for SHAPA members by being creative and flexible in searching out and responding to opportunities for trade. UK suppliers are quite rightly respected all over the world for the quality of their products and customer service, compared to the ‘low cost’ alternatives. While we can’t pretend, that price is not important, many surveys have shown that it is not the main criteria when customers are choosing their suppliers, relationships are still key to business success, whether this is just in the UK or throughout the world. To assist in this process SHAPA have recently launched a new paper on the cost of ownership which helps suppliers differentiate themselves from the low cost competition. This new paper is just one of the many technical papers which are available on the SHAPA website just visit for more detailed information.

engineering plant and systems. As we all know, engineers are in short supply these days and especially in the solids handling industry which is why SHAPA has joined forces with the Arkwright’s scholarships trust www. to sponsor an engineering student through an Arkwright scholarship which aims to develop active future leaders within the engineering professions. The Arkwright foundation has been supporting students for over 25 years through their A Levels or Scottish Advanced Highers and encourages students to pursue engineering, computing or technical design at university or through a higher-level apprenticeship and to pursue careers in the field. successive year, the ever changing world of digital marketing coupled with the recent cyber-attacks ensure that this workshop is not to be missed. Next year will be our 10th consecutive year of the digital marketing workshop, where subjects including what’s new with Google and Bing along with LinkedIn and twitter will be discussed as well as new tools to ensure that your digital presence is attracting new and existing customers to your web site. Details will be available shortly on the SHAPA website so watch out for the announcements. Later this year in November SHAPA are planning to run a Bulk Handling Course for non-Engineers, this course will run through the basics of bulk material handling for those who are new to the industry or do not have day to day involvement in

WORKING TOGETHER As with a hive of bees in the pursuit of efficiency no single individual or even company for that matter can be expert at everything, which is why a collective approach is adopted and promoted by SHAPA and its member companies. In order to professionally design and manufacture solids handling systems and equipment, a vast range of expertise is needed, this can be located on the SHAPA website at SHAPA offers valuable resources to enable all members to widen their knowledge and experience though the support of continue...

TRAINING & CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Once again SHAPA is helping its membership by running courses and seminars on subjects that are relevant to them. An Atex and DSEAR workshop was recently held where speakers from renowned experts in the industry provided the attendees with new information, changes in the legislation and up to date case studies. It’s still surprising how after more than ten years of the legislation being placed on the statute book, the subject of Atex and DSEAR and its implications to customers, end users and the wider industry who use potentially explosive powders is still attracting large audiences to the workshops. To keep up to date and continue the transfer of knowledge on Atex and DSEAR a follow up workshop on the subject is planned for late 2018. In addition to the Atex course the ever successful digital marketing workshop was held for the 9th



its membership. Within any major processing enterprise, the supplier of each element of the material handling system can be both a supplier and a customer. Each supplier will need to know the characteristics, mass and volume flow of the material delivered to their part of the equipment, appropriate data about the discharge of their part of the system to the next part of the plant. Such communication is essential, which is why many SHAPA member companies are either suppliers to or customers of each other, often within the same project.

COMMUNICATING FOR SUCCESS This is just one facet of the SHAPA community that leads to profitable networking between members at the regular association general meetings. In fact, the high level of attendance at these gatherings is almost unique amongst engineering trade associations. Through their own enthusiasm and individual efforts members have willingly contributed to the success of SHAPA, secure in the fact that successful knowledge transfer will help their own companies as well as other members and little by little improve the quality and reliability of all projects offered to end user clients. It has been long been said that solids handling and processing is a black art – Perhaps this may have been true in the long distant past, but not now. The cooperative work of technical research institutions and associations such as SHAPA, through the commitment of skilled engineers and other professionals has ensured that knowledge based progress has prevailed.

SOLIDS HANDLING INDUSTRY AWARDS - CONTINUED SUCCESS In recognition of the successes from the within the SHAPA Membership, the SHAPA Solids Handling Industry Awards, were this year held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The venue proved to be a fitting location for this year’s awards as the museum is steeped in innovation and engineering excellence from steam powered engineering through to aviation and space travel. The SHAPA awards this year comprised three categories including Innovation, Export, and SHAPA Company of the year. Yet again this year all the applications were of an exceptionally high standard showing how the SHAPA membership are pushing the boundaries in the pursuit of excellence. The closely contested Innovation Award again went to Russell Finex for the second year running for their Russell AMPRO Sieve StationTM. This ingenious invention has been developed specially to handle the ever increasing demands of the 3D printing industry. Perry of Oakley received the Exporter of the Year they demonstrated significant increases in their export revenues during 2016. This greatly contributed to the overall growth of the company in 2016. In addition, they also added the export territories of Serbia and the Netherlands while developing new areas in Southern Africa and Greece. The SHAPA Company of the year award was presented to Vortex Global Ltd which has within the last ten years progressed from a start-up company in the UK with little or no market presence or brand recognition to a primary bulk solids component supplier throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. The company has increased sales turnover significantly with the growth in the UK and branching out across the world. This success can be attributed to their business dedication and creating value through winwin relationships with their clients. The association would like to take this opportunity to applaud all our winners and indeed all contenders who once again exhibited exemplary standards. For more information about SHAPA membership or to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience, please visit or email info@


