Visit us at ACHEMA 2018 in hall 6, booth C50

Our highlights at ACHEMA 2018

AZO, the expert for automatic handling of raw materials in bulk, powdered, granular and liquid form, is exhibiting time at ACHEMA 2018 in Frankfurt . 

In hall 6, at stand C50 we will be demonstrating solutions for automatic handling of large and medium components and the integration of small components and ingredients in the automated process.
 

At our trade fair stand you can find out more about the following key themes:

The revolution in automated dosing of micro quantities: fully automatic, modular, safe, reliable and efficient

AZO, the specialist in the automation of raw materials logistics for bulk solids and liquids, will be presenting AZO®RoLog. The new system automates the dosing process for micro quantities using a combination of the very latest AZO technology and established robotics.
 
Until now, dosing of micro quantities up to 10 kg has mainly been carried out manually by an operator. Each component in a formulation has to be weighed by hand and fed into the current production process. This can cause problems for the operator and for product safety, especially when it involves metering of extremely critical or harmful materials in pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food production. Materials of this kind can only be handled using special protective measures. There is also the risk that it will be impossible to reproduce complex formulations continuously and accurately.
 
It is for these reasons that AZO has developed the solution: AZO®RoLog. With this system, the raw materials are placed in storage or taken out of storage automatically by a robot. A purpose-developed device is responsible for dosing with gram accuracy.

 
AZO®RoLog - automatic dosing of minor quantities
The machine operator first ensures that the raw materials, such as pigments, additives, active agents etc., are available in dispensing and storage units ready for automated further processing. A safety cage now separates the automation area (the robot’s work envelope) from the production environment. This automatic raw materials logistics system, in a shielded cage, offers maximum protection for the machine operator and the product. In addition, the modular design of the storage module for raw materials (RLM) ensures a high degree of flexibility when adding new raw materials components.
 
The robot assembles the batch in accordance with the required formulation in a fully automated process by preparing the correct dispensing and storage units. At the dosing point, the required micro quantities are metered accurately from here. This achieves reproducible dosing results in a range from 50 g to 10 kg. After weighing all components into the target container, the latter is placed ready at a specific intersection for further processing.
 
AZO®RoLog is now immediately ready for processing further production jobs. This means the system operates efficiently and without wasting time. Round-the-clock production is possible with constant provision of raw materials and receptacles. AZO®RoLog can be operated as a standalone system or it can be fully integrated.
 
This addition to AZO’s product portfolio means that it can offer even better support for its customers throughout the entire logistics process. From initial delivery of the raw materials through to mixer feeding. AZO is the expert for automated handling of bulk materials and liquids – from bulk quantities to micro quantities.

AZO cyclone screeners for screening APIs under containment condition


Containment has been a core issue for years, particularly in the pharmaceuticals industry. Low occupational exposure limits and complex toxicological evaluations pose special challenges for processors and manufacturers of highly active substances with regard to process safety. On top of this, there are new regulations, such as the modified EU GMP directives, which came into force on 1 March 2015. Thanks to engineering design solutions, today's plants now generate so little dust in regular operations that it is possible to rule out any threat to the health of plant operating staff from harmful dust. The situation is far more critical when maintenance or cleaning work has to be carried out.
 
Inspection hatches have to be opened in order to inspect working parts in machinery and plants. In the case of maintenance activities, maintenance staff have to remove worn components and install new replacement parts. In the past, this was only possible within isolators when smaller plants and machines were concerned or, when larger machines were concerned, by wearing full body protection. Installation in an isolator is not possible in the case of cyclone screeners for reasons of handling and space, which is why AZO developed the type DA Vario Containment screener.
 
Cyclone screener type DA Vario Containment
With its newly designed DA Vario Containment screener, AZO provides an entirely new solution to satisfy the above-mentioned requirements: based on the DA screener, tried and tested in actual practice for years, and on the widespread practice of using flexible containment systems in the pharmaceuticals industry, it is now feasible to open the familiar inspection hatch and to inspect the screen in this way without any dust escaping. In addition, it is possible to replace the screen basket and exchange the dosing screw under containment conditions.
 
