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Understanding the Critical Importance of Dust Hazard Analysis in Manufacturing Safety

Manufacturing powdered milk - Dust Hazard Analysis in manufacturing

by: Dan Fried and Abby Cesarz

In the manufacturing sector, the threat posed by combustible dust demands a thorough approach to risk management. Central to mitigating these risks is the Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA). The DHA is a comprehensive report that details the specific hazards related to combustible dust fires, flash fires, and explosions, as well as the potential consequences of such events. This analysis is vital for enhancing plant safety and ensuring the well-being of employees.

Identifying and Classifying Combustible Dusts

A successful Dust Hazard Analysis hinges on several criteria. The foremost of these is determining the explosive characteristics of various dusts, influenced by factors like quantity, particle size, and moisture content. Lab tests are essential to define explosibility parameters, including explosion severity, minimum ignition energy, and minimum explosible concentration. These tests help set the groundwork for implementing necessary safety measures within the facility.

 

The explosibility of dust is categorized through the Dust Deflagration Index, which assigns Kst and Pmax values to measure the rate and maximum pressure of dust explosion, respectively. This index divides dust into four levels:

 

ST 0 – No Hazard: Powders in this category are considered non-combustible or have negligible combustibility.  While they may not pose an explosion risk, other safety considerations like worker respiratory health may still be considered.

 o  Kst = 0 = No Explosion (Silica)

ST 1 – Low Hazard: Dusts in this category have a low explosive potential and require higher concentrations in the air to become hazardous.  Proper handling and housekeeping can effectively manage the risks associated with the ST 1 materials.

o Kst = 1-200 = Weak Explosion (Powdered Milk, Charcoal, Zinc)

ST 2 – Moderate Hazard: Powders with moderate explosibility fall into this category.  While the risk is higher than ST 1, effective control measures and adherence to safety protocols can still mitigate the potential for dust-related incidents. 

o 201-300 = Strong Explosion (Wood Dusts)

ST 3 – High Hazard: This classification includes dust with high explosive potential.  Strict safety measures, including specialized equipment and stringent preventative maintenance, are necessary to minimize the risk of explosions.

o  Kst = 301+ = Very Strong Explosion (Aluminum, Magnesium)

Jango Wet Dust Collector
HaF's innovative Wet Dust Collector "Jango"

Key Factors for Effective Dust Hazard Analysis Implementation

An effective DHA involves a detailed assessment of the system in question, including analyzing dust types, particle sizes, concentrations, and potential ignition sources. Following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines is crucial for identifying key safety areas.

A DHA can be conducted on-site by trained professionals who evaluate the facility’s environment, systems, and existing safety measures. Alternatively, a remote Dust Hazard Analysis might be considered, requiring facilities to provide extensive documentation of their processes and materials. However, an on-site evaluation is generally recommended for a thorough assessment.

Supporting Safe Manufacturing Practices

Pneumatic conveying systems, widely used in manufacturing plants for moving and batching ingredients, present specific challenges related to dust explosion hazards. Integrating explosion mitigation equipment, such as vents, isolation valves, and suppression systems, is imperative for safe operations. Techniques like inerting, which involves introducing inert gases to reduce oxygen levels, are also employed to minimize the risk of dust explosions, especially with highly combustible materials.

The Role of HaF Equipment in Enhancing Dust Safety

HaF Equipment utilizes and supplies many design types that help address dust explosion concerns. 

One way is HaF’s innovative Jango Wet Dust collector that uses water filtration to reduce static buildup, demonstrating our commitment to improving safety in manufacturing environments. Second, by having our team help customize a dense phase pneumatic conveying system option.

Another way HaF can help is by enhancing the layout design of your system. We can assist the manufacturing facility position inlets, outlets, pipes, and bin locations so that they do not risk harm to operators, maximizing the benefit of flame quenches and isolation devices. HaF can assist with designing systems that minimize the risk of a spark. We can utilize special components, including magnets, to help lower that risk.

Last, our team of engineers can design systems utilizing an inert gas. We have solutions for inert gas closed-loop systems that help save on inert gas costs, while increasing the level of safety of the system. 

ABOUT HaF

HaF Equipment offers turnkey services for projects big and small. Our team understands the concerns of our customers and takes the time to listen. We develop a plan and communicate along the way. If you need someone you can trust and want to eliminate the stress of managing all the details of your next project, HaF is Ready To Connect.

CONTACT US today to discuss your next project and how our team can help from concept to system solution.

Material Handling in Manufacturing: The Dense Phase Pneumatic Conveying Advantage

Dense Phase Pneumatic Conveying in Bakery Flour Processing

by: Michael Thiel and Jacob Dailey

In the manufacturing processes, the movement and management of dry powders play a pivotal role in the production lifecycle of everyday goods that we enjoy. Industries ranging from food production to high-tech manufacturing rely on the efficient transfer of ingredients like flour, sugar, and various powders such as polyethylene, aluminum oxide, or carbon black. However, the challenge lies not just in the movement but in doing so effectively, efficiently, and without compromising the integrity of the materials. Here is where the dense phase pneumatic conveying advantage becomes evident, offering a superior method that surpasses traditional mechanical, manual, and dilute phase conveying approaches. 

