Our highlights at Powtech 2019

in Nuremberg hall 1, stand 356

AZO, the expert for automatic raw material handling of bulk materials, powders, granulates and liquids, is one of the exhibitors at Powtech in Nuremberg from 9th till 11th April 2019.
 
In hall 1, booth 356, the AZO Group will be demonstrating solutions for automatic handling of large and medium components and the integration of small components and ingredients in the automated process.
 
Appointment

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

For safe discharge of powdery, crystalline, fatty and granular bulk materials from hoppers. Hoppers are discharged completely without leaving residue. Funnel formation and bridging in the hopper are prevented. Can be used for virtually all bulk materials, even those that flow poorly, in the foods, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries.
 
Special advantages
  • Reliable discharge and even fall of the product column (mass flow)
  • Hygienic design: Smooth internal contours in the silo / hopper without any changes in diameter, smooth surfaces on the exterior, resulting in easy cleaning No inaccessible cavities and exposed screw threads
  • Elastomer sleeve is easy to assemble and has an accurate fit
  • The sleeve is silicone-free, conductive and is approved as food-grade, assembly using clamping segments and pressure pieces
  • Screw locking by means of wedge locking washers
  • Shock pressure proof to 2 bar (overpressure) and vacuum-proof
  • Long elastic area, resulting in excellent disconnection between the fixed part of the hopper and the vibration bottom
AZO Vibration bottom – easy to clean and hygienic
How it works
The lateral, imbalance vibrator sets the vibration bottom in horizontal, circular vibration. The vibrations are transmitted to the materials column via the simultaneously vibrating relieving cone inside the vibration bottom. This sets the bulk materials in motion and the level drops evenly without resulting in funnel flow or bridging. The bulk materials reach the outlet safely through the annular gap. Vibration intensity can be adjusted at the imbalance vibrator and depends on what materials are being discharged and the required discharge rate.
Until now, minor and micro components had to be weighed manually, thus entailing risks and potential errors. These grow with the number of components and batches, and with the required weighing and metering accuracy. This has an adverse effect on product safety and quality overall.

Manual operations may under certain circumstances require a large number of staff and demands a high degree of concentration from them during weighing processes. They are to some extent exposed to relatively high amounts of dust. Occasionally automatic dosing units are also employed, which meter the ingredients onto a weigh belt feeder. However these require substantial outlay for cleaning; neither can they prevent cross-contamination.
 
In order to resolve the problems described above, AZO is expanding its already extensive portfolio for automation of minor and micro quantities with the AZO COMPONENTER® Step. This system makes it possible to weigh minor and micro components automatically with gram accuracy, such as flavourings, baking agents, emulsifiers, colourings and other ingredients. It improves product safety while simultaneously boosting production efficiency by reducing individual manual production steps to a minimum.
 
Especially when it comes to sectors with stringent requirements for hygiene, batch purity and product separation, the AZO COMPONENTER® Step enables adherence to the strict regulations and requirements of specific branches.
 
Fully automated filling and transport within the plant result in high throughput rates while achieving considerable levels of accuracy. Tracking and tracing of all raw materials used guarantee maximum product safety. All process steps and weighing results are reproducible, which ensures consistent, strict adherence to recipes. Strict separation of batches prevents cross-contamination, e.g. between allergens and non-allergens. What is more, the AZO COMPONENTER® Step is extremely flexible when it comes to changing products over thanks to its modular design.
 
AZO COMPONENTER® Step - Automatic weighing of minor and micro components
The system was especially designed to satisfy the high requirements for hygiene in the food industry. This is primarily achieved by having the products filled into receptacles and keeping exposure to dust to a minimum by using aspiration. The outlay for cleaning can be kept low by using storage and target containers for the specific product groups. If necessary, target containers can be provided with liners.
 
The system comprises two levels. The components are held ready in surge bins on the upper level. Prior to filling, the raw materials can be identified using the barcode and allocated to the correct hoppers. This keeps mix-ups of products to a minimum and ensures that raw materials can be traced back. The surge bins can be filled from sacks or big bags; pneumatic filling is also feasible.
 
Metering and weighing of components into target containers
The target containers are processed sequentially on the lower level below the metering points using a hydraulic carriage. After dosing in the product quantity specified in the recipe, the target container is transported on to a dosing point. There are separate scales provided for each component. Simultaneous weighing of components results in maximum time gain. Dosing screws combined with vibration bottoms underneath the surge bins ensure accurate metering of components being handled. A vibrating discharge chute can also be used for metering. Once all components are in the target container in accordance with the recipe, it is ejected at the end of the metering line and is ready for the next process.

The target containers are tracked using RFID technology and are thus monitored throughout the entire weighing and metering process. This means that the position, the weighed components and also the allocation of the target containers to a particular recipe are documented and are reproducible.
 
Apart from customized solutions for automating raw materials and processes, AZO also offers the possibility to support the customer in planning production logistics by conducting concept studies.
 