What is special about the DA machine type is that there is no need for an upstream dosing unit thanks to self-dosing. It is possible to adjust the integrated screw feeder’s dosing rate to match the specifications for the specific product using frequency converters. With the DA Vario, the screener's throughput can be adjusted using a combination of different dosing screws with the screen module in order to accommodate very diverse products, screen capacity or mesh sizes.
AZO Cyclone screener type DA Vario Containment
Cyclone screener type DA Vario Containment
Flexible bulk materials receptacles such as big bags have become firmly established for handling powders in a variety of branches. They have clear advantages over sacks when it comes to transporting and storing bulk materials. They are environmentally friendly, require less operating staff and storage space and reduce costs for transport and processes. 

AZO big bag discharge stations make it possible to discharge big bags without generating excess dust and to feed products reliably into the closed production plant. To improve efficiency and reduce costs even further, AZO has developed a modular concept for a big bag discharge station. The required components such as frame, support beams, chain hoist, discharging aids, big bag docking system, buffer bin and discharging unit can be chosen from a “construction set”, depending on the requirements. The entire discharge station can be configured to suit needs without outlay for design, which has a very positive effect on the price and delivery time. They are comparable with equipment from series production, however the modular station covers a much broader range of uses than a standard model, which makes it very flexible. Modular technology makes it possible to adapt the stations in use to changing production conditions with minimum outlay.
 
As part of a process for managing complexity, AZO will be optimising further equipment lines and meeting demand from customers for reductions in investment costs and shorter delivery times.
The AZO DOSITAINER® is a container with integrated dosing screw. It is an ideal transport and storage bin for bulk solids at medium throughput. As a mobile storage container that can be automated, it is also used in automatic processing plants. The integrated dosing screw makes it possible to dose accurately into automatic weighing processes. The bulk solids are emptied from the AZO DOSITAINER® by means of a discharge base. This AZO DOSITAINER® and the discharge base are designed to be suitable for dusts with a minimum ignition energy of 1mJ ≤ MIE < 3mJ.

Key advantages
  • The AZO DOSITAINER® and discharge base can be used for extremely ignition sensitive dusts with a minimum ignition energy of 1mJ ≤ MIE < 3mJ
  • Low-dust, reliable emptying of AZO DOSITAINERS® using patented docking collars, optionally with vibration discharge
  • The AZO DOSITAINER® can be changed over without intermediate cleaning
  • Integrated dosing screw with frequency-controlled drive acts as a very accurate dosing unit with coarse/fine dosing for downstream weighing processes
  • The AZO DOSITAINER® is rigid and stackable
  • Can also be used for bulk solids with poor flow characteristics
  • Optional identification systems prevent confusion between containers and enable exact batch tracing and documentation

 
Operating principle
The AZO DOSITAINER® is positioned on the discharge base using an industrial truck. If vibration discharge is provided, the AZO DOSITAINER® is fixed in position manually or pneumatically. An optional, automatic identification system prevents confusion between containers. The dosing screw is docked with minimal dust using the patented docking collar. The drive for the dosing screw is permanently installed in the discharge base. After positioning, the drive moves upwards by pneumatic means and couples to the dosing screw in a form-fitting manner. The special shape of the jaw clutch ensures the connection is retained in any position. The additional vibration discharge means that even bulk solids with poor flow characteristics are reliably discharged, and ensures uniform filling of the dosing screw. The coarse and fine options mean that very precise dosing to the downstream conveying and weighing process is possible, even at high flow rates. The pneumatically operated locking device on the screw head prevents further trickling of the product. Special air-injection points on the outflow housing clean the outlet area after the dosing process (optional).
The AZO Lump breaker is used for crushing and milling of bulk materials with a tendency to form agglomerates, clods and lumps. The sturdy but compact design of the lump breaker, take care for a reliable and gentle crushing of clods and lumps. This unit is designed energy-saving and with low wear. It is available in various construction materials and surface finishings. Due to the pharmaceutical design it can be dismantled without tools and complies with highest requirements to hygiene and cleaning.
 
