As part of a compounding plant, the Coperion multi-ingredient handling system ADD-A-LOT ensures fully automated recipe preparation that fulfills high demands for constant product quality, seamless documentation, and batch traceability. Particularly as production trends toward shrinking batch sizes, frequent product changes, and the multitudes of formulations and components associated with them, such automation provides a high degree of safety to the users. The ADD-A-LOT’s central element is its feeding station with standardized storage containers – so-called Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) – feeding unit, and mixing container. The system controls transport of centrally stored components in both directions as well as precise feeding and mixing of additives, even in minute quantities. Use of mobile containers provides additional flexibility.
Secure Functioning Based on the Latest Technology
Unlike manual manufacturing and delivery of premixes, this automated system enables maximum efficiency and control in premix manufacturing. Within the system, barcode identification of the IBCs enables proper correlation during filling, whether from sacks, big bags, barrels or even pneumatically executed, so that recipes and feeding constantly comply with specifications. Moreover, product-specific assignation minimizes cleaning effort.
During operation, the IBCs are docked on the upper level of the feeding station and automatically opened. Feed screws then convey the raw materials to the mixing container according to the recipe in use. Up to 8 feed screws can be assigned to one scale in this process. In order to safely prevent cross contamination during recipe changes, the uncleaned feed screw can be removed with just a few hand movements and replaced with a clean screw. IBCs and mixing containers can be either manually or automatically transported using an automated guided vehicle or via roller conveyors.
Flexible Optimization of Production Processes
Thanks to its modular construction, the ADD-A-LOT multi-ingredient handling system can be expanded and modified as desired to meet specific customer needs; such flexibility empowers users to react quickly to changing demands upon formulation and batch size. In this configuration, for example, the surge bins can be modified for incoming packages of various products in order to enable the most efficient work process possible. Moreover, by using a base frame it is possible to place big bags directly on the feeding station. Likewise, the surge bins can be furnished with discharge aids such as pneumatic knockers, agitators, or vibrators.
The ADD-A-LOT feed system’s controls are integrated into Coperion’s proven CPCC and WPC control systems, enabling recipe management, production planning, storage administration as well as batch tracing and documentation using barcodes or RFID, among other things.