The Quest for the Optimal Conveying Method

Traditional methods of transporting powders, such as manual handling and mechanical conveyors, often fall short in terms of efficiency, cost, and practicality, especially over longer distances. Mechanical systems, for instance, come with a high maintenance burden and can struggle with the complexities of installation across expansive manufacturing floors.

Enter pneumatic conveying, a technology that leverages air to move powders through pipelines. Pneumatic conveying can be either vacuum or pressure conveying and dilute phase or dense phase conveying. 

Rendering of the Vacuum dilute phase pneumatic conveying system
example of a dense phase vacuum system

Dense Phase Pneumatic Conveying: A Superior Approach

Dense phase pneumatic conveying emerges as a standout solution, overcoming the limitations of other methods. Characterized by its high solid-to-air ratio and lower velocity, it ensures the gentle handling of materials, significantly reducing the risk of damage or degradation. This system is particularly suited for materials with low permeability, though advancements have made it possible to convey even high-permeability materials like plastic pellets effectively.

The Engineering Behind Dense Phase Conveying

Dilute-phase conveying involves the suspension of powder or material within the pipeline, allowing for swift movement. This method is particularly advantageous when dealing with sturdier, non-abrasive materials with a low bulk density. The rapid conveyance facilitated by dilute phase systems is well-suited for applications where quick and efficient movement of materials is paramount.

Dense Phase

Implementing a dense phase pneumatic conveying system requires a pressurized tank capable of withstanding 20-60psig, equipped with multiple air inlets and a pressure relief valve for safety. Key components include a filter receiver and, potentially, a level sensor to prevent overfilling, ensuring smooth and continuous operation.

Advantages and Considerations of Dense Phase Conveying

The benefits of opting for dense phase conveying are numerous, from eliminating mechanical parts with mechanical conveyors and simplifying maintenance to the system’s flexibility in routing and distance coverage. However, technology is not without challenges. The potential for material damage due to excessive speed or pressure within the convey line necessitates careful system design and operation.

Tailored Solutions for Diverse Needs

Beyond fragile powders, dense phase conveying is also adept at handling abrasive materials, thanks to components like the dome valve, which is designed to withstand the rigors of such applications. This flexibility underscores the technology’s versatility and applicability across a broad spectrum of industries.

HaF’s Excellence in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

In material handling and conveyance, customization and innovation are key. At HaF Equipment, we specialize in designing pneumatic conveying solutions tailored to the unique needs and challenges of manufacturers. By collaborating with experts in the field, manufacturers can enhance productivity, reduce operational costs, and achieve unparalleled product quality.

Implementing dense phase pneumatic conveying represents a strategic move toward operational excellence in manufacturing. With its combination of efficiency, gentle handling, and versatility, it stands as a testament to the power of innovation in overcoming the complexities of modern production processes to become a system of efficiency, accuracy, and customization. As industries continue to evolve, the demand for customized solutions in handling bulk materials will only grow stronger, and HaF is prepared to lead the way.

ABOUT HaF

HaF Equipment offers turnkey services for projects big and small. Our team understands the concerns of our customers and takes the time to listen. We develop a plan and communicate along the way. If you need someone you can trust and want to eliminate the stress of managing all the details of your next project, HaF is Ready To Connect.

CONTACT US today to discuss your next project and how our team can help from concept to system solution.

Sanitary Designed Equipment for Bakeries: Maximize Safety & Efficiency in Raw Ingredient Handling

Row of Freshly Baked Bread rolling off production line in an Industrial Bakery -Sanitary Designed Equipment for Bakeries. Maximize Safety & Efficiency in Raw Ingredient Handling.

Industrial bakeries play a crucial role in meeting the demand for baked goods, but they also face unique challenges related to sanitary designed equipment that is easy to clean and minimizes safety concerns. Therefore, implementing effective measures is essential to maintain high-quality standards, prevent contamination, and ensure worker safety. This article will explore the significance of addressing sanitation and safety in industrial bakeries and highlight the role of HaF Equipment, a leader in manufacturing sanitary designed equipment in the bakery industry, to tackle these issues.

3 Key Factors Why Sanitary Designed Equipment is Crucial for Industrial Bakeries

Maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in industrial bakeries should never be overlooked. It is paramount to ensure the safety of employees, the quality of the products, and the well-being of consumers. From preventing cross-contamination to reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses, a strong focus on sanitation practices safeguards the bakery’s reputation and protects customers’ health. There are several key practices that contribute to a safe and thriving baking environment:

    1. Food Safety: Maintaining optimal sanitation practices is vital to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can cause foodborne illnesses. Implementing robust sanitation protocols reduces the risk of contamination in baked goods. To achieve this, bakery equipment must be designed with no nooks and crannies where food can build up. HaF’s sanitary designed and easy-to-clean equipment is designed specifically to mediate these issues. 
    2. Product Quality: Sanitation directly impacts the overall quality and shelf life of bakery products. Contaminants or improper cleaning can result in off-flavors, odors, and rapid spoilage, leading to customer dissatisfaction and health issues. Easy-to-clean equipment from HaF allows operators to ensure that the equipment is clean.
    3. Compliance with Regulations: Industrial bakeries must adhere to strict regulations and guidelines set by food safety authorities. Regular sanitation inspections and adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) ensure compliance and can prevent penalties or legal issues. Quality control personnel appreciate seeing and working with equipment that is easy to operate and clean.

