Eliminate Cross Contamination and Improve Transfer

Case Study: Eliminating impurities in the unloading process

Situation

A customer of HorizonPSI was using a traditional hopper truck unloading pit, similar to a grain terminal, to unload multiple raw ingredients. Each ingredient was conveyed through the same mechanical leg conveyor to a group of existing silos.

But the high cost of labor associated with cleaning the mechanical conveyor and the difficulty in verifying its cleanliness were taxing their resources. Plus, the unloading pit raised concerns about ingredient cross contamination and environmental contamination, such as gravel and road salt, creating an unsafe product.

Solution

Our solution involved eliminating the environmental contamination risk, improving the transfer process and reducing the cost of keeping the process sanitary.  

HorizonPSI designed a truck ramp with a vacuum pick-up sled that could be raised to the bottom of the truck hopper to replace the existing grain pit. This eliminated environmental contaminates from entering the transfer system while unloading raw ingredients. 

A two-step transfer system was then designed to replace the mechanical conveyor. First, a vacuum system conveyed ingredients from the truck to a receiver on the ground. Then, a pressure system conveyed ingredients to their existing silos. The existing silos also did not have bin vents. So, to save money and ease maintenance, we incorporated a shared filter receiver on the ground to capture the convey air and dust from the silos.  

While this pneumatic system kept contaminants out, cleaning the system was still important. Our solution involved pressure and line pigs to purge and clean the convey lines after unloading. The existing mechanical system was left in place as a backup and both systems could run at the same time to deliver ingredients into different silos if needed. This redesign worked so well, our customer reworked their second facility with the same success.  

Our engineering, manufacturing, component and service offerings deliver process solutions to customers worldwide. If you’re facing challenges in your materials process systems, we can find a solution that fits your needs.