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TUBULAR DRAG CONVEYOR SYSTEMS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY.

Joan Jubany / Jordi Casas / Friday 18 March 2022

SAHIVO flour dosing systems.

In industrial baking plants, various flour transport and feeding systems are required, both at the points where the dough is made and at the points where the flour dispensers are filled. Tubular drag conveyors are an excellent alternative for automating these conveying processes, and are particularly efficient for feeding these final dosing points: the flour dispensers.


In industrial baking plants, once the dough has been made, whether it is a loaf of bread, industrial pastries or a pizza dough, it is essential to add a thin layer of flour or breadcrumbs on top of the dough and on the conveyor belt to prevent the dough from sticking.

This thin layer of flour is usually dosed in the form of rain with dosing devices, known as 'flourers', which are usually already incorporated in the production lines. These production lines may be equipped with a number of flour dispensers, each of which is usually fitted with a small receiving hopper which must be kept at a constant filling level. 

The manual control and filling of these hoppers requires the attention of the plant operators at intervals of 15 to 30 minutes, and there is a risk that the flour dispenser may run out of flour and that this may influence the quality of the dough.

Another problem in manual loading operations can be the safety of the operator, who sometimes has to load the flour to high and unergonomic points, having to use ladders to access the hoppers.

In order to consider the automation of transport by means of a tubular drag conveyor, we must have a centralised flour reception point from which the flour can be distributed. This centralised loading point can be a sack reception hopper, which must be filled by the operator in a comfortable and ergonomic way, or it can also be automated, where the hopper of origin will be filled with a mechanical screw conveyors or pneumatic conveyor from the silos of origin.


DOSING IN THE FLOUR DISPENSERS WITH TUBULAR DRAG CONVEYING SYSTEMS. 

Once the point of origin of the flour is defined, one of the most efficient ways of conveying and distributing it to the different flour dispensers is by means of a tubular conveying system with discs, cable or chain, with the corresponding food grade certification. 

The tubular drag conveyors allow for filling of the flour dispensers, depending on your request, with distances of up to 100 metres, using a single 1.5 kW drive unit and without the use of bag filters. Therefore, in terms of geometry, efficiency and in this particular application, these conveyors outperform other systems such as tubular screw dosing systems, with their geometrical limitations, or pneumatic conveying systems, that need filters.

SYSTEM AUTOMATION.

The filling of the flour dispensers is done according to the product requests of each of the level detectors. The tubular drag conveyor is capable of transporting and feeding all the destination points, meeting the flow expectations and guaranteeing the supply at each point.

The automation of the process with the tubular drag conveying system benefits the quality of the final product, ensuring that the dough receives the expected amount of flour, safely and minimising the work of the operators.

A convenient preliminary approach, analysing all the possibilities of the present and forecasting the future, will lead to a satisfactory implementation and operation, fulfilling expectations and providing the expected value.  

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