Adhering to international food safety regulations and industry trends such as energy efficiency can sometimes lead to the incorrect specification of equipment in the food manufacturing process, says vibrating-equipment manufacturer Kwatani business development manager Warren Mann.
He explains to Engineering News that Kwatani has taken cognisance of the need for increased food production to feed a growing population in South Africa, as well as innovative ideas to negate the restrictions caused by the drought, while remaining cost effective and energy efficient.
The company’s round and rectangular separators, which have been manufactured to meet the stringent international hygiene standards of the food and beverage industry, are often used as sizing screens. They can also be used in a factory with no existing screening process in place, where there is typically a need for safety screening.
Capable of screening up to 10 t/h in a standard food and beverage environment, Mann explains that Kwatani’s highly versatile range of round separators typically have a life span of more than 15 years, if well maintained. The separators can be used in a variety of applications, specifically in high-temperature environments and liquid/solid separation where foreign particles from high-temperature liquids are removed.
“Some screening and sizing machines can be quite rough on the product and can damage it. However, our separators use a gentle, but effective, spiral screening motion that dramatically reduces breakages, resulting in a product that is of higher value,” Mann explains, citing coffee bean processing as an example.
In an industrial setting, however, a round separator is able to screen up to 100 t/h. Should space be a challenge, he notes that a low-profile separator option is also available.
“The low-profile separator option has a lower height than our standard design, allowing it to fit into spaces where the standard design cannot fit.”
Rectangular separators can screen down to 38 µm, with a gentle gyratory action that improves screening efficiency. They can be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance.
A multideck rectangular separator can yield multiple grades of sugar in one screening and can produce, for example, fine-granulated, extra-fine sugar or even icing (confectioners) sugar, depending on client requirements.
The round and rectangular separators – available in about 20 different configurations – use stainless steel screens with screening areas of between 0.5 m2 and 8 m2 and, therefore, varying throughputs of dry and wet food substances are achievable, depending on the application.
Mann maintains that Kwatani’s use of local suppliers offers a commercially attractive product for South Africa.
He adds that the company’s products are competitive in terms of exports while remaining cost effective locally and, because of its proximity to its client base, the company is well positioned to provide maintenance, spares or processing advice.
Skilled and experienced in-house design and technology teams interpret client requirements, translating this information into solutions engineered for optimum throughput tonnages without compromising on reliability or quality. This, Mann notes, adds to Kwatani’s quality and service offering.
Further, the company’s materials testing laboratory assists customers in selecting the correct separator for an application. “Here, materials are analysed and tests conducted under simu- lated production conditions to help determine the appropriate machine size, optimum screen openings and machine settings for a given application,” Mann explains.
The company has also been involved in several projects in the sugar industry for refining processes such as sugar grading, or scalping, with clients predomi- nantly situated in South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.
Kwatani has also worked with clients that produce other dry products such as ground coffee, tea, salt, flour, spices, rice and barley.
The wholly South African-owned company has a Level 3 broad-based black economic- empowerment rating, and attends to existing vibratory process equipment manufacturer Lockers Engineering clients by carrying a range of items in stock.