Anderson Engineering has previously done work for Flavourcraft and was pleased when their sister company, Imana, approached us regarding the manufacturing, commissioning and installation of a ribbon blender, aeromechanical conveyer and fat reticulation plant.
There were two phases to the project, which ultimately created additional capacity for the manufacture of a range of dry soup and soya products. Phase one required the installation of a ribbon blender as well as the aeromechanical conveyer, with the objective of expanding the factory capacity. As we worked alongside the client it became evident that there was also an opportunity to develop a new way of handling the bulk bags which allows operators to refill the blender with the dry ingredients without having to move repeatedly up and down steps to the top of the blender. The hopper is now filled from the bulk bags at ground level with the screw and aeromechanical conveyers transporting the ingredients into the ribbon blender. This has improved the working environment from an ergonomic and safety perspective.
Phase two revolved around the refurbishment of a 40 000 l storage tank and the installation of a fat separation system, which allowed the company to move away from buying the fat in 25 kg blocks to receiving it in a liquid bulk form. This has resulted in cost savings, a reduction in the physical content of the work for the operator, and is also beneficial to the environment (no packing material).
The ribbon blender and fat dosing pot are mounted on load cells with the bulk bag trolley positioned on a scale, which allows for accurate measuring of ingredients. The project was completed in December 2009.