The AZO lump breaker consists of a sturdy housing with inlet and outlet flanges, crushing device and a laterally mounted gear motor. By means of an optional extraction device the shaft including screen and the gear motor can be extracted from the housing with low effort. The unit is available with the construction material no. 1.4301 or 1.4404 and various surface finishings including electrolytic polish.
AZO Lump breaker complies with highest requirements to hygiene and cleaning
AZO Lump breaker complies with highest requirements to hygiene and cleaning
The hygienic design feeding hopper serves to feed bulk solids in powdered and granular form into closed materials handling systems, especially in areas calling for the highest standards in hygiene. Products can be fed from sacks, boxes, barrels or similar receptacles.
 
The feeding hopper is available in two different grades of stainless steel and, depending on the surface finish, has surface roughness of < 0.6 µm or < 0.8 µm. The radii on the inside of the feeding hopper are greater than 50 mm and can be cleaned leaving no residue at all. Wet cleaning is done via an integral spray head. The gasket used for the lid can easily be replaced when needed, as it is not attached with adhesive. It is composed of silicone and is metal detectable. The feeding hopper is suitable for use in areas in zones 22 and 2 where there is a risk of explosion.
 
To avoid dust escaping when sacks are discharged, an aspiration process can be connected that starts when the lid of the feeding hopper is opened. The lid switch complies with safety requirements for applications up to performance level D.
The AZO Group, with the three specialist firms AZO SOLIDS, AZO CONTROLS and AZO LIQUIDS, designs and builds complete turnkey plants for fully automated processes with solid and liquid materials. Thanks to its wide-ranging experience of the food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and plastics industries, the company has acquired very extensive knowledge in the field of raw materials handling.
 
AZO LIQUIDS’ customers in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries rely above all on the dependable and reproducible production processes of our plants. Maximum flexibility, efficient use of energy, fully automatic controls and consistent quality features are what set products from AZO LIQUIDS apart. Added to these advantages is our comprehensive industry expertise in all aspects of raw materials handling, from deliveries of raw materials to output and metering, mixing and controlling. AZO covers all areas of production and develops bespoke solutions for its customers.

Above and beyond this, you can expect AZO LIQUIDS to provide professional plant engineering, taking full account of your particular requirements, and to collaborate closely with you in developing solutions for your process.

Batch vacuum processing plants type zoatec® BG:
mixing, dispersing and homogenising

Fresh power for your liquid processes
The modular vacuum processing plants type zoatec® BG structured in assembly groups can be used everywhere that dry powders and liquids, or liquids and liquids, have to be mixed, dispersed and emulsified. As a result, they cover a wide product spectrum for liquid to semi-solid applications in the food industries. In addition, they they are characterized in particular by short batch times.
 
AZO LIQUIDS processing plants stand out from all conventional plants with their ingenious design. Complete processing plants are assembled from standardized modules. The modules are independent from the process parameters, and can be adapted to your requirements with great flexibility. The entire series is designed according to similar geometrical principles, thereby making scale-up considerations much more precise. As a result, it is possible to concentrate on the actual process parameters in the planning phase, in order to make realistic predictions. Furthermore, the design offers major advantages in the areas of production, cleaning and maintenance.

The vacuum processing plants in our portfolio range from 10 l pilot plants through to 12,000 l production plants; and from 100 l/h up to 5000 l/h in the case of plants for continuous production processes.

batch vacuum processing plant type zoatec® BG
Die Batch Vakuum-Prozessanlage Typ zoatec® BG bietet höchste Flexibilität
Ingenious modularity provides the flexibility to satisfy every requirement
  • Modular, consistent machine design – scale-up from lab operation to large-scale production. Separation between production and technical area.
  • The agitator/s modular design allows a combination of stationary and moving vortex breakers. Other agitator elements can be integrated on a custom basis (e.g. dissolvers, jet mixers, propeller agitators, etc.).
  • All components at the process hopper are easily accessible from outside for simple operation, cleaning and maintenance. The dispersing and pump mode for adding and mixing lumpy materials is available as an option.
  • All plants can be adapted to meet process requirements. AZO LIQUIDS designs your system according to hygienic standards as HACCP, EHEDG and 3ASSI.