SACK TIPPING SIEVING STATION SUPPLIED WITH INTEGRATED DUST EXTRACTION SYSTEM Adept at handling a minimum of 3000kg/hour of flour via a 1000 micron screen whilst protecting the user from possible airborne dust particles, the Sievmaster Easilift 950 sieving station by Farleygreene now comes with its own optional localised extraction system for use when no central extraction point is within proximity. The module features a pneumatically driven vacuum pump and filter which is also safe for use in an Atex environment. The modular nature of this and all our equipment allows our customers to pick all the elements they require to build their ultimate package. Personalised designs are made to finesse units to customer’s exact need in terms of finish, materials and dimensional factors, which is a standard part of the FG design service for all projects. All our products come with full validation documentation, traceability certificates conforming to EC1935/2004, user manuals, export packing and customs documentation appropriate to the delivery country. For further information please contact: Farleygreene Ltd, Mapledurwell, Hampshire. Tel: (01256) 474 547 Email: Web:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONVEYING & HANDLING OF PARTICULATE SOLIDS (CHOPS) The International Conference on Conveying and Handling of Particulate Solids (CHoPS) is the 9th in a series, since it started in Tel-Aviv in 1994. The previous eight conferences gave us excellent opportunities to get acquainted with each other and to share advanced information on solids handling. The Conference theme is “Fusion of science and industry: from particle contacts to bulk behaviour”. It will focus on the emerging opportunities and challenges in solids handling technology, and the application of both these and established knowledge, in the process industries and the equipment manufacturing sector. The scope will range from pharmaceuticals to mining and minerals, including food, chemicals, power generation, waste, environment and all other sectors that process powders and bulk solids. If you deal with particulates – you have to be at CHoPS, no other conference in the area is as large, as international, and as wide ranging in both industry and academic participation. This is a unique forum to promote the exchange of technical and scientific information in the academic and industrial sectors in the fields of solids flow, mechanical behaviour of bulk materials, powder testing, segregation and mixing, modelling etc. It is also designed to foster business and collaboration opportunities around the world. Registration is now open. Please visit to secure your place. For enquiries please email the conference secretariat, Deborah ReedAspley We look forward to seeing you there!




Leading British mixer and blender manufacturer JR Boone have supplied Exwold Technology in Teesside with three 4000 litre capacity low-shear mixers as par of a new installation that has expanded Exwold’s agrochemical production facility. Exwold selected JR Boone Horizontal Helical Blade Mixers (HHBM) for their reliability, value for money, quality and ease of cleaning. Exwold is a contract manufacturer of agricultural and speciality chemicals with four sites in the North East employing more than a hundred people. They pride themselves on flexible and fast moving R&D with a speciality in water- dispersible granules (WDG). A material that is to be converted to granules is inherently prone to agglomeration, and the challenge that Exwold MD Kevin Martin presented was to supply mixers that keep the material fluid, well separated and clog-free while it progresses through the process. Exwold considered several possible manufacturers, choosing John R Boone after tests showed that the very low speed ribbon agitators of the HHBM would maintain mix fluidity while putting very little work into the material. In this case the HHBM has a U shaped body and four helical blades that sweep the entire length of the mixer providing a very gentle yet thorough, end-to- end mixing action with very low product retention. A pre-mix with approximately 3mm particle size is loaded into the first of the three JR Boone HHBM, which then feeds a reverse jet mill that reduces the particle size to micron dimensions. From there the powder is sent to two further JR Boone HHBM before going on to the extrusion press to be formed into granules. At all stages, it is critical that the mix is kept mobile, and presented to the discharge point consistently and completely. Exwold manufacture in campaigns that last several weeks and cleanliness between batches is vital. As Kevin Martin put it, “the Boone mixers offer easy access for inspection, easy access for cleaning and maintenance along with good quality and performance”. The low contact area design of the mixer body and minimum number of blades make cleaning simpler and quicker, and JR Boone also installed CIP equipment within each mixer to further reduce cleaning time. The new plant is now in full operation, producing granular products.

Powder processing specialist British Rema is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr John Robinson in the new role of Technical Sales Director, to lead the commercial function of its Process Equipment division. With a background in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Materials Engineering, John brings to the role over 25 years of senior technical, commercial and operational experience in the powder industry. John spent much of his early career in innovation and technical leadership roles, working on the development of advanced powder products, particularly metal oxides. Having worked overseas for many years, John returned to the UK to serve in various senior positions including Commercial Manager of the Polishing Powders division of AMG Superalloys and subsequently its Chromium and Advanced Alloys metal powder processing function. In his new role John will focus on the development and growth of the company’s core range of milling, classifying and blending systems as well as on its contract processing business. This appointment continues to build British Rema’s in-house technical and scientific expertise as it responds to clients’ needs to develop processes and products in collaboration with powder specialists. British Rema specialises in the milling, micronising, classification and blending of powders and is a leading supplier of powder processing equipment and contract processing services for the Chemical, Food, Metal Powders, Mineral, Pharmaceutical and Plastics industries. For more information contact British Rema, Image Works, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Tel: 01246 269955 E-mail: Web:

