Our highlights at ProSweets 2019

AZO, the expert for automatic handling of raw materials in bulk, powdered, granular and liquid form is exhibiting at ProSweets 2019 in Cologne.

In Hall 10.1, at stand D059 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:

Requirements on automatic handling of raw materials in the confectionery industry
One task in the value chain when manufacturing confectionery is the automatic feeding of stirrer tanks, mixers, kneaders, conches and similar processes. Bulk materials typically used here include sugar, cornflour, sorbitol, cocoa, maltodextrin, milk powder and nuts. The characteristics of these bulk materials range from hygroscopic to prone to dust explosion, as well as being fragile and sensitive to heat, presenting significant challenges for the feeding systems.
 
The requirements in detail:
  • Integration of all powdered and liquid raw materials into the automation process, or as many as possible
  • Keeping allergens (e.g. nuts) and non-allergens separate in production
  • Closed, hygienic production
  • Constant, rigorous adherence to recipe
  • Maximum plant availability and reliable explosion protection
  • Exact documentation of all production steps
  • Batch traceability from raw material to final product
  • Permanent production transparency
  • Fully automated process using convenient process control and visualisation system
 
AZO solutions for the confectionery industry
The powdered raw materials are supplied both as bulk components in storage silos and as medium and minor components in big bags and sacks. The liquid raw materials, such as glucose or oils, are stored in tanks and drums. Control screening using AZO cyclone screeners during product discharge and also during the process prevents foreign particles from entering production. Vacuum weighing systems are used to convey the bulk materials from the silos or product discharge stations into the conveying scale, simultaneously weighing them. The smallest components are provided using the operator-guided manual weighing system ManDos. The components are weighed here and, on demand, are fed directly to the mixer, stirrer tank or conche. If strict separation of allergens is required, container systems are used.
The plants stand out owing to their excellent ease of cleaning and hygienic design. Consistent compliance with the ATEX Directives during the design process keeps risks to a minimum.
 
The entire plant is controlled and monitored using the AZO process control and instrumentation system. The control system ensure tracking and tracing of all raw materials and end-to-end documentation of the manufacturing process.
AZO cyclone screeners combine operationally safe technology with high performance and easy maintenance and cleaning. The screeners can easily be integrated into existing systems thanks to their compact design.
 
Safe products thanks to AZO cyclone screening technology
  • complies with IFS and HACCP
  • automatic elimination of foreign matter
  • clean and safe finished product
 
End-to-end HACCP concepts in the food and dairy industries specify control screening and separation of metals as mandatory. This means any raw materials and semi-finished products are conveyed to the highly efficient, ultra-sensitive safety devices, such as metal receivers and control screeners, right upon delivery and in the production line immediately prior to filling into sacks, big bags or bulk tankers or silaging as semi-finished products. The networked control system notifies and logs incidents constantly at the critical checkpoints in the HACCP concept.
 
The patented cyclone screener type DA with applications including control and protective screening, fractionation, separation of foreign matter, breaking up lumps and aerating products, does not required an additional dosing unit. This is why it has a low overall height and can thus be integrated into existing systems without any difficulties. Further advantages are easy opening of the machine without tools and the extraction and swiveling devices for the screen and the dosing screw, enabling easy inspection and cleaning of the screen basket and the screw. Dead space in the machine is kept to a minimum, which further improves simplicity of cleaning. The screen basket can be replaced quite simply with a "quick change" screening system.
 
For the separation of ferrous and paramagnetic iron impurities from 25 µm a metal grid can be installed subsequently to the screener. Even fine iron abrasions from stainless steel pipes, generated during the production process, can be separated. Conversion of austenitic steel to alpha martensite (magnetic!!)
 
Reinigungsfreundliche Wirbelstrom-Siebmaschine  | Easy to clean cyclone screener
Easy to clean cyclone screener type DA 650 N with extraction device
The hygienic design 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 such as flavourings, baking agents, emulsifiers, dyes and other ingredients 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
  
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.
 
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.
ManDos – operator-guided manual weighing centre for the provision of micro quantities
The big bag connection system with vibrating perforated sheet can be used anywhere where there are high demands in terms of maintenance and cleaning standards in addition to dust-free docking and reliable discharging. It is suitable for all free-flowing, dry bulk solids.
 
