This pharmaceutical company faced a number of challenges, with its antacid product and existing conveying equipment. For starters, its conveyor was failing to adequately contain the antacid tablets being produced, resulting in substantial product loss and damage.
Further, the antacid tablets were dusty and potentially hazardous to the operators if exposed. To address this, the company considered installing personnel guards to provide additional protection.
Ultimately, a long-term solution was needed to contain the difficult product, prevent spillage and keep operators safe. UniTrak was up for the challenge.
UniTrak conducted an extensive application review, to ensure our recommendations could address the particular challenges the pharmaceutical company was facing. One requirement was that the new unit be portable, due to its frequent cleaning requirements. The compact Open Tubular TT500 TipTrak™ was a powerful solution — easy to transport, yet still capable of processing the required capacity of 2,000 lbs. per hour.
Constructed from stainless steel, the TipTrak™ was customized specifically for antacid tablets, which needed to be moved both gently and slowly. Because this free-flowing product is prone to bouncing, additional modifications were added to minimize spillage:
• Clean-out drawers were installed under the lower horizontal section, ensuring that — in the event of occasional spillage — the tablets wouldn’t litter the production line floor.
• A custom designed rectangular-to-round chute with a Tri-Clover® sanitary fitting was added at the discharge, with an allowance for interior “easy let down” guides.
Although enclosed conveyors are typically recommended for dust containment, the company opted instead for a TipTrak™ with an open tubular frame and transparent polycarbonate (lexan) covers on the entire unit. These covers contained the dust and functioned as guards, protecting the operators, while still allowing a full view the antacid product as it was being conveyed.
Other custom additions included:
• Two dust collection ports connected to a single hard pipe to feed the dust into an in-house dust collector system
• Key-operated draw latches added to the personnel protection covers for easy access and cleanability
In order to meet the company’s robust cleaning requirements, the TipTrak™ was designed to be easily moved from the production line to a separate cleaning area. This was made possible by four casters attached to the base — two rigid and two swivel with locks.
Finally, the unit was fully wired – ready to plug in and operate with a stainless-steel control panel with Variable Frequency Drive.
With the new TipTrak™ installed in its production line, the company was able to minimize spillage, which was eating into its profits. Within six months, it placed a purchase order for six additional TipTraks™ to expand its production even further. One year later, two more identical TipTrak™ bucket elevators were purchased and installed.
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