For more information contact JR Boone Limited, Congleton, Cheshire. Tel: +44 (0)1260 272894 E-mail: Web

June - July 2017 - SHAPA Supplement



Guest Article


WHY IT’S AN ISSUE & WHAT THE PROCESSING INDUSTRY SHOULD BE DOING ABOUT IT… By James Miller is general director at Dustcontrol UK – Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Dust affects a wide range of industries. From construction, to food, metalwork to ceramics; its pernicious impact is widespread. But dust suffers from an identity crisis. Despite the ill effects of dust being far reaching, many fail to appreciate just how serious an issue dust can. The negatives are manifold. Its obvious side effects are the creation of a dirty working environment, hindrance to production efficiency, a lowering of staff morale, poorer product quality and an, often unnoticed, health and safety risk. Some firms do attempt to address the situation, but unless they’ve enlisted professional help, most of these are not being as effective or efficient as possible in their approach. If you walk into some processing facilities, there’s a chance you’ll see a profusion of cheap mobile dust extractors. These are often aligned haphazardly in the hope they’ll be enough to trap the dust and particulates created during the course of production. Managers of these facilities should be applauded for at least making an attempt to rectify dust-related issues. But sometimes, this set up can cause more of a nuisance than any actual assistance in resolving the matter. The mobile dust extractors used in these instances are often fitted with low quality filtration and are poorly maintained. Personnel are often unwilling to take responsibility for keeping them clean and ensuring that they’re looked after. They also frequently constitute a health and safety risk, with leads and cables stretching across the production area. These not only pose the risk of tripping, but also make the area look untidy, which isn’t ideal during a client factory tour. There’s also often a lack of understanding on just how these extractors should be used, with many companies opting to use them after processing rather than during. Mobile dust extractors might seem like an attractive short-term solution to workplace dust and the balance sheet, but they usually fail to achieve the desired results with running costs actually making them more detrimental in the longer term. The best way for plants to address the issue of dust is to install centralised vacuum systems. These can fit into the building in question, and have a number of plug-in points running off them, avoiding the need for messy leads running everywhere. The systems can run for 24 hours, and are even self-cleaning. Lease finance for this type of equipment is becoming a much more common way of avoiding large Capex sign off and


helping to manage cash flow. The opportunity for source extraction is important here. These systems are particularly useful to packaging within the processing industry, as card or paper is often cut at high speeds. Source extraction systems capture the dust generated during these processes at the point where the paper is cut using bespoke extraction shrouds. Implementing this set up can improve product quality and reduce downtime. Central vacuum and source extraction systems are also energy efficient. Depending on the number of open outlets, the RPM of the vacuum producer can be optimised, generating just as much vacuum as needed. And when no outlets are open the vacuum automatically switches to a saving mode, thus reducing both carbon emissions and running costs. What’s more, a centralised vacuum system can help solve any ‘product loss’ issues – where what’s coming out at the end of the production line is less than what’s being put in at the start. This is particularly useful for powder packing lines. The systems can show visibly what they’ve collected during the process, so if there are still serious ‘product loss’ issues these can be backed up with accurate data. Dust or product that it is removed during the extraction process can also be recycled where necessary. The benefits of a centralised vacuum system are many. Working in a cleaner environment will not only improve staff morale, it will also reduce the risk of potential health issues for employees. Dust extraction at source improves air quality, helping to tackle occupational asthma and other such respiratory illnesses. If we take the food processing industry as an example, engaging dust extraction equipment helps to negate the peril of something called ‘Baker’s Lung’, a form

of lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to allergens contained in many food-processing ingredients. Another important point to consider is the fact many dusts are combustible. When a material, such as foodstuffs, is suspended in the air in a finely divided form, in the right concentration and in the right conditions, explosions can occur. If we take food processing as an example again, foodstuffs such as sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed and grain are amongst the materials that are most dangerous in the workplace. While these aren’t necessarily immediately regarded as explosive substances, the risk they can potentially pose if handled incorrectly is considerable, putting both workforce and equipment in peril. Therefore, it’s imperative to do what you can to minimise the risks posed in environments where these materials are both in abundance and being processed in a way that causes dust to form. A centralised vacuum system is one of the key methods of doing so. On a more business minded level, dust extraction will help to improve product quality as it removes dust from both the product and any associated packaging, whilst also reducing the need for maintenance, which allows valuable resources to be spent elsewhere.



