Conveying Animal Feed Ingredients

December 10, 2015

Producing high quality animal feed requires careful management of the input raw materials and the production process that transforms these materials into the finished product. Many feed producers are using ingredients such as cereals, cereal by-products, animal and vegetable proteins, supplements and additives such as minerals and vitamins in their production processes. Successfully handling and conveying these ingredient materials requires a careful consideration of their characteristics.

Conveying Animal Feed Ingredients: Key Considerations

Product Handling

A primary consideration when selecting equipment for conveying animal feed ingredients is to prevent deterioration of the product. The nutritional value of the final product can be compromised when insufficient attention is paid to how ingredients are handled and conveyed throughout the production process. For example, some ingredients can be degraded if they are handled roughly, thereby causing their nutritional value to be compromised. Maintaining the product in its desired condition throughout processing is crucial, especially for feed products targeted to premium markets.

Hard-to-Handle Materials

Fats and oils in feed mill ingredients consisting of pellets, flakes, meal or extruded product can also be problematic for material handling and conveyance. These materials may tend to pack, cake and smear, making them problematic to convey. At the other end of the spectrum, ingredients consisting free-flowing powders and dry mixes bring their own challenges – these materials may tend to fluidize when conveyed.

Preventing Contamination

Preserving the integrity of feed ingredients during processing is another key concern for producers. When conveying animal feed ingredients, it is important to prevent contaminants from entering the product stream. Certain feed materials must also be kept dry and free from moisture absorption and contact. Finally, animal feed ingredient conveyors should be capable of sanitary operation, permitting washdown with either manual methods or clean-in-place systems.

Process Configurations

Feed producers may be using either batch processing or in-line production methods. Depending upon the production method employed, producers will want to choose a conveyor that can support the type of operation being used. This will require a careful consideration of desired throughput rates and conveyor capacities, together with how well the conveyor will integrate with existing process equipment.

Conveying Animal Feed Ingredients: TipTrakTM, Powderflight Aeromechanical & UniFlex Conveyors

At UniTrak, we have extensive experience in helping animal feed producers solve their toughest bulk material handling challenges. Renowned for their gentle handling of product, TipTrakTM bucket conveyors are a preferred choice for animal feed applications where ensuring ingredient quality and integrity is paramount. TipTrakTM conveyors are available in a range of designs, capacities and constructions that will service any animal feed ingredient conveying application. Available options include microbial-inhibiting buckets and clean-in-place (CIP) systems. Please see our TipTrakTM equipment page for further product details and specifications .

UniFlex flexible screw conveyors are an excellent choice for conveying animal feed ingredients in batch production environments, or in applications where lower throughput rates and conveyor capacities are required. UniFlex flexible screw conveyors are capable of transporting a wide range of free-flowing powders, granules, or small pellets, safely and reliably anywhere within a production facility. Of particular importance to animal feed producers, UniFlex conveyors can easily integrate with a vast array of upstream and downstream equipment types.

Recently, UniTrak sold a Powderflight Aeromechanical Conveyor to A-One Feeds out of the United Kingdom to handle animal feed supplements. They use 4 Powderflight M-100 Models and 2 M-75 models in their production site in North Yorkshire. These were an excellent choice for this facility and product because the new processes reduced dust and spillages and the Powderflight conveyors left minimal residue. This combined with their excellent throughput rate made them a winning choice for A-One Feeds. Read more about this case study here.

TipTrakTM bucket conveyors, Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors & UniFlex flexible screw conveyors are among the most reliable conveying solutions available on the market today. Each model can be tailored and adapted to suit a variety of process conditions and operating environments. To find out more about the complete line of TipTrakTM, Powderflight & UniFlex products for conveying animal feed ingredients, please contact our sales department today.

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