Close this search box.

Screening & Separation

Innovations in screening and separation in dry material handling operations

Screening, separation, and sieving are of integral importance to many dry material handling processes. There are many factors that affect the effectiveness of screens, separators, and sieves, for instance, moisture, blinding, mesh size and wire diameter, capacity, cohesion, adhesion, and the direction of approach of particles to the screen surface.

Innovations in screening and separation in dry material handling operations

A solids separator removes solids from mixtures of solids and liquids. In a perfect scenario, the separator would pick the solids out of manure and leave the liquid portion undisturbed. In reality, some liquids are always brought along with the solids. It is more helpful to think of a solids separator as a device that breaks an incoming waste stream into two separate flows. The separation of bulk solids is mainly done through one of the following methods: air classification, screening, sieving gravity, and magnetic separation.

Examples of separation processes include those operations that attempt to isolate specific material fractions based on their particle size. But also operations like scalping coarse fraction of a material stream, dedust fine fraction of a material stream, or remove contamination from a material stream.

Screening equipment in bulk applications allows bulk material handling operations to refine and purify their materials. Without any screening equipment, oversized and foreign materials remain in the material stream. This can degrade the product quality and sometimes damage machines. In size reduction applications screening is used to protect the machines resulting in an efficiency increase. Screening equipment is used in a lot of different industries such as agricultural products, pet food, pharmaceutical processing, and many more. Most screening equipment requires low maintenance and can be used continuously, sometimes even being self-cleansing.

Screening equipment

There is a lot of different screening equipment offering a variety of sorting solutions. This includes different types of screening machines and industrial sieving machines, also commonly referred to as gyratory separators. These are a traditional part of processing dry bulk powders. The most popular screening equipment for bulk solids are the following:

  • Trommel screens
  • Vibrating screens
  • Disc screens
  • Grizzly screens

Screening dry bulk powders

For screening dry bulk powders, a vibratory screen is the most common screen and is a traditional part of processing dry bulk powders. This type of screen is commonly known as a gyratory separator or vibrating screening machine. It separates materials by using a combination of horizontal and vertical movements forcing particles to pass through a mesh screen.

Many industrial sieves are used for a variety of different applications, not simply for screening and separating. The most common industrial sieve is the check sieve. The check sieve is often used to remove bits of packaging and lumps from the product. Check sieves are usually a single screen and typically the fine product that passes through the mesh is kept.

Another common industrial sieve is the grading sieve, the grading sieve is similar to the check sieve but offers more precision of the sieving process. The aim of a grading sieve is to take exact cuts of different particle sizes.

Powder sifting

Powder sifting can be described as separating, sieving, de-lumping, and screening, but each description is a different method of sifting requiring a different type of sifting motion.

The centrifugal sifter is a popular powder sifter specifically designed for sifting high capacities of product and removing unwanted material from the material stream. In addition to the centrifugal sifter, the vibratory sifter is a sifter that shakes the body of the machine, transferring this vibration to a high tensioned screen cloth. It is designed to size or classify powder. The gyratory sifter uses a non-vibratory motion that is gentle on friable powders and therefore can utilize ball cleaning of the screens.


Magnetic separators are important, especially in the mining industry, where they can be used to separate (non-)ferrous metals. A magnetic separator can prevent harmful bits of metal from entering machinery further down the line and can remove unwanted materials from a stream. The magnets pull out the unwanted material as the bulk materials pass by on a conveyor.

A magnetic separator uses magnets to capture and retain ferrous contaminants from the flowing material stream during processing. The magnets attract and hold contaminants passing over or near the separator. The captured contaminants then accumulate on the separator. The contaminants are then cleaned off.

Many factors influence magnetic separator selection, including:

  • The size of the contaminants
  • The specifics of the process
  • Your material’s characteristics

Metal detectors work by transmitting an electromagnetic field from the search coil into the ground. Any metal objects within the electromagnetic field will become energized and retransmit an electromagnetic field of their own. The detector’s search coil receives the retransmitted field and alerts the user by producing a target response.

In the food industry, metal detectors are primarily used for the purpose of consumer protection. Metal particles that enter the product during the production process or already are contained in the raw material may cause serious injuries to consumers. Metal detectors for food provide effective protection against ferrous and non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, stainless steel, etc.

Metal detection equipment is a highly sensitive piece of equipment and needs to be protected from environmental interferences such as vibration and other electrical fields. Detection equipment often consists of a handheld unit with a sensor probe which can be swept over the ground or other objects. The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current that passes through a coil producing an alternating magnetic field.

Subscribe to our E-newsletters

Get the extensive coverage for dry material handling professionals who buy, maintain, manage or operate equipment, delivered to your inbox (it’s free!).