For further information &/or free site survey on dust free loading etc.. Contact :


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One week free trial 24 months warranty Full component traceability ATEX - Accredited as standard

In just a few years, BULKEX has become a premier event in the bulk handling calendar. With a new format for 2017, this popular two-day conference is now incorporating a line-up of high profile speakers supported by an exhibition and awards dinner at a new venue. Entitled Bulk Handling Today and Tomorrow, the 2017 conference – on Wednesday 18 th and Thursday 19 th October – enables professionals and organisations in the industry and allied sectors to meet in one place to discuss and hear about achievements and opportunities, challenges and solutions. Technical emphasis The technical emphasis of BULKEX17 will deliver insights on topical issues and pending projects. The subjects covered will appeal to those from across the bulk materials industry as well as associated fields such as mining, ports, transport, power, cement and steel. With the change in traditional markets that have served the industry for over 70 years BULKEX, together with its organisers the Materials Handling Engineers Association (MHEA), has given inspiration to many companies by pointing the way to the future. Brexit, mining and biomass BULKEX17 is taking place at Eastwood Hall, a luxury country house near Nottingham. Delegates can choose from a one- or two-day ticket on either or both of the conference days. Included in the ticket price is lunch and unlimited refreshments. During conference hours there will be a programme of eminent speakers on a range of topics such as Brexit, mining in South America and biomass. Those attending will be able to take part in the Q&A sessions following the presentations and speak on a one-to- one basis with presenters during the day and at the awards dinner on the Wednesday evening. Supporting exhibition In addition to the presentations, BULKEX17 will have more than fifty exhibition stands for delegates to visit and learn more about a broad range of products and services from a variety of bulk materials handling companies. Exhibitors include: NordGear, Rota Val, Don Valley Engineering, Mucon, Martin Engineering, Conveyortech, Spirotech York, Siemens, The Wolfson Centre, LoadFast Systems, Materials Handling Products, DMN Westinghouse, Vortex Global, Flexco, Kingfisher Industrial, Rulmeca, Samson Materials Handling and ProSpare. Leading businesses in the sector, they are specialists in components supply, rollers and motorised pulleys, bespoke design and manufacture, belt conveyors, valves, screens, drive technology and a host of other materials handling disciplines. MHEA Award The MHEA Awards were launched in 2016 as part of the annual dinner held on the first night of the event. Such was their success that these awards have been repeated for 2017, with categories for innovation, project of the year, apprentice of the year and supplier of the year. Entries for the MHEA awards can be made until 31 st July on the BULKEX website. Similarly, bookings for the awards dinner, overnight accommodation and registration for the conference can be made online. For further information on delegate tickets, exhibiting, speakers or awards entries and dinner, or call the BULKEX events team on Tel: 01787 226995.



THE WOLFSON CENTRE FOR BULK SOLIDS HANDLING TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES TO EXPAND ITS TEST FACILITIES The Wolfson Centre continues its policy of continually updating its range of analytical services for industry, through the purchase of a Turbula multi axis blender. Dr Berry said “this piece of equipment enables blends to be constructed from accurately measured ingredient proportions. This has the benefit of avoiding the sometimes challenging issue of undertaking laboratory measurements with supplied full blends that are not truly representative.” Consultancy projects that depend upon representative test samples range from silo / hopper design, counter segregation strategies and investigations into lump formation. The blender will also be applied into the high level research activities at The Wolfson Centre, such as electrostatic charge generation, particle attrition and agglomeration studies. For more details of the services offered by The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology, please visit Web:, contact us on Email: or call us on Tel: +44 (0)208 331 8646.

VORTEX LOADING SPOUTS GAIN ATEX CERTIFICATION IN EUROPE Vortex, a solids and bulk handling components company, announces its Loading Solutions product line has gained Zone 20 (internal) and Zone 21 (external) ATEX certification in the European Union. Because ATEX certification is required for equipment sold through the European Union (EU), this certification allows Vortex to broaden its international reach and enter an established European market for loading spouts. As Zone 20 and Zone 21 are the highest ATEX ratings that can be achieved, Vortex Loading Solutions are compliant for use in even the most hazardous applications, making Vortex products a viable option for all industries. Established on March 29, 2014, ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU is a revised law requiring equipment manufactures to design and construct equipment in a way that ensures a static dissipative path for material flow, thus reducing the source of ignition for use of equipment in explosive environments. Complemented by ATEX Directive 99/92/EC, which is law enforced in the workplace, the purpose of the ATEX Directive is to ensure employee safety and protection when manufacturing in hazardous environments. The Notified Body sourced to assist Vortex in gaining certification was the UK-based firm, SGS Baseefa. A certification process which took nearly one year to complete, SGS Baseefa was responsible for reviewing drawings and product standards, and for performing material testing, to ensure the Loading Solutions product line is mechanically and electrically compliant with ATEX Directive guidelines. Vortex Loading Solutions are designed to capture fugitive dust, prevent material waste, ensure plant and environmental safety, and minimize maintenance and service expenses. Vortex loading spouts can also be designed for standard, abrasive and food-grade material handling, making them an ideal solution for any bulk solids application. Spout sleeves can be constructed from four material options – two of which have been ATEXcertified. Coupled with the spout’s four-cable pulley system and 10-year cable warranty, Vortex Loading Solutions are reliable for safety and functionality in any material handling application. Further, all Vortex products from the Quantum and Titan lines are also ATEX-certified, making Vortex one of the safest sourcing options for equipment used in hazardous manufacturing environments. For more information contact Vortex, Darlington, County Durham. Tel: +44 (0) 1325 728 577 Email: Web:

