June 05, 2015

05/06/2015: Wenger introduces automatic density control system

Automation of wet bulk density control is finally here

After extensive testing and development, Wenger has integrated three successful, existing process components together to create a new Automatic Density Control (ADC) system for the control of wet bulk density during production of pet foods.

Efficient monitoring and control of product bulk density has been a challenge and a cost issue for years.  And even though bulk density measurement technology is typically in use, it has always required human intervention to adjust the process.              

In contrast, the Wenger ADC system incorporates a sampling and bulk density measuring device (Source Technology’s BDS) into a system that includes the Wenger back pressure valve (BPV) on the extruder barrel and Wenger’s integrated APM (automated process management) extrusion control system to automatically measure product density and adjust the process to maintain the desired density specifications.

“The costs associated with inconsistent product bulk density really add up when you consider increased waste, downtime, storage and transportation costs and loss of production,” says Galen Rokey, Process Technology Director for the Companion Animal Division at Wenger Manufacturing. 

“Variations in density can also affect a company’s brand reputation when customers find bags that are only two-thirds full or discover inconsistency in pellet color or size.”

In operation, the ADC system automatically retrieves a sample from the product flow stream at the inlet of the dryer, weighs the sample and calculates the density. The density value is relayed to the APM extruder control, which compares this value to the set point. Then, the APM automatically controls the back pressure valve closure as needed to maintain this targeted wet bulk density.
“The ADC system can also be programmed to take a sample as often as every 45 seconds, whereas an operator may check it every 10 to 15 minutes at best,” Rokey relates. 

“Plus, it frees production personnel for other tasks and decouples personnel from the product for greater food safety,” he adds, noting that the system includes a data recording aspect for validation of the process. 

Wenger’s ADC can be installed as part of a new system or retrofitted into a system that already has one or more of the three basic components.

Visit the Wenger site HERE.

The Global Miller
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which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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