Bulkflo hopper-loaders - customised and made to order

Wednesday 22 February, 2012

Bulkflo hopper-loaders - customised and made to order

Guttridge are capable of customising any of our standard machine range to provide a solution to a wide range of unique and unusual customer requirements.  This article illustrates how we customised our standard bulkflo hopper-loader to suit three very different applications for three different markets - Food Production, Rubber Processing and Powdered Drinks.

The standard Guttridge Bulkflo is a large capacity mobile loading hopper with an integral hopper discharge screw and an adjustable elevating screw - designed for easy clean down.

However, Guttridge also specialise in working with customers to find a solution that suits unusual and unique requirements as can be seen in the following examples.
For more about the standard bulkflo please click here.
Food Production

A well-known frozen food manufacturer needed to streamline their breadcrumb coating line and eliminate spillage in the production area. The machine was specified to handle a granular breadcrumb mix for coating meat and fish products.

The solution:-

  • Oversized hopper to take the entire contents of a Bulk Bag
  • Integral forklift channels for safe and easy lifting
  • Sensor controlled vibrator motors ensure that the breadcrumbs flow consistently
  • The elevating screw swivels to a horizontal position for easy disassembly for cleaning
  • Polished stainless steel finish throughout for hygiene

Rubber Processing

Our client manufactures TPE, Thermo Plastic Elastomer - used in many applications from pen grips to pharmaceutical bags. Their requirement was for an intermediate storage hopper post extrusion/cooling and a conveying system to feed the product into the downstream packing line.  Talcum powder is added to the product to act as a coating and ensure the granules do not adhere to each other.  The Bulkflo featured an extremely slow running screw and a purpose-built agitator.  The agitator created a combined levelling and gentle mixing action to maximise storage capacity inside the hopper and ensure that the granules come into contact with the cooling jacket.

Other specific features included:

  • Integral cold water jacket to the product temperature following extrusion, an additional  feature to reduce the risk of clumping
  • Blockage sensor at the elevating screw outlet
  • Metal detector/ejector after the elevating screw outlet
  • Extended length hopper for bulk capacity

Powdered Sports Drinks

Our client manufactures sports drink powders for muscle building and general nutrition, for sale to commercial gyms. In this case an oversized Bulkflo was required to provide buffer storage between a batch blender and the packaging line. The blended powder had unknown handling properties and we used our sophisticated powder test facilities to measure the flow characteristics, from which we were able to predict minimum arching dimension and specify hopper wall angle.  This ensured a right-first-time solution with the final machine designed and built to order.
Specific features included:

  • A shorter, taller machine to suit the blender discharge outlet
  • Large clean-out doors for easy clean down.
  • Sight glass for observing the material level inside the hopper

In summary

In 2012 Guttridge will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.  The company prides itself in its ability to design and build conveying equipment that is built to last, with lower lifetime costs. Experienced sales and design engineers have the knowhow to create unique, tailor-made equipment for any area of the bulk materials handling field. This, combined with adaptability and flexibility to meet customer requirements, has resulted in a loyal customer base that return to the company again and again.

Guttridge building

About Guttridge

With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs.