At PBI, the circular fluid bed processor is configured to moisturize, agglomerate and then dry the powders.
Dairy proteins arrive at the plant in bulk bags that are discharged into the process through a grate that removes oversized agglomerates and foreign material.
Material then enters the fluid bed processor through an intake port on top of the unit via an auger feeder and rotary valve. The heater, blower and ductwork route hot air upward through the enclosed circular screen upon which the continuous airflow and vibration separate and fluidize individual particles, maximizing the surface area of material. The vibratory motion of the processor also serves to convey the material along a defined pathway for uniform processing on a first-in, first-out basis.
Liquids are added to the airstream at timed intervals to moisturize and agglomerate particles and impart desired flow characteristics. “The powder starts out very fine, almost like talcum,” Carlbom says. As it moves through the process, particle sizes increase, improving flow and solubility.
The hot air then dries the material to a preset moisture level. Once dry, the granules exit through the discharge port onto a conveyor, which transfers them to a packaging line for loading into 33 or 44 lb (15 or 20 kg) bags.
The process is continuous although throughput varies by product. PBI has setpoints for different types of powder, and process rates vary from 500 to 2,000 lb (1,100 to 4,400 kg) per hour.
Carlbom says the unit works reliably, and meets a demanding production schedule of 12 hours per day, five to six days per week.
To learn more about circular fluid bed processors from Kason Corp., call (973) 467-8140 or visit www.kason.com.
To learn more about the Kason system, read "Food Granulizing Line Fits With Circular Fluid Bed Processor."