Addressing Sanitation Challenges

Sanitation challenges in industrial baking require a systematic and comprehensive approach to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. By implementing effective strategies and practices and prioritizing sanitation, industrial bakeries can enhance the quality of their products, safeguard consumer health, and maintain a positive reputation in the industry:

  1. Design and Layout: Industrial bakery facilities should be designed with sanitation in mind. This includes separate areas for different processes, efficient drainage systems, and adequate space for cleaning equipment and personnel.
  2. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Implementing comprehensive SOPs for cleaning, sanitizing, and maintenance ensures consistency and minimizes the risk of oversight or incomplete sanitation procedures.
  3. Training and Education: Regular training sessions for bakery staff on proper sanitation practices, personal hygiene, and equipment cleaning are essential. Well-informed employees are more likely to follow protocols diligently.

Explosion Mitigation in Industrial Bakeries

Preventing and mitigating the risk of explosions is crucial in industrial bakeries to ensure the safety of workers and the facility. Industrial bakeries can minimize potential hazards associated with combustible materials through practical measures, including conducting thorough risk assessments, implementing proper ventilation systems, utilizing explosion-proof equipment, implementing static electricity control measures, and providing comprehensive staff training.

  1. Combustible Dust: Flour, sugar, and other combustible materials in bakery environments create a potential explosion hazard. These fine particles can become suspended in the air and ignite if exposed to an ignition source.
  2. Ventilation Systems: Installing equipment, such as industrial dust collectors and ventilation systems, helps capture and remove combustible dust particles from the air, reducing the risk of dust accumulation and minimizing the chance of explosions.
  3. Equipment Maintenance: Regular inspection and maintenance of machinery, ovens, and electrical systems are crucial to prevent malfunctions that could lead to sparks or overheating, potentially triggering an explosion.
  4. Hazardous Area Classification: Identifying and designating hazardous areas within the bakery based on the risk of explosion is essential. Implementing appropriate measures, such as explosion-proof equipment and barriers, ensures safety in these zones.

Case Study: Imperial Sugar Company Dust Explosion and Fire

On February 7, 2008, a huge explosion and fire occurred at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, causing 14 deaths and injuring 38 others, including 14 with serious and life-threatening burns. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building.

Read the full Article:  Accident Description and Recommendations.

The Role of HaF Equipment in Sanitary Designed Equipment and Safety for Industrial Bakeries

HaF Equipment specializes in providing cutting-edge sanitation and explosion mitigation solutions for industrial bakeries. Our advanced equipment and expertise play a crucial role in ensuring the highest cleanliness and safety standards.

Top Equipment for Industrial Bakeries

  1. High Air Flow Systems: HAF equipment, including industrial dust collectors and exhaust systems, effectively capture and remove airborne particles, such as combustible dust and contaminants, improving air quality and reducing the risk of explosions.
  2. Enhanced Sanitation: HAF systems facilitate faster drying of equipment, floors, and surfaces, reducing the time required for sanitation procedures, ensuring quicker turnover, and helping to maintain optimal hygiene levels.
  3. Customization and Adaptability: HAF equipment can be customized to meet the specific needs of industrial bakeries, considering factors like facility size, layout, and production volume. These systems are adaptable to various bakery processes. 
  4. H-Series: HaF’s H-Series equipment provides high-quality pre-engineered equipment for every plant. This line of equipment is created with the innovative “Tool-Free Quick Take-Apart” design. Specifically engineered to be ready-to-go equipment, yet at a level of elite design set to meet the specific system needs of industrial bakeries.

Industrial bakeries must prioritize sanitation and explosion mitigation to ensure food safety, maintain product quality, and protect workers. Implementing proper sanitation protocols, providing comprehensive training, and utilizing HAF equipment, such as industrial dust collectors and ventilation systems, significantly contribute to addressing these challenges effectively. 

ABOUT HaF

HaF Equipment offers turnkey services for projects big and small. Our team understands the concerns of our customers and takes the time to listen. We develop a plan and communicate along the way. If you need someone you can trust and want to eliminate the stress of managing all the details of your next project, HaF is Ready To Connect.

CONTACT US today to discuss your next project and how our team can help from beginning to end. 

The Crucial Role of Precision and Accuracy in Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical production line - Precision and Accuracy in Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing - HaF Equipment

by: Jared Beaupre and Ben Kozmik

Success hinges on every measurement in manufacturing. Precision and accuracy in material handling equipment are essential to achieving success. They must be a top consideration when deciding which equipment to choose. HaF Equipment, a leading industrial equipment manufacturer, understands the pivotal role these factors play and ensures their focus on the reliability, safety, and performance of their products.

