Smart Industry article 2/6: Bold innovations
Article 2/6 of Smart Industry’s Dinnissen special is about how we convert breakthrough innovations into value-added solutions.
Expert Han Joosten highlights one of our flagship innovations: the gravity blending line. Read the article below.
One of the characteristic qualities of Dinnissen is to convert bold innovations into working concepts, which are then successfully adopted by some of the world's largest producers. Account manager Han Joosten talks about one of the flagship systems: the gravity blending line.
The principle of the gravity blending line is used in all kinds of projects these days and has been copied many times over the years. “But”, says Joosten, “we are the pioneers of the idea. And that's something we can be proud of!”
“We asked ourselves whether pneumatic transport was actually needed."
The double-axis paddle mixer of Dinnissen can mix different raw materials quickly and accurately into a homogeneous mixture. “This process involves weighing and dosing various products – which come in big bags, for example – then feeding them into the mixer, and finally on to the packaging station. Dinnissen's mixing technology is unparalleled. Short mixing times, high mixing accuracy (1:100,000), no influence on product properties such as tap density and wettability. What is more, the mixer can be cleaned quickly for ultra-clean results. The product is sifted before packaging, so that no particles that don't belong in the product are let through. Pneumatic conveying systems are traditionally used to transport the products through all these different sections of the line. This ensures that the set-up of the entire production line is flexible and that you can build low. There are, however, some drawbacks to this conveyance method. If you work with more (fracture-)sensitive or mixed products, this method of conveying is not ideal. And there is room for improvement in terms of energy as well.”
Dinnissen therefore looked critically at the set-up. “We asked ourselves whether pneumatic transport was actually needed. This is how the idea came about of placing the line on top of each other, rather than beside each other. By working from top to bottom, you can use gravity as a means of transport.”This simple solution reduces the energy consumption when processing the products. “The set-up is also safer for sensitive products. Take a product like baby food, which has milk powder as its main ingredient. It is a typical example of a powder that you need to treat very carefully. The moment you start doing too much with it, the composition can be affected.”
“The gravity blending concept is also safer for sensitive products."
There is one side note, however, which is the height required to install a gravity blending line: sixteen to twenty metres. “Although we've also installed lines that almost hit the thirty metre mark. It means the building may need significant modifications before the line can be placed, but the benefits are so numerous that you can quickly recoup the costs.”