Rapid batch change in the hygiene sector

12.04.2016
from Vereinigte Fachverlage | Verfahrenstechnik

The right turn

Simplicity, flexibility, reliability – the KAD type KOKEISL mechanical discharge and dosing module embodies all these and more. The technology has proven its worth,  most prominently when used in straightforward applications to discharge bulk material from silos, containers, or other vessels. Thanks to the system’s exceptional flexibility, any quantity of almost any bulk material can be discharged from containers with  great accuracy and efficiency. Quantities ranging from a few grams to scores of metric tons can be discharged with outstanding accuracy according to the scale capacity.One example application of the system is by a pharmaceutical contract packer who repacks various products into very diverse containers.This situation requires flexible filling components to prevent cross-contamination. Dosing technology that can handle different volumes is also required here,while dosing accuracy must also be strictly controlled at the same time. All these requirements have been answered with the KOKEISL technology. Zeppelin worked closely with the packing machine manufacturer to achieve this, as the KOKEISL system is integrated into the packing unit to enable trouble-free filling.

A variety of uses

The great advantage of KOKEISL technology is the flexibility with which it can be linked to the process, meaning it can  also be applied to decentralized processes such as dosing to a single machine, integration into highly automated bagging machines, complex multi-component weighing systems, and complete container systems. As such, the technology offers positive benefits for feeding materials from silos and containers into pneumatic conveying systems, bagging machines, and dosing systems. With electro-polished surfaces and FDA-compliant seals, the dosing and discharge modules meet all the material requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. Parts in contact with the product are made from 1.4404 (316L) / 1.4571(316Ti) stainless steel, and surface-finished to a roughness of Ra 0.6  µm or electro-polished. A special pharmaceutical storage concept creates a clear separation between drive system and product chamber.What’s more, KOKEISL is made up of few parts and is therefore very easy to clean;in principle, the wash-in-place (WIP) process can even be applied. The dosing  slide can be completely disassembled in just a few quick steps. The components can be cleaned individually to the required level and then  dried. The cleaning process can be optimized and defined to suit custom requirements.

Providing a boost to the process

Another reason users value KOKEISL is that it often proves to be a problem-solver in practice; for example, if other dosing and discharge parts fail, or a poorly flowing bulk material is being used, the system serves as a genuine alternative.The specially designed fluidizator rotates next to the inner wall of the cone and prevents bridging, while the bulk material is loosened and discharged extremely gently under its own gravity. A valve below the fluidizator acts as a seal and discharge regulator (dosing); the discharge output can be continuously adjusted according to the process. It offers a whole host of advantages compared with a dosing screw: The component does not require any additional end cap to prevent product spillage at the end of the dosing process,and there is usually no need for a vibratory bottom either. The space it requires is greatly reduced, even with the same output.Overall, there are huge potential savings to be made when assembly and control system costs are removed from the equation.One pharmaceutical group we supported was considering whether to dose by means of a screw or a different module. They needed to ascertain how best to mix, in precisely defined proportions, a wide range of high-purity plastic powders which are subsequently processed into secondary pharmaceutical packaging by a plastics processing machine. The company had been working with a dosing screw, but found the accuracy achieved was insufficient for this application. In fact, only after the KOKEISL technology was put into service could proportions could be adjusted to a suitably high level of dosing accuracy.

Wide range of uses

The KAD type KOKEISL discharge and dosing module comes in three sizes, with a maximum discharge opening of 90 mm (throughput 0 to 10 m³/h), 150 mm (throughput 0 to 25 m³/h), and 200 mm (throughput 0 to 45 m³/h). The system accuracy is from ±0.1 to ±2.0 %, depending on the product, dosing speed, and quantity.The appropriate size is determined in consultation with the customer, based on the intended use.KOKEISL also has ATEX approval CE Ex II 2/3 GD c IIB T4. 3.1 inspection certificates for individual components for pharmaceutical use have been awarded. Since the technology became part of the Zeppelin product portfolio in 2012, it has been used in more than 300 new applications, and is today operational in many areas that are characterized by stringent hygiene requirements, such as the processing of vitamin powders, spices, lactose, sorbitol, starch, talcum, and calcium carbonate.

Meeting hygiene requirements is at the top of any priority list in the pharmaceutical industry – however, the industry is also recording growing demand for flexibility, quick container changes, and shorter production workflows. A mechanical discharge and dosing module meets both requirements.

Dietmar Dieing