Vibrasonic action keeps powder flowing

Parts supplier Powdrex has improved production efficiency for alloy steel powder to make sintered parts by installing two Vibrasonic Separators supplied by Russell Finex.

Ferrous based alloy powders passed through the water atomisation equipment produce the steel powder. But the varying shapes that result can block sieves.

The patented Vibrasonic action combines ultrasonics with conventional vibration. At ultrasonic frequencies surface tension on the mesh of the sieve is broken down, making the wires friction free, which eliminates mesh binding.

A 700mm diameter Vibrasonic machined used by Powdrex in its R&D department separates powders in particle sizes down to 42 m.


RSBatch, the batch processing software from RS Automation, is based on the international batch control standard S88.01 that enables users to define process control equipment and manufacturing procedures separately.

The choice of distributed control system PLC or PC, as well as that of the particular maker is entirely down to the user, who can create new processes without knowledge of the control equipment or its programming language.

The open architecture allows the integration of a variety of operator interface, ERP and MRP systems.


Crisp Maltings, one of the UK’s largest maltsters, has solved the problem of controlling the flow of wet barley from the steep discharge to a germination vessel using knifegate valves supplied by Keystone.

The normally closed inflatable valves used previously caused problems when the compressed air supply failed.

The K-Nife chosen by Crisp Maltings handles rates of 1,000 tonnes/hour without bridging. Its knife-cutting sealing action makes it suitable for isolation duties on fibrous wet barley, which has over 40% moisture.

The K-Nife is fully self-cleaning and can be integrated with a pneumatic cylinder actuator connected to the plant PLC system.


Weighing equipment supplier Mettler Toledo specialises in systems for environmentally unfriendly locations, including radioactive areas.

The systems are made from two separate stainless- steel enclosures one housing the weigh cell, the other the major electronics.

The two units are interconnected by up to 12m of screened cable, allowing only the weigh cell unit, which has been designed to minimise the ingress of particulates, to be exposed to hazardous environments.


Jaffa Cakes packers are finding life easier since an ACS 100 variable speed microdrive from ABB Industrial was added to their production line at McVities.

Two 0.37kW microdrives control the speed of two conveyors to ensure even distribution of Jaffa Cakes prior to packaging into snack packs of three.

At fixed conveyor speed, cake distribution was uneven and spaces between the cakes would appear, making packing more difficult.


A slimline web cleaning system that can be installed in restricted spaces improves print quality on materials such as plastics, paper and board, which are prone to attract dust through static electricity.

The Series SS 1000 I Web Cleaner has a cross section of just 84 x 111mm and operates by vacuum and ionisation alone. There are no moving parts except a fan and the modular design caters for webs up to 4m wide.


A smart valves answer

The SP1 smart positioner is a low-maintenance device said to cut commissioning times up to 33% in large-scale installations where valves in hazardous or inaccessible areas need to be controlled remotely.

With its RS232 interface linked to a modem, the positioner can be used to commission, reconfigure and monitor valves from any plant location.

The Hart protocol option enables information to be relayed from the positioner to a centralised process control system.


Process exhaust treatment firm Durr has expanded its range of abatement solutions. It has acquired Engelhard Corporation’s production and development facilities for regenerative catalytic oxidation technology which complements Durr’s regenenerative oxidation systems.

Catalytic solutions are less expensive to operate, says Durr, since they use chemical reaction rather than high temperatures to purify air exhaust from industrial processes.


The Perma Star lubricant is a totally synthetic, non-toxic material that complies with the Food Safety Act 1990 and does not support the growth of bacteria or other micro-organisms.

Developed for the water industry, Perma Star is said to cut maintenance costs by up to 75%.