National Bulk Equipment, Inc. (NBE) has developed a fully automated, food-grade bulk material handling system. This was built to be compliance- ready at start-up and to conform to the specific, regulated processes and practices of the wash- in-place (WIP) application.

The integrated system, including: powered infeed conveyor; 2,000 lb.-capacity container lift carriage; 304-2b stainless steel custom discharge hood, surge hopper, and vibratory conveyor is structurally designed with angled-plane, rounded-radius framework and highly finished plate to reduce solids build-up and speed moisture removal. Internal and external welds of product contact areas are finished beyond a subjective, ‘ground smooth’ spec, to a measured, 32 Ra finish eliminating ripples, pits, and crevices; and aiding material release, cleanability, and inspection. The NBE RotoLinkTM carriage linkage design provides the carriage a 500 lb. lift advantage, and an additional 15° of tip rotation, compared with typical industry designs.

This increasing input volume and improved material release eliminates costly material waste due to incomplete discharge. The NBE RotoLink also enables the carriage to move in a smooth, continuous motion, while also allowing for intermittent, start-stop of the carriage even during full-tote rotation.

NBE was the single-source provider of the system’s integrated controls and automation. Built in the NBE, UL certified panel build facility, the NBE controls and automation architecture pushed control functionality farther out, and deeper into equipment operations to optimize total line throughput and deliver a standard, system-wide data report from the control layer. NBE instrumentation and process controls aid standardization, improve resource management, reduce operating burden, increase labour efficiency and safety, and extend equipment contribution and performance lifecycles.