This service is performed by the engineering & services division (AZO®e&s) as part of the pre-engineering process, tailored to the customer's existing or planned new system. Parallel to the plant design, additional process equipment is harmonized and planned with potential vendors. Apart from systems and process engineering, the logistics, media supply and staff rooms also play an important part. They can, if necessary, also be taken into consideration early on during this phase in order to create an ideal basis for further procedures (architecture, planning of budgets etc).
 
Engineering & Services
Regardless of whether it concerns an existing brownfield plant, where the aim is to refurbish existing buildings and/or equipment in accordance with the latest state-of-the-art technology (retrofit) and include possible expansion, or whether the project is at the greenfield stage where the priority is on dimensioning and ensuring investment for the entire facility. This independent planning service combines systems expertise with process-oriented layout design, thus ensuring a comprehensive engineering phase.
 
Logistics and layout are adapted to suit the (core) process engineering so constraints and bottlenecks can be averted or kept to a minimum. Planning is carried out entirely in-house, this simplifies communication and organisation.
 
Various planning and digitalization tools allow us to additionally support specific planning processes whilst including this service in our portfolio. In addition to the usual 3D design, there is the option of preparing systems and components designed using CAD so that they are available for the virtual environment (VR technology). Models are given a realistic, tangible character. This helps to make things more understandable for people not directly involved in the project and offers the advantage of not having to wait for the unit to be completed. This means, for instance, that operator training courses can be held in advance, saving the customer time and money.
 
AZO Pre-Engineering – Everything from a single source
In particular, VR technology can be integrated into the planning for future equipment. However, then questions are raised; “Is the existing space large enough?”, “Where is the best position” and so on. Limits are often reached in existing plants, especially when making adaptations or expansion. In order to counteract such problems, 3D scanning is becoming increasingly important as an as-built documentation. Here too AZO offers you this service, either as a service provider or by integrating it in ongoing projects. A simple  3D scan which offers a range of potential options for creating added value through the data collected, allowing a digital transformation and so providing the customer with maximum assistance in the planning process.
 
The main output of this technology is a point cloud, which depicts the collected data in the form of thousands of three-dimensional point coordinates. Preparing this file makes it possible to directly plan the current situation. In addition to documentation of the current state of the plant, collision-free planning with 3D CAD is possible. The time saved by control, reference and interface procedures can be invested in more detailed and accurate planning. In addition to the point cloud, a 360° photographic view is an additional benefit resulting from this service. A complete 3D scan avoids incomplete documentation for supposedly unimportant areas and thus also possible additional work for other measures.
 
Generating and analysing data and creating added value will remain the focus of AZO within industry 4.0 and will be pushed further in the future.
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.
 
AZO Cyclone screener type DA Vario Containment
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.
 
Replacement of the screen basket under containment conditions
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.
 
Modular big bag discharge station – cost-effective and versatile
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 operator-guided manual weighing centre ManDos is ideal for micro quantities that cannot be fully automated in a profitable manner owing to their consistency (physical properties) or production need (quantity and frequency). However, it is these micro quantities in particular that have a crucial impact on the recipe, meaning that proper control and documentation are essential during their addition to the manufacturing process.
 
ManDos is ideal for the following situations:
  • Low batch frequency
  • Raw materials that are not suitable for automation
  • Frequent changes of ingredients
  • A large number of components
  • Limited investment resources
  • Requirement for end-to-end documentation
ManDos – operator-guided manual weighing system for micro quantities
Our expertise – benefiting you!
ManDos can be used as a stand-alone system, but can also be expanded to a comprehensive, networked batch production system with host interface. The logical user guidance provides the best support for the operator and minimises wasted batches. The raw material identification using barcode and the documentation of all work steps and weighing results ensures traceability of every batch at any time. The system has its own master data management (order and recipe management as well as item and stores management). ManDos meets all the requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002, can be validated, and can also be used in explosive atmospheres.
 
ManDos – operator-guided manual weighing system for micro quantities
How does ManDos work?
ManDos is a modular system combining the necessary sub-assemblies, such as scales, surge bins, desks, suction systems, barcode readers and label printers, and the software solution needed for this. The ManDos system provides a standard operating concept for a very wide range of terminals. Icons and graphic elements help guide the user.
 
When an order has been started, the operator is informed as to the component that needs to be weighed. After identifying the raw material using a barcode reader, the operator weighs the required amount in a container. A large weight display and a graphic bar diagram with change of colour make it easier to carry out manual dosing within the required tolerance.
 
All the components are weighed into the container in the same way, one after another. If necessary, a label can be printed to identify the target container. The raw materials used and the entire weighing process are recorded and documented from end to end.
 
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.
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 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
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 their system according to hygienic standards as HACCP, EHEDG and 3ASSI.
 
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.
 
AZO combines the know-how of solid and liquid material handling and supplies customers with an "all-round care package" - without having troublemaking interfaces with third parties.