Pharmaceutical production line - Precision and Accuracy in Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing - HaF Equipment

Understanding Accuracy and Precision in Material Handling Equipment

Accurate measurements reflect how closely a value aligns with the true or actual measurement, while precision indicates the consistency and reproducibility of a measurement. In the context of material handling equipment, such as feeders, weighing, and metering devices, achieving accuracy and precision is paramount for seamless operations.

EXAMPLE: Imagine you are throwing darts at a target. If all your darts hit the bullseye, your throws are accurate and precise. However, if your darts consistently land on the same spot, but that spot is different from the bullseye, then your throws are precise but not accurate. Conversely, if your darts are scattered all over the target, they are neither accurate nor precise.

The Importance of Tolerance in Measurement

Tolerance, allowing for deviations from specified values, is a critical concept in manufacturing and engineering. For HaF, setting agreed-upon limits within feeding systems ensures everyone involved understands the parameters, fostering successful collaboration in system design and functionality.

Tolerance is crucial in ensuring that components fit together accurately and adhere to specified standards in manufacturing. Without tolerance, minor measurement discrepancies could result in unsuitable or hazardous products. By accommodating a certain level of deviation, manufacturers can produce top-quality products that meet the required standards while allowing for some variability in the manufacturing process.

Rotary Airlocks: Factors Influencing Accuracy and Precision

When designing systems that include rotary airlocks as metering devices, HaF acknowledges the multitude of variables that can significantly influence accuracy. By prioritizing the evaluation of factors like pocket size, rotor speed, and blow by air, HaF ensures the attainment of the desired accuracy rate through meticulous sizing and design, taking into account variables such as leakage, particle size, material, pocket full percentage, rate, bulk density, flowability, and head pressure.

Challenges in Precision Manufacturing

Challenges in precision manufacturing extend to various components, such as screw feeders and load cells. Using different types of screw feeders introduce variability, affecting both precision and accuracy. Load cells, susceptible to factors like balance points, supports, rigidity, air force, and flex connections, necessitate careful calibration with certified test weights. Storage silos, subjected to environmental elements like wind and rain, can cause movement, which can change pressure around silos, and require consideration of variables affecting load cells. 

Precision in Manufacturing Across Industries

Precision manufacturing is a universal need, extending beyond material handling to aerospace, medical devices, electronics, and automotive industries. Even slight deviations from specifications in these sectors can have profound implications for safety, performance, and reliability. By leveraging advanced technology and processes, manufacturers can achieve greater product accuracy and consistency, resulting in improved performance, reliability, and safety.

HaF’s Commitment to Operator-Centric Equipment

Precision and accuracy are the cornerstones of success in the competitive landscape of material handling equipment manufacturing. HaF Equipment stands as a testament to the commitment to these principles, offering products and comprehensive solutions that ensure the highest standards of quality, reliability, and safety. 

For your current or upcoming project, trust HaF to deliver excellence. Contact HaF today to experience the difference precision and accuracy can make in your operations. 

By keeping our finger on the pulse of the tire industry, HaF Equipment is ahead of the curve. The manufacturing of our equipment focuses on operator-centric designs and our proven processes for success to support our major markets, making HaF Equipment more than just a great equipment manufacturer. Our systems are equipped with advanced automation features that minimize human error and increase overall production speed further. We are your partner in excellence, committed to your success through service with integrity, purpose, and ingenuity. By designing innovative solutions to bulk material handling, we meet today’s manufacturing challenges head-on to break through the status quo. 

HaF has the expertise and experience to accommodate a wide range of needs when it comes to material handling and equipment manufacturing. We’re Ready to Connect with you and offer a customized solution and discuss your specific project needs. 

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.  

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Exploring HaF Equipment: The Machinery Behind Quality Tire Manufacturing

Exploring HaF Equipment: The Machinery Behind Quality Tire Manufacturing

by: Mitch Lund and Abby Wendt

The tire industry is one of the most important manufacturing industries in the world. Every year, millions of tires are produced to meet the needs of consumers, both domestically and internationally, and new tire concepts – including electric vehicles, smart tires, and sustainability – will drive future growth in global tire sales. As a result, Smithers forecasts future growth will continue at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% (by value) through to 2026, pushing global value to $325.6 billion (at constant prices) and volume to 2.80 billion tires. 

Exploring HaF Equipment: The Machinery Behind Quality Tire Manufacturing

The World's Largest Tire Manufacturers

As of 2021, Michelin is the world’s largest tire manufacturer, followed by Bridgestone (Japan), Continental (Germany), Goodyear (United States), and Sumitomo (Japan). Despite their dominance, there are hundreds of tire manufacturers around the globe that make up the global tire industry, and each manufacturer has their own unique production system. As tire technology continues to evolve, manufacturers must strive to create better-performing tires while reducing their environmental impact and adhering to specific regulations set by governing bodies like the Tire Industry Association (TIA). 

Machinery for Tire Manufacturing

Tire manufacturing is a complex process that requires specialized machinery and methods for safety, efficiency, and quality assurance. The manufacturing process is highly variable as tires are composed of many different raw materials, such as rubber, steel, fabric, and other chemicals. To ensure consistent production of a high-quality product that meets international safety standards, manufacturers must choose the right equipment to manufacture their tires efficiently.

