Gough urges for improvements in pellet and powder quality

Gough Engineering, a materials screening specialist, is recommending businesses that invest in better screening equipment for powders, pellets, plastics and other irregular granulated products

The Vibrecon range of vibratory screening equipment includes models designed to suit the demands of different industries

According to Gough Engineering, powder and pellet production processes are often inefficient and highly wasteful, despite effective equipment being available.

The company suggests businesses in the pharmaceutical, food and renewables sector should invest in effective vibratory sieves to improve the quality of throughput.

Gough, who manufactures a range of conveying, elevating and screening systems, is directing plant managers and engineers to trial its Vibrecon range of vibratory screening equipment.

The Vibrecon range includes models designed to suit the demands of different industries, such as the Vibrecon PS pellet screener in the sorting of pharmaceutical drugs or renewable biofuel pellets. The range also includes the Vibrecon CS classifying screen, which is specially suited for screening polymer powders.

"While the food, pharmaceutical and renewables industries have significantly different production processes, the powdering and pelleting challenges remain the same," said Stephen Harding, MD of Gough Engineering.

"These processes require uniformity of size, both for effectiveness and safety. In all sectors, effective quality control of particle or component sizes can be achieved by correctly selecting screening machines."

"Traditionally, misshapen pellets or powder granules could end up trapped in the sieving equipment. This increases the volume of unnecessary production waste and as it accumulates, can lead to blockages that slow the flow of production and ultimately results in downtime."

"Vibratory sieves can avoid this by using more uniform vibrations to minimise screen blinding. The Vibrecon range also features a separate exit point in the side for misshapen products to fall through, which engineers can then collect and process again to address the defects. Plants therefore reduce the amount of product waste in their processing lines."

The issue of screen blinding is a significant one for most industries involved in the production of powder products. As powdered materials are processed through sieving equipment, large granules can block holes and gradually reduce throughput. This is particularly problematic for the food industry, where products such as powdered milk often clump during production to create blockages.

Without the use of vibration to adjust the behaviour of the powder flow, mesh blockages accumulate and require maintenance engineers to temporarily disrupt production to clean the screen. Gough Engineeringís vibratory sieves reduce the need for engineer intervention, keeping production running as normal. Any maintenance required is streamlined due to the Vibreconís quick release clamps and ease of installation.

Gough Engineering also provides a range of ultrasonic screening equipment that can effectively prevent screen blinding from occurring. This equipment uses high-frequency vibrations to shake powder during the screening process, significantly reducing the likelihood of powders forming blockages and providing a consistent rate of throughput.