June - July 2017 - SHAPA Supplement





Please include the Photocaption under the image -Kevin Shaw: Warehouse Manager with moulded boxes and polypropylene feedstock silos Two 100 ton Barton Fabrications silos have been installed at the Really Useful Products Ltd’s new production facility in Castleford. The global company, which operates in thirteen countries, is experiencing increased demand for its plastic storage boxes manufactured in sizes ranging from 0.07 litres to 145 litres. The two silos store essential polypropylene raw material feedstock used in the injection moulding process as part of the production of the polymeric boxes. Commenting on the silo installation, Mike Pickles CEO of Really Useful Products Ltd said: “Growing demand has meant expansion, including building a new factory. We chose Barton Fabrication’s silos for our storage solution based on our past track record of using the company. As experts in their field, we knew Barton would deliver what was required. The installation process went very smoothly and we are very happy with the silos.” Barton Fabrications is the UK’s largest supplier of aluminium silos: vessels and blenders are produced which are suitable for a wide range of both virgin and recycled plastic feedstock. Really Useful Products’s storage boxes are an innovative range of containers manufactured by the company in the UK and USA - each box is supplied with a separate lid, which can be held securely in place by a locking member attached to the box itself. For more details on Barton Fabrications’ silo solutions, contact Mark Barton:Tel: +44 (0) 1275 845901 E-mail: Web:

Rota Val will be exhibiting at the Bulkex Show in Nottingham 18-19 th October. Registration for tickets are available at The event is organized by the Materials Handling Engineers Association (MHEA) and will also include a programme of eminent speakers. At the show Rota Val will be launching a new range of ‘How To’ videos to help customers to overcome any common industry problems. On show will also be the new website with demonstrations on the improved features. To help customers work out what size valve they need, an app has been developed whic h when populated by industry, throughput and cleaning method, it will indicate what is needed. For customers more aware of their requirements there is a search by industry, where the search results will show the options available. There is a section clearly showing the accreditations that Rota Val have for their valves which include ATEX, ISO 9001 and the latest EHEDG certification which ensures that Rota Val can support food manufacturers with the strictest hygienic requirements to enable safe food production The product pages offer concise information which includes brochure downloads, ability to print the page or email the page to a colleague, the ATEX accreditation and a video in action where available. For quick help and advice we have direct links to our engineers and customers can also keep up to date with recent news and social media links. For more information contact Rota Val Ltd, Chippenham, Wiltshire Tel: +44 1249 651138 E-mail: Web:



PROTECTING DOWNFLOW BOOTH PERFORMANCE FOR SAFE OPERATION In the pharmaceutical industry the downflow booth is one of the most widely recognised means to protect workers when handling dusty materials or undertaking activities that generate airborne particles. Keeping workers safe from dusts and fumes that can damage their health is a legal requirement under Health and Safety at Work, COSHH regulations across all industries and the user friendly working environment offered by downflow booths as an alternative to cumbersome PPE, combined with the high levels of protection they can afford, has led to the adoption of this clean air technology across chemical, food, healthcare and other industries. Matt Wilby, Maintenance and Commissioning Engineer at process containment specialist, Hosokawa Micron Ltd says, “However downflow booths can only fully protect those working in them if they are regularly monitored, inspected and maintained to preserve their installation performance levels and comply with safety regulations.”

Smoke tests verify containment and that airflow in the booth is flowing in the right direction and that it is not compromised by the placement of equipment and that smoke remains within the safe work line and none flows into the outside area which would indicate a risk to those in adjacent work zones and potential product contamination. Where cleanroom or controlled area classification verification is required in accordance with BS EN ISO 14644-1:1999 airborne particle count testing is required. This is undertaken using light scattering instruments to determine clean zone cleanliness. DOP testing of HEPA filters forms a part of the regulatory requirements and should be carried out by experts to ensure reliability. This test determines if your filters are performing to the standards acceptable for your operations. The test provides assurances for all parts of the filter including the seals and the housing. The statutory requirement for testing intervals is 14 months with the test carried out in accordance with BS EN ISO 14644-3:2005 or PD 6609:2007 by test engineers capable of identifying and resolving leakage problems.


A planned maintenance programme prevents equipment failure and production interruption whilst keeping your downflow booth safe to use. We recommend companies look at packages from OEMs which offer scheduled visits to undertake a full range of checks and tests to industry standards as well as full IQ/OQ recertification

Routine monitoring demonstrates the unit is performing to established, safe, commissioned standards. It provides invaluable historical data and enables prompt remedial action if required and forms an inclusive part of a scheduled programme designed to spot and handle deviations that may place operators at risk. Daily visual checks such as checking for panel damage and failed lighting are a start point and can be done by the operator, who probably knows the unit better than anyone. Further routine checks should be carried out by a trained and competent technicians and include: - Checking manometer readings are in the correct range - Static pressure readings - Checking there is no visible leakage - Filter system check Keeping records is crucial in demonstrating that the system performs as it was designed. Failures detected or deviations identified should be logged, reported and acted upon. Training of your maintenance team will be offered by your downflow booth manufacturer at equipment handover. Training should be geared to the performance levels, activities undertaken within the booth and tailored to accommodate specialist maintenance operations outside your in- house capability and scope.


of your system. Compliance documentation provision is also an advisable option. Service intervals should be recommended by manufacturers, take into account HSE guidelines, ho your downflow booth is used, how much product passes through it and help determine the framework for a preventative and predictive maintenance schedule to meet your H&S obligations. “For example a downflow booth operating on a 24/7, three shift dispensing line will require more frequent servicing than a booth which handles a few sample tests per week. Any remedial work deemed necessary would be carried out at this point by the service provider – including filter replacement.” explains Matt.

