Automated Conveying and Grading System

Project Scope:

Develop and size a conveying/sifting system capable of unloading bulk bags of coarse granulated sugar at a customer-specified rate and grading the product into three mesh sizes for future process needs.

Engineered Solution:

  • Proper equipment sized based on testing results done on customer sample of material at the Prater toll lab.
  • Available space was taken into account to size the conveying system for proper transfer of material to the screener.
  • A vacuum conveying system was determined optimal for the dilute phase conveying under specified conditions.
  • For time-saving purposes and convenience of operation, an automated bulk bag unloading station with a manual dump option was selected. Handling operation made simple with an integrated winch for lifting bulk bags to the desired platform height for unloading. This station is equipped with pneumatically operated massage paddles that agitate packed material and assist with flow out of the bulk bag. With the transfer of material exists dust and hazardous conditions associated with it. To take care of safety concerns, a dust collection system was installed on the unloading station.
  • The material is preconditioned for conveying by being passed through a lump breaker to shatter any large solidifications. This prevents clogging of the line and improves flow.
  • Before the introduction of material into the conveying line, a magnet unit was integrated to ensure that no metal contamination in the product stream exists.
  • The Prater PAV series rotary airlock valve was used to feed the material into the conveying line at a proper feed rate. Machining of the Prater airlock valves is held to extremely high tolerances and assembled to small clearances in order to deliver maximum air sealing capability.
  • Once the product is discharged into the convey line, a properly sized fan, transfers the material into a filter receiver. The receiving hopper is integrated with a dust collection system as well as an explosion mitigation system.
  • The product is then discharged into a vibratory screener through a Prater airlock valve, at which point the separation process takes place. Three separate particle sizes are discharged and transferred to their final destination by screw conveyors.
  • The material is passed through magnet units before the final discharge to ensure that it is free of metal due to any contamination throughout the process.
  • The desired quantities are collected at the filling stations and determined by the integrated scale platform with weight indicators.
  • The local control panel provides the operators with all the system information needed to start, operate, troubleshoot, pause, and stop the system.
  • The main control panel is the junction for all the equipment connections, information received from the field, and signal inputs/outputs necessary for proper operation.