Industry-recognized tire manufacturing machines play an essential role in streamlining production while increasing safety on the factory floor. All parts of the tire-making process must be accounted for, including mixing ingredients, molding, and curing rubber strips together with other components of the tire structure. Highly automated systems allow manufacturers to produce large volumes of tires in less time with fewer errors than manual operations.

How HaF Machinery Helps Tire Manufacturers

In the ever-evolving world of tire manufacturing, the incorporation of cutting-edge equipment is crucial to meet growing demands for efficiency and quality. With HaF equipment, tire manufacturers can experience enhanced efficiency in several key areas. 

  • Storage
  • Unloading and Transport
  • Batching of raw ingredients for different rubber compound recipes
  • Dust Collection

By keeping our finger on the pulse of the tire industry, HaF Equipment is ahead of the curve. The manufacturing of our equipment focuses on operator-centric designs and our proven processes for success to support our major markets, making HaF Equipment more than just a great equipment manufacturer. Our systems are equipped with advanced automation features that minimize human error and increase overall production speed further. We are your partner in excellence, committed to your success through service with integrity, purpose, and ingenuity. By designing innovative solutions to bulk material handling, we meet today’s manufacturing challenges head-on to break through the status quo. 

HaF has the expertise and experience to accommodate a wide range of needs when it comes to material handling and equipment manufacturing. We’re Ready to Connect with you and offer a customized solution and discuss your specific project needs. 

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.  

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A Sticky Situation: Manufacturing Snacks and Confections

Manufacturing Snacks and Confections - HaF Equipment

Revenue in the Confectionery & Snacks segments is estimated to amount to US$299.50bn in 2023 and is expected to grow annually by 3.00% (CAGR 2023-2027). Most revenue is generated in the United States. (Statista) As the confectionery and snack manufacturing process continues to expand, driven by America’s love for chocolate bars, doughnuts, marshmallows, and other popular treats, the need for confectionery and candy processing equipment in the market has never been more critical. Manufacturers must adapt to this rising demand by ensuring their snacks and confectionery manufacturing machines can efficiently manage sticky, gooey ingredients without compromising on quality.

Manufacturing Snacks and Confections - HaF Equipment

America's Sweet Tooth

The demand for sweets and snacks has never been higher, and with the growth of e-commerce and global marketplaces, manufacturers of confectioneries and snacks have had to scale up their operations. To ensure the production of high-quality confections, however, manufacturers must invest in reliable snack manufacturing machines that meet the specific needs of their product line. 

The equipment essential for the snack manufacturing process is designed with strict hygiene protocols in mind, ensuring consistent output to maintain flavor and texture standards. Additionally, snack and confectionery manufacturing machinery should be easy to clean and maintain, supporting sanitary conditions and the production of high-quality products. 

To maintain consistency in product quality, manufacturers in the confectionery and candy processing equipment market must choose durable machinery capable of enduring extended use. Investing in the right snacks manufacturing machine and confection processing equipment enables producers to maximize efficiency while delighting consumers with their favorite treats.  

In addition, manufacturers must also consider food safety regulations when selecting the appropriate equipment. That selection must include equipment designed with food safety standards in mind so that products remain clean and safe to consume. By maintaining these standards throughout production, manufacturers can ensure their customers receive a product they can trust.

Equipment Used to Manufacture Confections and Snacks

The equipment required to manufacture confections and snacks varies depending on the specific production process and may include:

    1. Mixing equipment: used to blend the ingredients, such as sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, together.
    2. Cooking equipment: used to heat and cook the mixture to a specific temperature and consistency.
    3. Whipping equipment: used to aerate the mixture and create the fluffy texture of the marshmallows.
    4. Depositing equipment: used to deposit the marshmallow mixture into molds or onto a conveyor belt.
    5. Cutting equipment: used to cut the marshmallows into desired shapes and sizes.
    6. Packaging equipment: used to package the marshmallows into bags, boxes, or other containers.

Some manufacturers may also use additional equipment for specific production processes, such as extruders or enrobing machines.  Additionally, production equipment for confectioners and snacks may include: 

  • Bulk Bag Unloaders
  • Bag Break Stations
  • Blower packages
  • Bin vents
  • Filter Receivers
  • Piping
  • Liquid skid/tote
  • Extrusion

HaF Equipment Does Its Part

Custom-engineered material handling equipment systems are in greater demand now, more than ever. Increasing demand for safe and hygienic processes drives growth within the snack and confection market. 

By keeping our finger on the pulse of the industry, HaF Equipment is ahead of the curve. The manufacturing of our equipment focuses on operator-centric designs and our proven processes for success to support our major markets, making HaF Equipment more than just a great equipment manufacturer. We are your partner in excellence, committed to your success through service with integrity, purpose, and ingenuity. By designing innovative solutions to powder handling, bulk material handling, dust collection, and batching systems, we meet today’s manufacturing challenges head-on to break through the status quo. 