SPARES, REPLACEMENT PARTS & UPGRADES Manufacturers are able to help you manage your stock of spare parts to ensure minimal downtime and optimum performance of your downflow booth. At Hosokawa we offer a range of upgrades to lighting, containment screens, cooling packages etc. that can extend the operational life of your booth as your requirements change.’ Matt concludes, “Whist alarms and reports highlighting abnormal operations will be provided by your booth management system, the responsibility for compliance with regular Health and Safety audits remains with the company operating the booth. If something is not working as it should do not wait for a scheduled service call or H&S audit. Contact your maintenance service provider immediately. Never let the problem escalate.”

INSPECTION ‘Run to fail’ is not an option with downflow booths and in order to maintain its performance a series of inspections or tests should be carried out by trained engineers at specified intervals determined at commissioning stage and detailed within your service manual for each downflow unit. Matt explains, “Qualified external engineers may be required to carry out these test, many of which require local isolation and specialist equipment including the wearing of PPE as Operator Exposure Levels may be compromised.”

June - July 2017 - SHAPA Supplement



BELLA MIXER ON DISPLAY AT UPCOMING POWTECH SHOW The Bella fluidized zone mixer will be on display in Dynamic Air’s Stand # 3-204 at the upcoming Powtech Show in September. The Bella twin shaft paddle mixer by Dynamic Air achieves fast, highcapacity, low shear, precision mixing of either dry bulk solids or liquids with solids. Regardless of particle size, shape or density, materials are mixed with a fast, efficient, and gentle action with typical mixing times of 15 to 30 seconds. A weightless zone created by low-speed counter rotating paddles generates very low friction without shear. This makes it ideal for abrasive products and fragile products that cannot tolerate rough handling. Even flakes or spray-dried bodies remain intact The Bella mixer consists of twin drums which have two counterrotating agitators with specifically angled paddles. They overlap at the centre and completely sweep the entire bottom of both mixer drums and allow it to be started under full load (Figure 1). The material in the mixer moves in a horizontal counterclockwise direction at the perimeter while simultaneously moving both left and right in the center (Figure 2). The material in Zone B (Figure 1) is in its normal gravimetric state as it is being moved and disbursed. In Zone A, a weightless zone is created which effectively lifts the ingredients to an almost weightless state allowing them to move freely and randomly, regardless of particle size and density. Thus the two zones’ interaction becomes highly efficient as every particle moves rapidly to a highly homogeneous mix, the key to the Bella Mixer mixing technology for fast, precise mixing. The Bella mixer is available in stainless steel for food applications. Custom sizes, finishes and materials of construction are available upon request. Contact Dynamic Air Ltd. Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Tel: +44-1908-622344 | E-mail: Web:

Prevention Venting Isolation Suppression







IFT 2017 - INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR FOOD INGREDIENT EXTRUSION, FEEDING & PNEUMATIC CONVEYING At this year’s IFT Tech 2017, Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas in the USA Coperion and Coperion K-Tron present the latest innovations and technologies for the food and pet food industry. Exhibits on display included a gravimetric quick change feeder and a video demonstrating Coperion and Coperion K-Tron’s food process solutions, including the ZSK Mv PLUS Twin Screw Food Extruder – The ideal extrusion system for many types of food and pet food. The ZSK Mv PLUS provides ideal conditions for the extrusion of many types of food and pet food products. The process section of the ZSK twin screw extruder consists of several barrels in which the corotating screws operate. The closely intermeshing screws with their tight self-wiping profile eliminate stagnant zones over the whole length of the process section. The effect of this is a constantly high conveying efficiency and perfect self-cleaning. The modular design of the ZSK Mv PLUS and its unusual combination of free screw volume, screw speed and torque enable this twin screw extruder series to be individually configured for every application. The complete portfolio includes a wide range of sizes, allowing customers to process any required throughput range from laboratory to production scale. Quick Change Feeder – For handling large variety of products and a simple means of preventing contamination – Model K2ML-QC screw feeder with two interchangeable quick change modules on a D5 platform scale Coperion K-Tron’s T35/S60 Quick Change Feeder is specially designed for applications requiring the maximum possible material handling and changeover flexibility along with the convenience of easy cleaning capability. It enables a fast exchange of the feeding module which minimizes downtime and eliminates the risk of crosscontamination. The QC-Feeder is available in economical volumetric or high-performance loss-in-weight configurations. For more information contact Coperion K-tron Great Britain Ltd, Stockport, Cheshire. Tel: +44 (0) 161 209 4810 E-mail: Web: June - July 2017 - SHAPA Supplement



