Many production environments consist of batch processing. As opposed to continuous flow operations, batch production is a non-continuous way of processing materials in discrete groups (batches). Because a batch production environment is quite different from flow operations, these environments present unique challenges for handling and conveying the ingredients and materials used in the production process.
Batch Production Challenges
Batch production operations are often characterized by the following:
- Staged production. The product is created in stages as each group of ingredients moves through the stations that comprise the production process.
- More frequent equipment changeovers and turnarounds. Producing a batch of one SKU, and then producing a batch of another SKU, often requires an equipment changeover or washdown.
- Variable batch sizes. In batch production, batch sizes may vary according to the amount of product to be produced.
- Dynamic operations. While flow production is often characterized by equipment that usually remains fixed in place on the production line, batch operations may require equipment to be mobile to transfer batches from one process station to another.
- Lower efficiency than flow production. Because ingredients are processed through the production system as discrete batches, total system efficiency may be less than in flow operations.
Batch Production Conveyors
Two conveyor types that are especially well-suited for batch production are the flexible screw conveyor and the aeromechanical conveyor. Used in batch production environments, these two types of conveyors can help address some of the challenges associated with batch production and increase productivity in the process.
At UniTrak, we have extensive experience in helping batch producers convey and transfer product and material within their operations. Our UniFlex and Powderflight conveyors have proven themselves in many batch production facilities and are the preferred conveyor choices of many companies using batch production methods.
Uniflex Flexible Screw Conveyors
UniFlex flexible screw conveyors are an excellent equipment choice for the intermittent conveying of many bulk materials. These simple, yet rugged, machines work especially well in batch production, being easy to setup, operate, and move. Washdown and cleanout can be executed quickly, meaning the Uniflex can be pressed back into service within a very short timeframe. An Easy Clean model is available for batch food processing. This model comes equipped with a food-grade UHMW or steel casing/conveyor tube, removable cleanout cap, and 304 stainless steel wire spiral.
Powderflight Aeromechanical Conveyors
Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors enable effective material transfer in batch operations. These conveyors feature a high throughput rate, gentle handling, dust-tight conveying, and self-emptying that supports dedicated batch production. Powderflight aeromechanicals maximize space utilization through their small footprint, and mobile/portable base options are available.
If your facility has batch operations and you are seeking a high-quality, reliable batch production conveyor, please contact our sales department for more information on UniFlex and Powderflight equipment.