HaF has the expertise and experience to accommodate a wide range of needs when it comes to material handling and equipment manufacturing. We’re Ready to Connect with you and offer a customized solution and discuss your specific project needs. 

Contact a HaF account manager today to explore our customized solutions tailored to your specific snack manufacturing and confection processing needs  

For Fun: The History of Marshmallow  Q: When were marshmallows first enjoyed? A: 2000 BC, Ancient Egypt. They were rare and a special treat reserved for gods and royalty. Q: How was it originally made? A: It was made from the root sap of the mallow plant, which grew in marshy areas, and mixed with nuts and honey. Q: What else can you use the mallow plant for? A: Heal sore throat, anti-inflammatory. The leaves can be used as a laxative. The plant contains mucilage, which the plants use to store water. That helps with these medicinal effects. Today, you can find the mallow root in teas, tinctures, capsules, ointments, creams, sodas, and cough syrups. Q: When was the modern marshmallow created? A: 19th century France. By this point (1927), the mallow root had been replaced by gelatin and/or egg whites. By 1950, Alex Doumak created the mass production extrusion process. Top two producers today: Kraft Heinz CompanyDoumak, Inc.

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Soft Drink Production: The Role of Material Handling Equipment

Material Processing in Soda - Manufacturing Equipment

Authors: Sarah Wagner and Hunter Kloes

Long before the soda industry brought us drinks as a refreshment, pharmacists prescribed “soda pop” to patients. Initially, pharmacists served carbonated water at the pharmaceutical counter to patients for medicinal purposes. Soft drinks were not limited to the medical industry, however. They were also commonly accepted to drink with dinner.

By 1820, flavoring was added to carbonated beverages – from salt to ginger. In 1830, soft drink producers started adding lemon; by 1858, they added tonic. Yet, it wasn’t until 1886 that John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia, invented the first cola drink.

John Pemberton was a chemist and druggist before serving in the Civil War. During the war, Pemberton suffered a major wound and became dangerously addicted to the pain reliever morphine. To defeat his dependency on morphine, Pemberton created Coca-Cola. He heard another doctor used coca (cocaine) to cure opium habits; Pemberton combined the coca leaves with kola nuts. His bookkeeper convinced him to call it “Coca-Cola.” Nearly 140 years later, soft drinks make up over a $430 billion industry. (Grand View Research)

Material Processing in Soda - Manufacturing Equipment

Steps in Soft Drink Production

  1. Water Treatment. Flocculation is the process where solids form larger clusters, or flocs, for removal from water. Aluminum sulfate and ferric chloride are examples of what’s pulled. Monochloramine is used to kill germs, yet it is still safe to drink.
  2. Extraction of Raw Goods. Raw materials for producing goods and services may include vanilla bean, apricot seed, and lemon. An example of extraction used in soft drinks is the brand, Dr. Pepper. It contains extract of cherry, licorice, amaretto, almond, vanilla, blackberry, apricot, caramel, pepper, anise, sarsaparilla, ginger, molasses, lemon, plum, orange, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, coriander juniper, birch, and prickly ash. Whew!
  3. Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Handling. Sugar is extracted from beets, corn, and cane. Raw goods are then mixed with the sugar sludge. The concentrate is typically made at the soft drink plant headquarters using a variety of ingredients like those listed above.

The Role of Material Handling Equipment
in Soft Drink Production

Soda production is a complex process requiring sophisticated material-handling equipment to ensure efficient processing and production. To produce high-quality soda, raw materials such as sugar, yeast, and water must be loaded into equipment designed to manage the ingredients for further processing. This includes specialized machines for weighing, blending, and pasteurizing the ingredients in a precise manner.

Then, additional soda manufacturing equipment is needed to move the processed material from one station to another within the facility. For instance, conveyors are often used during storing and transporting bulk materials like sugar that need to be directed onto other processing equipment with little manual labor involved. Robotic arms are also commonly used to automate assembly lines, while pallet jacks can help streamline loading processes at different stages of production.

Sanitary Design in Soda Manufacturing

The importance of sanitary equipment design in soda manufacturing cannot be overstated. The demand for safe food and beverage products has never been greater, and sanitary equipment is essential to meet these requirements. Sanitary equipment design involves using materials, components, and methods that eliminate contamination risks during production. This includes using hygienic surfaces, minimized crevices, effective drainage systems, and avoiding cross-contamination between different production steps.

Choosing the Right Soda Production Manufacturing Equipment

Quality control protocols must be implemented when choosing soda production and manufacturing equipment to ensure all materials used meet health standards and minimize potential hazards associated with the production process itself. In addition, all components should be easy to clean and maintain while being corrosion-resistant from any liquid or chemicals used during the manufacturing process.

When it comes to soda manufacturing, there is no room for shortcuts. The selection of the right soft drink manufacturing equipment is essential in ensuring a safe, efficient, and profitable operation.

At HaF Equipment, we understand that the quality and performance of your process equipment can determine the success or failure of your business. That’s why all of our products are designed to meet and exceed industry standards while providing maximum efficiency and reliability. Our team has decades of experience engineering high-quality solutions that have been tested and proven to perform in challenging manufacturing environments.