HAD YOUR FILL OF DISCHARGING POWDERS UNCONTROLLABLY? By Richard Farnish – Principal Research Fellow Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing & Design Engineering of University of Greenwich Filling fine powders into fixed volume packaging or containers can be a major headache. Whether the volume to be filled should hold a few milligrams, a sachet of tens of grams, sacks holding a few kilos, big bags holding up to a tonne or road tankers accepting 25 tonnes – the challenges are fundamentally very similar in obtaining a gravimetric fill in a system controlled by the receiving volume. One of the main contradictions associated with dosing fine powders lies in an over reliance on aeration to initiate flow and to establish a ‘reliable’ discharge. It is notable that for processes that are required to fill blisters, such as in the pharmaceutical sector, the accuracy of the fill and subsequent dispersal characteristics (in inhalers) is beneficially enhanced in response to a engineered level of cohesion and compaction characteristics – which would not be achievable were the powder free-flowing. When processes scale up to sachets and beyond, an excessive cohesion is extremely undesirable for filling processes. In situations where powders or fines continuous ‘coarse’ materials need to be fed with a fair degree of accuracy, it is not only the reliability of flow that becomes important, but also the consistency and repeatability of the flow that is the key to minimal ‘give-away’ or spillage. An unfortunate effect of the over enthusiastic use of aeration is that although flow can be initiated quite readily, the resulting discharge is likely to be over dilated by the air that penetrates between the moving particles. Thus, two effects can occur simultaneously; Firstly the flux density of the stream of powder entering the fixed volume receptacle will be low (i.e. the incoming charge has an excessively high gas content) and secondly the velocity of the stream of particles is high and can entrain additional air. The net effect is that unless the bulk characteristics of the powder are such that rapid gas egress can occur, the charge of material is likely to be in very low bulk density form until the entrained gas is lost from the powder and exits the system through the filling point. Unfortunately, in the case fine powders, the expulsion of entrained gas from the powder can result in the deposition of dust on the sealing faces of the bag. In the event that the type of bag/sachet being filled is sealed by welding, the resulting closure efficiency can be significantly weakened, to the extent that sachets can burst open when transported to end users operating at significant elevations above sea level. Another mode of failure is when sacks are palletised fresh from the production line, in which case stack instability can result or, in some cases, rupturing of sacks due to applied pressure. Aside from the issues of bag integrity, a more common concern lies in the variation of pack weight that results directly from the poorly controlled flow of powder – and in particular the inconsistency of ‘in-flight’ material (which is a major contributor to overall fill accuracy). Clearly, the use of aeration in conjunction with fine powders addresses the inability of such materials to discharge from standard equipment types, but at the cost (literally in many cases) of fill variation and package integrity. A consideration of filling operations at the large quantity end of the spectrum, shows that the associated problems can have equally serious impacts. For sachets, bags and sacks vibration is sometimes applied to the bag base or directly into the contents (via extended probes) to encourage bed settlement. This approach is not readily applicable to filling operations involving road or rail tankers, where the mass of the ‘container’ is substantial. Under such circumstances filling to obtain a

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required weight presents greater problems. Identical issues of low bulk density (due to air retention) can exist, which result in the volume of the wagon being occupied before the target weight is reached. Under such circumstances road tankers have the option to disconnect from the filling spout and drive a short distance within the plant to settle the load, disconnect from the spout and pressurise the wagon – followed by venting, or disconnect the tanker and tip the body (if a tipping type). All of these approaches can deliver varying levels of settlement but, of course, most of these options could not be applied to rail wagons. All of these approaches consume valuable driver tacho time and increase Health & Safety risks associated with increased vehicular movements on site or man access to loading hatches. In addition to poor time utilisation, over aerated material can flow rapidly enough to dislodge the filling spout before the level detector sensor can effectively shut down the flow of material from above – leading to spillage and local dust emissions.

Unstable ‘big bags’ days after filling with air retentive powder

The issue of dust emissions is of particular relevance where local dust handling systems are installed. In many cases such units tend to fall easy prey to ‘value engineering’ on plant projects, with the result that their operation is sometimes marginal even when first installed. Under sizing or poor choice of filter fabric, can often result in premature ‘blinding’ of the filters – which in turn limits the rate at which displaced air can leave the wagon during filling operations. This is a frequent cause of loading spouts disengaging during filling. The local response to this type of problem can often be to leave another of the filling hatches open to permit air (and dust) escape – causing major dust emission problems local to the loading bay. The range of industries that are affected by poorly controlled flow of powders where good accuracy and consistency are sought is extremely wide. In response to these common problems, The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology is developing a research rig to investigate in detail the response behaviour of powders

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to the interaction with gas. A particular avenue of work that is being pursued is that of monitoring and manipulating th interstitial gas pressures within a flowing powder.

