Over the last 12 weeks, Trantec was given an objective by one of our clients; to redesign their existing Metering Screw Feeder model. We were asked to cover a few key areas. These were:
- Reduce manufacturing costs.
- Reduce the number of components.
- Re-route cables.
- Redesign the design to optimise the load cell arrangement.
In an ever-changing industry like that of solids handling, many of our clients, both process manufacturers and machinery suppliers alike, are often given the challenge of reducing costs. The reasons for are almost as diverse as the industry itself. Whether from uncertainty around the corner in the form of Brexit and increasing import costs or to cut business costs in the form of reducing downtime, Trantec can assist.
The equipment under re-development is a Gravimetric Feeder, configured for Loss in Weight feeding. The feeder was designed primarily for dosing precise measurements of flavouring for baked and fried snacks. The original model was designed by ourselves over two years ago, and our customer is ready for an upgrade.
We started by looking at the Loss in Weight Feeder’s integrated weighing base, currently using C4 load transducers to accurately monitor material weight. We also set about maintaining the desired feed rates, which are controlled by a PLC control system. When the contained material starts to reduce, the RPM of the auger (and agitator if applicable) is altered to reflect the change in volume.
Looking at different brands, models, and types of transducers, we started our journey with changing the weighing base. We reduced the number of load cells used and redesigned the layout but sought to preserve the previous model’s precision.
Once we were happy with the new design, we began the preliminary trials at Renown Works’ test lab. To maximise the accuracy of the weighing base, we used only the finest of weights, including 5g and 10g. All feed rates and controls were maintained by Trantec’s brand new PLC control systems (click HERE to find out more). Once we were happy with the results recorded, we began to move to the other areas to see where else costs could be reduced.
We reduced both fabrication and machining in manufacturing, using more appropriate construction methods where possible. We achieved this by re-imagining the feeder body, choosing a sleeker look that required fewer construction metals. Lastly, took to rearranging the cables in a way that saved space and reduced expenditure.
Trantec specialises in the design and manufacture of all our products and can assist in all relevant areas of your application. To find out more about how we can assist you with maximising the potential of your materials handling equipment, get in touch on +44 (0)1282 777 566. Alternatively, please email us via our Contact Us page.