Industrial food applications now big for Kwatani

Known mainly for its large screens and feeders for mining, Kwatani has in recent years expanded substantially into various industrial and food sectors – currently providing screening solutions for almost 50 different materials and products.

Kwatani-industrial-screens

S-Type round separator undergoing a last-minute check at Kwatani prior to despatch

According to Warren Mann, Kwatani’s business development manager – industrial division, the company is involved in screening a wide range of materials and foodstuffs from wax beads, carbon and bunker sand to tea, coffee, pet food and rice.

‘Our strength is the ability to test the customer’s product or material in our own materials testing laboratory,’ says Mann. ‘This is part of our solution-focused approach to deliver a customised machine that will add optimal value to the customer’s operation.’

These in-house facilities are vital in selecting the correct separator for each application. By analysing and testing under simulated production conditions it is possible to determine the appropriate machine size and configuration as well as the optimum screen openings.

He highlights that Kwatani has for decades invested heavily in its local design and manufacturing capacity. In 2012, it also acquired the assets of Lockers Engineers, and continues to supply Lockers customers with the full product range including vibrating screens and feeders, electromagnetic super feeder drives, controllers, vibrating trough conveyors and fluidised bed dryers.

The company’s rectangular R-type separators have a typical application in the sugar industry and are capable of screening 50 to 200 tonnes per hour of sugar to remove lumps and foreign material before grading and packaging.

‘Spices and tea processing are other applications where we are actively involved, providing sizing and scalping screens that can handle up to 10 tonnes per hour,’ he says.

Food safety comprises a key element in the design and manufacture of the screens that are used in food-related applications, and Kwatani has standardised on using stainless steel. In addition, its workshop facilities have been optimised accordingly to achieve cost savings in the final assembly.

‘We use high-grade stainless steel for any food contact surface, as mild steel tends to rust when exposed to excessive moisture and is not suitable in many food processing applications,’ he says. ‘There are also specific plastics we use that are non-toxic and food-safe, adhering to hygiene and quality standards. We offer a bonded screen mesh with food-safe epoxy, rather than a bolt down screen mesh, in order to eliminate the risk of bolts coming loose and entering the product stream.’

Kwatani’s S-type round separators are highly versatile and used in many different industries and have a special application in high temperature environments and liquid separation such as removing foreign particles from hot cooking oil.

Industrial products handled by Kwatani screens include the sizing of wax beads that are used in exfoliating creams. Clays such as bentonite and kaolin are also scalped.

‘We have screens that can clean the sand in bunkers on golf courses, removing contaminants like grass and soil that have been tramped in by golfers,’ says Mann. ‘In this instance we provide a mobile solution, so the screen can be easily moved to site, and powered by a small generator.’

The range of fine-screen meshes – with apertures of just 38 microns in size – can even separate blood from water and are used in environments like abattoirs.

Kwatani has a low-profile separator option with lower heights than the standard design. This allows it to fit into spaces too small for the standard design where installation space is limited.

Kwatani separators can also be used as safety screens as a last line of defence to remove off-spec product before it is packed. This reduces the volume of returns and raises satisfaction levels among end-users.

‘Manufacturing our own products promotes job creation and skills development, and also gives us the ability to offer high levels of product support, we know the products inside out,’ says Mann.