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.

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Are There Risks of Using Wood Pellets in Manufacturing?

Wood Pellets for Manufacturing

by Maria Buss and Will Aldrin

As the world looks for ways to become more environmentally friendly, many industries are turning to renewable energy sources. Manufacturing is one of them.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using renewable energy sources in manufacturing. One of the most promising renewable energy sources is wood pellets in manufacturing. Wood pellets are a type of biomass used to create heat and power. Manufacturing plants that use wood pellets can reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. In addition, there are other advantages of wood pellets being used in manufacturing.

  • Wood pellets are biomass, a renewable resource, so they can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 
  • Wood pellets are relatively inexpensive and easy to transport.
  • Wood pellets have a high energy density and can create a lot of power without taking up much space.

However, there are some disadvantages of wood pellets being used in manufacturing, and if you’re a wood pellet manufacturer, or a manufacturer using wood pellets as an energy source, here are some things you should know. 

Wood pellets as an alternative fuel source for manufacturing

Challenges for Wood Pellet Manufacturers

As a renewable and sustainable energy source, wood pellets in manufacturing have been gaining popularity in recent years. But there is a downside to this otherwise environmentally friendly fuel: it can damage manufacturing equipment.

  • Wood pellets are made by compressing sawdust into small, hard nuggets. This process creates a lot of heat and friction, which can cause wear and tear on equipment. In addition, the high pressure needed to compress the sawdust can result in corrosion and other problems for manufacturing equipment. Therefore, the equipment used must be designed to sustain these especially harsh conditions. 
  • Sawdust is very fine, sometimes almost like a powder, and there can be challenges from plugging and buildup. As with any manufacturing that involves powder, special considerations need to be made when handling wood pellets. Otherwise, particles can easily get trapped in the nooks and crannies of equipment, causing equipment damage and potentially becoming airborne, contaminating the air.

Disadvantages of Wood Pellets Being Used in Manufacturing as An Energy Source

While there are several advantages of wood pellets being used as a fuel source, manufacturers must be aware of the potential for damage to their equipment. Proper maintenance and care can help minimize the risk of problems, but it’s important to be aware of the potential issues before switching to wood pellets.

  • Wood pellets can be difficult to store and handle.
  • Wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust and other wood waste products, creating powder-like dust. The dust from the pellets can build up on surfaces and eventually cause problems with the equipment. 

HaF Equipment’s H-Series is ideal for manufacturers using wood pellets as an energy source and for wood pellet manufacturers. 

The H-Series is high-quality pre-engineered equipment. This line of Ready-To-Go equipment features “Tool-Free Quick Take-Apart” which is designed for dependability, efficiency, and the capability for it to be easy to clean.

HaF’s Ready-To-Go Equipment includes:

If proper material handling of wood pellets or other biomasses is a critical part of successfully processing your products for commercial use, HaF Equipment is Ready to Connect.

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.  


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Material Handling Challenges When Handling Salt

handling salt in manufacturing

By: Caleb Meyer and Caroline Harrington

Every day people use salt, and most people associate salt with baking or cooking at home. Perhaps they associate it with deicing roads during an icy winter if they live in colder climates. However, in manufacturing, we associate salt with bulk processing and its importance to industries ranging from food manufacturing, animal feeding, pharmaceuticals, chlorine production, textiles, and oil. 

Salt is a common ingredient in many industrial and manufacturing processes but can be corrosive to machinery. When salt comes into contact with metal, it causes the metal to oxidize, leading to rust and other damage. Moisture accelerates this process and is particularly damaging to machinery used in wet or humid environments. Over time, salt corrosion causes parts to break down and fail, leading to costly repairs, replacements, and downtime! To prevent salt damage, regularly cleaning and lubricating machinery is necessary to remove salt from work areas as soon as possible to extend the life of the manufacturing equipment and avoid loss of revenue.

Use of Salt in Manufacturing

Salt handling in manufacturing is not uncommon, and interestingly, the decision to use salt is made based on how its chemical structure will interact with the materials used. For example, salt interacts with water to lower its freezing point. When used on roads, it results in safer roads. Salt is also used to prepare textiles before dying, in oil drilling as a lubricant and cooling agent for the drilling head. Of course, everyone knows that salt is a common ingredient in baking and cooking to add flavor to our favorite foods and desserts! However, there are material handling challenges when it comes to salt in manufacturing. When used extensively, salt breaks down the oxide film of metals resulting in pitting. Its abrasive nature also wears away at materials and tends to clump up in humid environments presenting a material handling challenge.  

Material Handing Challenges in Production When Using Salt

Salt is formed from the reaction of an acid and a base to create an ionic salt and water. In its solid-state, salt forms crystals in the face-centered cubic close packing atomic crystal packing structure. This arrangement allows the salt to be a good conductor of electrical current. When salt is dissolved in water, the positively and negatively charged ions dissociate to create a brine. When the brine is in contact with iron-rich metals it not only puts oxygen atoms in close contact with the metal but also provides an ideal environment for free electrons in the iron structure to bind with the oxygen resulting in the formation of rust and eventual corrosion. 

