Tech Talk

Flow-Easy vibrator solves a sticky problem

The issue of bulk material clinging to the inside of a tipper and slowing down the unloading process is something common to many operators carting bulk products.

In many cases the only way to get material moving is by ‘shunting’ the vehicle or manually digging out compact product at the end of a shift – both risky and time consuming for the operator; and leading to excessive wear and tear on the vehicle.

Flow-Easy vibrators are designed to speed up the unloading of bulk products, providing an efficient, safe and controlled load discharge. The vibration loosens compacted material, effectively eliminating residual build up.

Many operators are seeing the value of fitting a vibrator to their trailers. Among these is Australian Tartaric Products (ATP), which manufactures and supplies natural tartaric acid, natural cream of tartar and grape spirit for the Australian wine industry.

ATP commenced operations from a former fruit packing shed in Colignan, 50 kilometres from Mildura in North-West Victoria. Rapid expansion followed with the construction of a factory and the installation of production lines within the first 12 months. Today ATP is a major contributor to the wine industry, employing around 40 staff.

ATP has a unique symbiotic relationship with many of the largest wine companies in the country. The end-to-end process starts when ATP collects the grape marc, grape lees and centrifuge sludge from partner wineries. This is then processed to produce natural tartaric acid and food grade spirit which is supplied back to the wine companies.

The company is known for its innovation and in 2014 designed and built a cutting-edge renewable energy plant. After the grape marc has been processed, it is used to provide energy for the ATP plant via a biomass boiler that burns the spent marc to produce saturated steam. The steam produced drives an Organic Rankine Cycle system which generates electricity for internal use.

Gypsum is used extensively during the tartaric manufacturing process. The gypsum acts as a filter and after it has been processed the end product is stockpiled for further use within the agricultural industry.

ATP mechanic, Murray Allomes, faced a problem with the processed gypsum, as the product becomes particularly sticky and compacted, making it a challenge to discharge fully.

“To remove all the gypsum from our trailer was both time consuming and an absolute pain for me. It frequently required banging on the side of the trailer to dislodge all the material,” he said.

“I figured there had to be a better way. I’d seen vibrators fitted to truck tippers that came to our depot and that motivated me to get on the web which is where I came across Enmin and their vibrator range.”

After discussing his requirements with Enmin, a suitable vibrator was selected and fitted to ATP’s trailer.

“Since we’ve had it, I’ve been totally happy with the vibrator. It’s vastly improved our productivity and made my job so much easier and quicker. It’s such a relief not to have to bang on the sides or shunt the trailer back and forward,” Allomes added.

“We’re in the process of building another trailer and I’ll certainly be fitting a vibrator to that too. Given the hassle of trying to remove compacted material and the small investment required, I can’t understand why more people don’t invest in a vibrator for their trailers.”

In addition to the wine industry, the tartaric acid and cream of tartar is also used by the pharmaceutical and food manufacturing industries. ATP continues to grow with the development of a high-quality grape seed oil due to be launched into the market later this year.

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