TMI’s Laboratory: the key to define the best technical solution in dosing systems
TMI is an innovating company with a great product knowledge that can supply customized solutions for each customer and product. One of the main goals of the company from its beginning has been the cooperation with the customer, not just as a mere supplier but as an advisor and a trusted ally.
Keeping with this spirit, TMI has got involved once again in the turnaround of one of its clients: An important producer of dextrose for the food sector who decided to adapt a part of its plant to produce dextrose for pharma and cosmetic applications.
These are industries requiring severe hygiene measures, which the bagging machinery must comply as well. Even so this manufacturer relied on the advice of TMI and together they met the challenge.
Glucose is a fine cohesive product which tends to lump and release powder. Previously, this client used a gross weighing system with gravity dosing which, besides releasing a big amount of powder all around, also tended to fluidise the product, hindering the accuracy in dosing and weighing. All in all, the dosing system needed an improvement in order to provide a clean environment and an accurate filling of the bags.
Furthermore, the configuration of the existing hopper caused an irregular flow: the slant of one of its sides lead to product dispersion so that thick particles settled first to the bottom of the hopper and falling then to the screw. Thus, the thinnest particles would stay in the upper part of the hopper preventing a homogeneous mixture of the final product.
Moreover, the weighing and dosing system was placed two floors above the bagging spout in a clean room environment with an external palletizing system. This was one of the critical factors when designing this equipment: the existing layout had to be kept, while fulfilling the strict hygiene measures that dealing with a pharma product requires.
Both technical and empirical approaches to the project were decisive: TMI counts on a laboratory able to simulate material segregation, thus typifying the product behaviour and preventing the critical points on the dosing.
The result was the current design of the weighing system, which fulfils following criteria:
- Quick and easy cleaning process: A screw detaching system has been included into the supply, allowing to empty the screw at every end of cycle recovering the remaining product into a joint collection tray. Furthermore, this detaching function allows the hygiene process for the operators, who can easily access the area to be cleaned with this tool-free detachable unit.
- Controlled dust-tight dosing: The bagging spout has been adapted with an optimized opening for better obturation. New aspiration and compression points have been strategically installed.
- Avoiding product segregation before bagging: A specifically designed deflector has been installed, which modifies the final distribution of product in the reception hopper.
- Perfect finish for the welding joints: continuous smooth welding has been set up by certified welders who documented the whole process.
- Utmost guarantee on final product traceability and the GMP: All used materials have been certified, documented and produced under the pharma grade specifications. Likewise, in order to avoid infestations and contamination, all the components of the dosing part have been sterilized with safe products before entering the plant.
- The whole system has been produced fulfilling the regulation of ATEX – Zone 20.