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ActiFlow Bulk Solid Activator

Reliable prevention of bridge-building in cohesive bulk material with a completely non-product-contact device for loss-in-weight feeders

Sticky Business

Many bulk materials, especially fine powder, are cohesive and do not flow consistently out of the supply hopper during feeding. Such poor flow properties can lead to the formation of rat holes or even material bridges, making it difficult to accurately deliver these materials to the process. A rat hole is a narrow vertical tunnel from the top of the material bed in the hopper to the discharge device of the feeder. Although material can continue to flow through the hole, the discharge rate of the feeder is lowered considerably and bulk material may deposit in the hopper. Material bridges similarly restrict the flow of material. Since bridges lack even the vertical tunnel of a rat hole, the material flow tends to be completely blocked. Vertical agitators can be used to prevent ratholing and bridging of bulk material. Although this system is dependable, it requires additional headroom above the feeder, and cleaning is awkward, laborious and time consuming.

Staying in the Flow

The ActiFlowTM system overcomes the disadvantages of a vertical agitator. The smart flow aid device applies gentle vibrations to the hopper wall, hereby carefully activating the contained material with the optimal amplitude and frequency. The ActiFlow control module constantly communicates with the KCM feeder control to ensure an ideal material flow in the hopper and maintain a very high feeding accuracy. The filter algorithms in the load cells or the platform scale effectively filter out vibrations, thus guaranteeing an exact weight signal at all times – even when the ActiFlow’s bulk material activation is at its maximum. ActiFlow eliminates headroom concerns, reduces cleaning and product changeover time and in turn lowers overall production labor cost.

The technology behind ActiFlow

ActiFlow function principle

ActiFlow eliminates the need for traditional vertical agitation or flex wall agitation in LIW (Loss-in-Weight) feeders. It works in conjunction with the LIW feeder controller and digital weighing system to determine any change in material flow by weight, before it becomes a problem. Once the ActiFlow controller detects a potential problem, vibration is applied to the hopper and is continually adjusted to get the material moving efficiently without impacting feeder performance. In addition, it avoids compaction of the bulk material because only the necessary amount of vibration is applied, required to assure uniform material flow.

ActiFlow can be used with all Coperion K-Tron LIW modular feeders equipped with a Coperion K-Tron Control Module (KCM) and standard 4D and 6D asymmetric hoppers, up to 180 dm3 (6.4 ft3).

Download Product Specification Sheet

Benefits & Features

  • Gentle, efficient bulk material activation
  • No unnecessary material compaction
  • Maintains high feeding accuracy even for bulk material with very poor flow properties
  • No direct contact with the bulk material, hence less cleaning effort and quicker product changeovers
  • No additional headroom required
  • Optionally available in sanitary design for use in pharmaceutical or food applications
  • Optionally available with stainless steel housing for ActiFlow Control

Video

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ActiFlow function principle

Video

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Twin screw feeder with ActiFlow

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