Powder-Solutions says its BFM fitting innovation offers a user friendly snap-on alternative to flex sleeve and hose clamp designs currently used by dairy, food and pharmaceutical groups for processing powders.
Marv Deam, chief executive officer for Powder-Solutions, told DairyReporter.com that ongoing innovation for the BFM fittings is focused on providing simple, cost effective responses to the potential problems resulting from flexible connection use.
Deam claims that any bulk powder systems used in sectors like food or dairy production requires connections that can be removed or allow routine cleaning and maintenance. These removable products can prevent connections expanding or contracting due to the vibrations, heating and cooling from processing, according to the company.
However, the group suggests that some flexible sleeve designs do not always fit equipment properly and are susceptible to tearing at ‘pinch’ points, leading to powder building up or even leaking from the connections.
The manufacturer claims that it has devised its new system to incorporate stainless steel snap bands, which, when welded in place to two matched formed spigots, can be snapped into place by an operator, reducing machine down time.
"The BFM fitting features a crevice free surface designed to eliminate trapped powder, and its tight snap placement eliminates the threat of powder leakage," states Deam. "By not trapping or leaking powder, bulk powder processing plants in the food and pharmaceutical industries instantly alleviates two of the larger culprits of unsanitary working conditions."
In claiming to have improved sanitation and efficiency during bulk powder processing with the connections, Powder-Solutions suggest it is now looking at using different materials to ensure better temperature and abrasion resistance.
“In development is a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-based flexible sleeve with the same snap band concept,” says Deam.
In terms of the cost commitments of applying the fittings, Powder-Solutions claims the designs can be easily fitted to existing plant equipment, making the systems a viable long-term alternative for cost cutting.
“The product is easily adapted to existing processes. Simply weld in the formed metal collars and that’s it,” claims Deam.
The BFM fittings, which have US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/3A acceptance making them suitable for dairy powder use, are available to processors worldwide, says the manufacturer.