Excessive dust emissions as a result of open filling hatch (in response to blinded local dust collector) The research aims to prove a technique for direct manipulation of particle packing to, in turn, influence the bulk properties of the flowing material. The objective of this approach is to deliver a densified flow of powder at the filling point and avoid the indiscriminate use of aeration to obtain discharge. Early experiments have shown that using as little as 4% volume air during flow can result in a ~30% increase in mass flow rate of the bulk solid when applied to the test apparatus. The key point here being that minimal air volumes can be used – which could have the knock on effect of reducing compressed air consumption and total air entrainment volumes. The research rig at The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology

IN SUMMARY Many industrial applications experience issues with spillage, dust emissions and filling accuracy when handling fine powders. Resorting to aeration to overcome the one problem (nonflowing) with others (dust egress, fill accuracy, etc.) if the design of the air introduction system or air volumes to be used have not been correctly considered and configured. Developments and research in this field are continuing and will provide an improved basis for system optimisation for new and existing plant.

June - July 2017 - SHAPA Supplement





When processing hazardous materials and complying to ATEX regulations, containment is imperative. Not only does this protect the product from contamination, this also ensures operators are protected from exposure to the highly hazardous materials. Due to the nature of the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, where product quality and hygiene are the absolute priority, it is necessary to use equipment that is easy to clean. This is often carried out in a contained environment. When a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer sought a solution for transferring API processing equipment to a containment isolator, an innovative solution was manufactured. Previously, to clean equipment in this instance, operators would have to enter the production area wearing a ventilated protective suit to avoid potential contact or inhalation of the hazardous powders or dust. This, however, does not absolutely guarantee sanitation, as the equipment is still exposed to the surrounding environment, and contamination could be carried to other areas by the suit. To eliminate this risk, the manufacturer required a customized sifter, modified for easy cleaning in a containment isolator. It was agreed that the most user-friendly solution would be a Russell Compact Sieve ® with an additional customized clamping system. This would allow transferral of all potentially hazardous contact parts to a containment isolator quickly and easily, with no risk of exposure to the operator. As with all versions of this pharma sieve range, each component is easy to clean and re-assemble, meaning minimal production downtime. These compact vibratory screeners can fit easily into existing production lines and a wide range of sizes and options are available. For more information contact Russell Finex Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8818 2000 Website:

Ingredient Batching Systems is renowned for its innovative systems for conveying powdered ingredients from silos and other storage facilities to processing vessels or packaging lines. However one of the company’s other products is a dosing rig which, in either mobile or static form, is being used by a range of different companies to deliver a highly accurate dose of hydrated lime to strategic points within an industrial chimney. Legislation changes this year means that there will be even tighter controls for companies who burn a product as part of a process such as energy generation and cement manufacture. The Ingredient Batching System dosing rig has been designed to take over from fixed dosing systems when these systems are maintained or repaired. At the heart of each dosing rig is a DMN-WESTINGHOUSE BL Series blowing seal type rotary valve which has been specifically geared in order to carefully meter lime doses. Blowing seal type rotary valves are ideal for this purpose as they take up considerably less space than a conventional rotary valve. A total of six models make up the range which starts a 150mm capable of 2.5 litres per revolution and rises to a 350mm version with the potential of up to 58 litres per revolution. The BL range is available in cast iron and stainless steel for the mineral, chemical, power/biomass, food and pharmaceutical industries. The BL range is extremely easy to maintain as it takes just a few minutes to remove the bolts holding the end covers in place. For ease of maintenance, MZC support rails can be optionally installed in the factory which makes relocating the rotor back into the housing after inspection or cleaning a very simple operation. This also minimizes the risk of damaging the inside of the bore For more information please contact DMN UK Ltd, Calne, Wiltshire Tel: Bob Rogers on 01249 818401

EFFECTIVE, INNOVATIVE EXTRACTION Dust Control Systems Ltd specialises in providing dust and fume extraction solutions across many industries, including major projects in solids handling, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, vehicle manufacture, and the waste recycling sector. Saving energy and increasing production efficiency, while ensuring a safe working environment, are key requirements of most processes and the company’s reputation has been built on its ability to provide the most suitable and cost-effective solution, whatever the project. DCS aim to improve their customers’ profitability by providing the best in current filter technology, significantly reducing energy usage with the Ecogate ® extraction optimisation system, and ensuring that expectations are met by focusing on system reliability. The DCS commitment doesn’t end there, but extends through lifetime service programmes customised to meet customers’ specific needs. To assist companies with compliance on COSHH Regulations, DCS also offer comprehensive LEV(Local Exhaust Ventilation) testing and examination packages that include inspection and service to ensure extraction systems continue to comply with regulations. For more information contact Dust Control Systems Ltd, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Tel: 0800 040 7116 | E-mail: or visit

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Solids Handling & Processing Supplement July 2017  

1. SHAPA Round Up - By Ian Birkinshaw - General Secretary - of The Solids Handling & Processing Association 2. Had your fill of discharging...

Solids Handling & Processing Supplement July 2017  

1. SHAPA Round Up - By Ian Birkinshaw - General Secretary - of The Solids Handling & Processing Association 2. Had your fill of discharging...