Sometimes, what would initially seem to be the simple of requests can quickly turn into a cow of a project, once the full extent of the design requirements have been established.
This was the case recently when the innovative production team at iBulk, a leading producer of internationally renowned process equipment, discovered when they were approached to design a system to transport powered milk over a span on 4.5 metres.
“While this sounds like a pretty simple task, there were quite a number of environmental factors that would eventually steer the design of the finished item,” said Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk.
The environmental factors that restricted the number of options available to the iBulk project team included low head room, a light existing support structure, not to mention the fact that powered milk itself is a food product and therefore needs to be transported under sanitary conditions.
“It’s funny, generally the product that needs to be transported steers the design process, but in this situation, it was really the other environmental factors that drove us towards the ultimate solution,” remarked Webber.
“Because the existing structure itself was quite light, we had to look at alternatives to traditional feeders as they tend to use brute force to move product,” explained Webber.
“Without a doubt, installing a traditional feeder in this situation would have resulted in the failure of the supporting structure due to extensive vibration transfer.
“This was a major contributing factor that led us to specify a polished stainless steel Vimec natural frequency conveyor,” said Tony.
The Vimec conveyor provided the perfect set of features for this application; it works well in a low headroom environment and due to the fact that it is a natural frequency conveyor, vibration transfer is minimal.
The conveyor is fully enclosed thus reducing dust and eliminating contamination concerns and more importantly it is sanitary, perfect for a food quality environment.
The team at iBulk Solutions are designing innovative and practical solutions for a broad cross-section of industry segments including food processing, agriculture, minerals and pharmaceutical to name a few, and it is their commitment to ensuring that all aspects of the brief are covered that has resulted in their on-going success.
“This powdered milk project really highlights our ability to design a solution that was cost effective, designed specifically to suit a unique application and above all, met our client’s requirements to the letter of the brief,” said Webber.
“I’m really proud of the efforts of our engineering and research and development teams as the outcome far exceeded our client’s initial expectations,” he added.