Low-Shear powder wetting

In continuous processes and in semi-batch processes, solids are introduced using fast-rotating tools (homogenizers, pumps, etc.) in the current state of the art. In many cases this leads to a loss in quality of the suspensions or solutions thus produced.
AZO LIQUIDS’ new method of powder wetting can disperse solids (very carefully) with low impact, so that the structure of the solid particles is retained. This leads to high-quality suspensions, which can be safely processed in the subsequent stages.
 
With the method described, soluble and insoluble dry materials are processed perfectly at variable shear rates. A number of solids can be dispersed into the carrier fluid and several liquids can be metered in - all in all, a highly flexible system for a wide range of solid / liquid applications.
Solids meet Liquids: Continuous production of spreads for bread
Solids meet Liquids: Continuous production of spreads for bread

Logistics for precise dosing of solid – Solids meets Liquids

Agitator vessel (stirred-tank), vacuum mixers, coating lines, reactors, horizontal mixers, dough kneading machines, extruders, etc. are the core apparatuses in the production of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Crucial for the quality of the end products, which are taken from these core apparatuses, is the highly precise and reliable dosing of liquids with different properties.
 
AZO LIQUIDS supplies the entire logistical systems for storage, dosing and temperature control of bulk liquids from large storage tanks, standard containers such as IBCs, drums and canisters down to the metering of very small quantities.
 
In conjunction with the solid expertise of AZO SOLIDS we are able to supply our customers with "All-round care packages" without the usual interfaces between solids and liquid handling.
Kastor has been expanded with functions for automated handling of micro quantities using AZO®RoLog
New solutions from the Kastor family of products have been developed for AZO®RoLog – new robot-assisted dosing of micro quantities.
  • Kastor RoWeighControl for controlling robot-assisted weighing
  • Kastor RoRefill for refilling the dosing receptacle
  • Kastor RoStore for storage and transport of dosing receptacles and target containers
  • Kastor RoDataManager for managing job, formulation and receptacle data and settings.
These Kastor solutions can either be used as “standalone” models or they can be integrated into a comprehensive Kastor manufacturing execution system. Of course, a solution of this kind is also adapted to customer IT environments (ERP/MES) and provides end-to-end batch tracing.
 
It goes without saying that compatibility with previously implemented solutions using Kastor and ManDos is ensured. AZO®RoLog and the associated Kastor modules are thus the ideal addition for automated dosing of micro components.
 
The entire weighing process can be implemented reliably and documented using an end-to-end solution in conjunction with the Kastor batch module for weighing bulk and medium components and the ManDos manual weighing system.


Digital added value via Kastor DataCockpit
The main purpose of the Kastor DataCockpit is to extract insights from the existing data collected by modern production plants. The main objective here is to improve productivity and avoid errors, thereby making it possible to reduce the use of resources in production.
If the data analysis leads to more stable, faster production, this creates the following benefits to the customer:
  • Manufacturing costs are kept as low as possible.
  • A fixed standard of quality is ensured throughout.
  • It allows active and proactive controlling of production.
  • Consumption of energy and raw materials can be reduced.
In the light of increasing costs for energy and raw materials, the efficient use of resources simultaneously provides a competitive advantage for your company. And ultimately, the environment also benefits from saving resources – just think “sustainability”. Use the Kastor DataCockpit to identify and exploit your potential savings.

Decentralised intelligence – the control concept of the future
As a pioneer and innovator of modular control concepts, we are the first plant manufacturer in this segment to start in cooperation with WAGO. The magic word here is DIMA (decentralised intelligence for modular assets). In short, this means the capacity of production plants for flexible adaptation.
Modularisation, and the adaptability of production structures that it is designed to enable, represent significant challenges for the automation system of a plant. If the range of functions of a production plant changes, for example by adding, removing or exchanging modules, it must be possible to rapidly adjust the automation system of the plant to the new physical and functional structure. In other words, “plug and produce” would be the ideal scenario.
The aim is to use a standardised interface to write modules that are largely functionally independent, such that manual interventions during or after a process of converting the production plant are kept to a minimum.
 
DIMA is thus the answer to the increasingly more turbulent, short-lived markets that are moreover characterised by the end user's desire for individualisation. The goal is to dramatically reduce the timeframe between product concept and market launch. In addition to shorter project durations, the modular concept also delivers significant gains in terms of flexibility – and this in turn delivers the necessary competitive advantage for your future.