Key advantages
  • dust-free docking
  • reliable discharging
  • integrated vibrating perforated sheet prevents foreign matter from getting into the production
  • easy handling
  • custom application
  • very convenient to clean and maintain owing to quick disconnection of the individual components
  • compact design
 
To reduce downtimes after a product change or during necessary cleaning and inspection works, the unit has been designed such that it can be disassembled in just a few steps
Easy-to-clean big bag connection system with vibrating perforated sheet
Operating principle:
The big bags are transported by means of mobile lifting gear to the big bag connection system, where they are placed on a safety platform. The machine operator pulls the big bag outlet over the inlet connector and lowers the clamping disc. This clamps the outlet firmly in place and seals it so that the fastening cord on the big bag can be undone. To optimise the discharge flow, the big bag is raised by the lifting gear as needed.
 
To ensure high operational reliability of the subsequent system, any foreign matter or oversize particles are separated out of the product flow using a perforated sheet inserted in the vibration housing. A range of mesh sizes and geometries is available for this purpose. The imbalance vibrator attached to the vibration housing imparts a horizontal circular oscillation to the perforated sheet. The intensity of the oscillation is infinitely variable.
 
To reduce downtimes after a product change or during necessary cleaning and inspection works, the unit has been designed such that it can be disconnected in just a few steps. The entire connection system can be pivoted manually out of the work area, enabling compact construction.
 
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 Lumb 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
Discharging, dosing, conveying, consolidation and weighing:
Many process steps – one system

 
Key advantages
  • Reliability thanks to experience and fully developed technology
  • Hight and space saving
  • High weighing and dosing accuracy
  • Easy and clean product intake
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Constant product quality
  • Fast recipe change
  • Accurate coordination of control and processing technology
AZO - No. 1 in mixer feeding
Reliable mixer feeding with vacuum weighing system
Operating function:
A container in the form of a conveyor scale is put under vacuum using vacuum pumps, ring compressors and/or rotary piston blowers. This vacuum proceeds through the conveying line up to the product intake. The individual components are thus aspirated into the conveying line in a dust-free manner and transported to the conveyor scales. There the product is separated from the conveying air by filters. It remains in the weighing container, where it is accurately weighed.
 
Pneumatic vacuum weighing systems with conveying scales are today widely accepted for the economic automation of precisely weighed large and medium-sized components. With more than 7,500 suction weighing systems installed, as the inventors of vacuum weighing technology we are not only the technological leader, but also the market leader for fully automatic mixer feeding.
 
The result of this is a high level of experience with conveying characteristics and flow speeds for many different kinds of bulk materials and liquids which, in combination with innovative process leading control technology, AZO introduce all raw materials into your production processes at exactly the right time and in exactly the right quantity.
  • Kastor process control and instrumentation system – plant controls and visualisation
      plant controlling, visualising and logging

    Combination of the innovative development Kastor process leading system with a visualization on basis of standard tools, results in a central process leading and visualization system having the ability to carry out a multitude of workflow controls and checks.
    Furthermore this central system offers a complete documentation of production sequences – e.g. by batch reports, yield balances and a long-term archivation of collected data. In addition it offers an individual configurable access protection.
     
  • Kastor T&T – tracking & tracing throughout your production workflow
      so you have all the data immediately to hand when the need arises

    Our solutions for documenting production and hence for batch tracing guarantee transparency, safety and reliability. In addition, barcode identification of the raw materials allows for a validity check during the production process.

    The raw materials and intermediate products are identified using barcodes or RFID throughout the entire production process and are tracked through the plant. All weighing operations are recorded and associated with the end product in the data system. In the event of a problem with the quality of a raw material, our process control systems can provide a full list of the stages in production, meaning that every raw material can be tracked from incoming goods through to the end product.
  • Kastor DataCockpit – new functions for analysing data
      providing even greater transparency for plants and demonstrate the potential for improvements

    Generally speaking, data analysis involves deriving useful findings from data. To do this, various techniques are used to restructure, organise and present the data, so that relationships and dependencies in the data become visible and the results can be used as a basis for production optimisation. Data analysis itself can therefore be classified as a dedicated method or technology within the context of improving production systems.
    One very important issue when dealing with production data is that of data security. All technologies must be implemented from the perspective of maximum security to ensure that highly sensitive production data are also handled securely.
    Kastor DataCockpit bring new insights into potential for optimisation, highlighting possible weak points or how to prevent faults – data analysis provides our customers with a solid foundation for permanent improvement of their AZO system or system components.

     
  • Kastor HostLink – interfaces to ERP systems
      supporting optimum integration into your business world

    If a universal interface software is to be used for the connection of control systems to ERP such a software must be very flexible due to the diversity of data types to be exchanged and due to the many different storage variants.
    To connect your plant control to the ERP system, HostLink is used as a Software Gateway. Production orders are transferred from ERP to control, production results are reported back to ERP. This ensures a seamless integration of production into the business-IT-world.