What Manufacturers Should Know When Handling Salt

From a material handling equipment manufacturer’s point of view, we know the destructive nature of salt on equipment; poorly made and maintained equipment allows that destruction to escalate. Salt can quickly wear manufacturing equipment down and ruin products when mismanaged—understanding the frustrations and challenges of the manufacturing industry drives HaF Equipment to design solutions to material handling systems that can handle related material handling problems when using salt in manufacturing. At HaF Equipment, we address salt’s corrosive and abrasive nature in our designs by: 

  • using the best choice of stainless steel for all equipment. 
  • designing tool-free-take-apart equipment that’s easy to clean
  • designing to minimize nooks, crannies, and crevices where corrosive materials can lodge. 
  • keeping the system dry

In a process where ambient humidity will ruin the product, HaF can integrate a dehumidifier and design all welds in either food grade or USDA grade standards when necessary. HaF also incorporates a series of pistons as flow enhancement tools to blow cool, dry air over the salt to reduce ambient humidity and uses pneumatic thumpers to break up clumps so that they will not form due to settling. 

HaF has the expertise and experience to accommodate a wide range of needs when it comes to the material handling of strong chlorides such as salt. We’re Ready to Connect with you and offer a customized solution and discuss your specific project needs. 

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.  


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Flour Production and Material Handling

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Flour Production: Material Handling

Flour Production Material Handling Equipment
by Will Aldrin And Spencer Evans

Flour is an important ingredient in baked goods, pasta, and many other foods, and wheat flour is one of the most universal ingredients used in food production worldwide. In 2018, of the approximately 765 million tons of wheat crop, 53% (or 402 million tons) were used to make wheat flour. More wheat flour was produced than sugar (166 million tons), salt (290 million tons), and soybeans (349 million tons).

The flour-making process is fairly simple; however, the flour production process on a large scale is complex and labor-intensive, and proper material handling of flour is a critical part of successfully processing flour for commercial use. An efficient flour handling system will help to reduce production costs and improve product quality. Flour production best practices include:

  • Easy to clean equipment: The use of material handling equipment that is designed with minimal crevices and grooves and can easily be cleaned
  • Automation: The use of material handling equipment with sensors and automation to control the flow of material
  • Implementing strict cleanliness protocols
  • Safety: Design systems that are safe and train employees in safe lifting and moving techniques

EASY-TO-CLEAN EQUIPMENT IS CRITICAL!

What do you mean flour is raw?!


This might surprise some of you, but all that flour is a raw ingredient. Flour isn’t “raw” because it is a product component the way sand is the “raw” ingredient of glass. Flour is “raw” in the same way that uncooked meat and poultry are “raw.” Flour is minimally processed during its creation, meaning there is still lots of bacteria in the flour, even in the bags you buy at a grocery store. None of that matters once the flour is used, as many applications of flour heat the flour to the point where most, if not all, of the bacteria are killed. But this means that the flour is highly susceptible to spoiling if not properly stored.

To make sure that flour successfully goes from field to food, there are a variety of important requirements that must be met so that the flour is moved and stored in a safe and sanitary manner.

Flour handling systems equipment needs to be cleaned regularly. The HaF Moovinator is a filter receiver that is designed in a pneumatic conveying system to be easy to clean. Below is an image of the HaF Moovinator. When the filter bag access door is opened, there is easy access and a good “line of sight” for the operator to clean out the equipment.

HaF Moovinator filter receiver

Safety and Sanitary Measures When Handling Flour

  • Considering humidity levels is one of the most important factors when storing or moving flour. Bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli can quickly propagate in flour when exposed to even mildly humid air. That’s why dehumidifiers and airtight storage are necessary when storing flour for commercial food processing, especially in tropical climates near the equator. Humidity can also cause the flour to clump, leading to difficulty transporting it through pneumatic systems and improper mixing when producing products where flour is used.
  • When designing a flour handling system, several things must be considered.
    1. The construction materials and the equipment’s sanitary design level. Stainless steel and food-grade construction are critically important.
    2. The flour equipment build must be checked to ensure no pits, crevices, or holes where material can stagnate, spoil, and infect the rest of the flour. This includes checking for airtightness on flour storage equipment. Imperfections will allow humid air to enter the system, raising the chance of bacteria growth in the flour.
  • In a facility that handles bulk flour production, there are many elements present for a dust explosion or fire to occur: fuel, confinement, dispersion, oxygen, and a spark. An effective and properly operating industrial dust collector and dust collection system minimizes the risk of fire or explosion and must be considered when designing a flour handling system.

Summary:
Proper flour material handling is a critical part of a successful flour production process for commercial use, and an efficient material handling system will help to reduce production costs and improve product quality. Commercial manufacturers can help protect the consumer, their output levels, and ultimately their bottom line by investing in high-quality flour processing equipment.

HaF Equipment specializes in the design and supply of flour processing systems, focusing on the details of sanitary design. We call it “tool-free-quick-take-apart” equipment. Our flour handling systems can also incorporate explosion mitigation equipment.

Contact a HaF account manager today to discuss your options.  


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