When it comes to granulating, drying, agglomerating or coating food ingredients by fluidised or spouted bed technology, spray nozzles play a key role in quality control. With its hygienic, explosion-proof removable spray nozzles for the food and pharmaceutical industries, particle design specialist Glatt Ingenieurtechnik sets new standards in process safety and plant availability.
If unexpected quality issues arise during the fluidised bed process, such as particles becoming too large or coarse, it might be because of a change in the nozzle spray pattern. Sticky or crystallising spray fluids such as salts or sugar may induce fluctuations in the spray pattern, and also hygroscopic products which sometimes remain in the plant during downtime.
A spray unit consists of a fluid-carrying inner tube and an outer tube that supplies gas or compressed air. Both are grounded by an easily detachable connection. For safety reasons, when cleaning the spray nozzles, the inner tube with the fluid nozzle must not be removed from the spray lance until the compressed air supply is stopped.
Usually additional arrestor wires or chains have been used as a safeguard against unauthorised disassembly during operation. Safety is only provided when arrestor wires or chains are fixed. Depending on the plant size and layout, spray units may be positioned at head height, which means that, without a safety catch, there’s a very real chance of operator injury. Furthermore, the spray unit could also be damaged.
The new “key and lock” solution from Glatt Ingenieurtechnik consists of protected recesses and catch pins that secure the inner tube, eliminating existing risks completely. Even if the operator omits to turn off the compressed air, the inner tube will still be retained. Only when the air supply is turned off can the tube be released, by lifting and rotating the nozzle. Due to the very small opening in the empty outer tube, it’s not longer necessary to stop production, even when processing explosive products.
Continuous fluidised and spouted bed facilities with multiple spray nozzles proceed with the same product quality and plant safety. The new nozzle device decreases plant downtime, increases personal, operational and occupational safety, and reduces possible operating errors. In addition, the empty outer tube can be washed immediately during the cleaning process. With its explosion-proof nozzle, Glatt Ingenieurtechnik offers new and existing customers a hygienic retro-fit-compatible component that is easy to operate and clean.
To optimise industrial processing, fluidised bed technology is one of the leading formulation methods in the food industry. Solid particles are suspended in air and sprayed with solutions, dispersions, emulsions, suspensions or melts, depending on the application, offering a variety of ways develop structured particle systems from fluids or powders. Moreover, multiple process steps can run in the same apparatus. High-quality and sensitive substances such as active ingredients – flavours, enzymes or vitamins – can be granulated, encapsulated and coated with a functional film to make them more stable for transport and storage, easier to dose or control their release profile.
Glatt Ingenieurtechnik’s unique selling proposition is that the company not only supports its customers during product development and formulation with its own technology, it then designs a suitable production plant and accompanies, co-ordinates and monitors its construction until commissioning.