By signing up for our list, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Articles about Screening & Separation

Our latest E-mail campaigns for Screening & Separation

  • Screening, Classifying & Separation E-Product Insight: April 18, 2024 download
  • Screening, Classifying & Separation E-Product Insight: January 18, 2024 download
  • Screening, Classifying & Separation E-Product Insight: October 5, 2023 download
  • Screening, Classifying & Separation E-Product Insight: April 20, 2023 download

Experts for Screening & Separation

As the Sales Manager at Foeth, Michel Terlouw possesses an enthusiasm for international trade and excels in identifying the perfect match for every customer. In a company like Foeth, individuals with a solid technical background are truly indispensable. Clients from across the globe visit to explore our extensive inventory of pre-owned machines, and it’s essential to collaborate closely with each customer to determine which machine best suits their intended application. Michel is impassioned by the collaborative process of discovering the ideal machine alongside the customer because it aligns with our mission. The pursuit of finding the perfect solution is not only gratifying but also contributes to advancing sustainability within the industry.
Read more
Kemutec B.V. was founded a few years ago, to enable dedicated service to Kemutec customers on the mainland of Europe. Johan Lucas, who is responsible for the Sales & Business Development of Kemutec in the Benelux, started his career 30 years ago as product manager of Kemutec. During these decades he created a long track record of projects and joint process developments in the Confectionary, Spices, Flavours, Dairy, Cereals and Bakery Ingredients. In addition to Beverages, Detergent, Pharmaceutical and the Chemical Industry with elements like feasibility studies, conceptual design, system integration, etcetera – delivering advice, components, systems or total solutions. Due to his cooperation with many leading suppliers, he developed expertise in Powder Process & Handling technologies such as sieving, classifying, breaking, crushing, milling, conveying, mixing/blending, feed/dosing & weighing. Johan’s specific knowledge in powder process applications includes crushing/de-agglomeration after dryers/spray towers, QA at filling & emptying – small/big bags, dry/wet cleaning – hygienic design, trouble-free feeding of liquid processes – dissolving & filtration. Johan enjoys a challenge to solve any kind of powder process problem. Contact him on +31 (0) 653 86 77 06,
Read more
Design Engineer, Project Manager, Territory and Sales Manager with 40+ years of experience in capture at source designs, sales and installation projects for high and low vacuum and dust collection and filtration systems and explosion and fire mitigation in dust collection systems.
Read more
Calvin Ruddiman is the director of sales (Europe & Asia-Pacific) at Magnattack Global, specialists in metal separation solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Calvin has over 10 years of experience working with the food industry and is an expert in finding solutions to metal contamination control issues. Having had a lifelong passion for engineering and a background in fluid and powder flow dynamics, he is equipped with a broad knowledge in stainless steel manufacturing and has expertise in meeting sensitive food requirements, as well as working with more challenging products for intrinsically safe applications. Calvin also has experience in how to capitalize on conformance to HACCP International and global ISO standards to help protect producers that are facing the real challenges in the field for magnetic fragment contamination risks. He can provide advice on product security needs on finished product, roles of metal detection and magnets, and the current status of technology for controlling magnetic contamination.
Read more
Sunny Nwadinma is the Senior Applications Engineer at Kason Corporation. He covers product lines of circular fluidized-bed dryers, coolers and moisturizers, circular vibratory and centrifugal sifters, and static sieve screeners. He studied Engineering Technology at Essex Community College and studied Mechanical Engineering and Science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He holds certificates from the Dale Carnegie course on fluidized-bed technology from the University of Wisconsin, and the Effective Facilitator Course offered by the Leadership Strategies Institute.
Read more
Gareth Meese works as Regional Sales Director – EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, India, and Northern Africa) for Eriez-Europe, a global leader in several key technology areas, including magnetic separation, metal detection, and material handling equipment. With nearly 20 years of experience in continuously-evolving positions, Gareth is well versed in bulk material handling applications. When Gareth joined Eriez as an Export Sales Engineer, he led several Eriez teams tasked with expanding business throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and the Czech Republic. Later, as Export Sales Manager, he concentrated on growing Eriez-Europe in Russia, Europe and Northern Africa. His recent promotion expands his geographic responsibilities further with the addition of the Middle East and India. Gareth has been instrumental in pursuing Eriez’ vision and holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Cardiff University. Gareth is more than prepared to discuss and recommend a tailored solution for any unique bulk material handling application.
Read more
Steve Massman received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Steve has been with General Kinematics for over 20 years, starting as a Design Engineer, holding several other titles before reaching his current title of Technical Director. Since his start at General Kinematics Steve has been a member of the General Kinematics R&D Committee since 2011, designed over 200 pieces of equipment, and has 9 assigned and pending patents. He is instrumental in the development of GK’s grinding technologies. When Steve is out of the office he spends his time with his family in the great outdoors; kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling. Contact GK for more at
Read more

Matthew Bailey – Technical Lead

Matthew is a mechanical engineer holding an honours degree from the Auckland University of Technology and has been responsible for BFM® Global’s product development, testing and compliance programme for almost 5 years. Matt’s experience is centered on the powder handling industry with a specific focus on flexible connectors, and all the compliance requirements around them. From food to pharmaceutical and all industries in between, Matt works with our Distributor partners, end users and OEMs from Europe, Asia and the Americas to solve application challenges. He regularly attends industry tradeshows around the world and understands the complex requirements of each different market.
Read more
George Bougioukas, Plant Manager of Acmon systems has over a 20 years of experience in plant process design for both mechanical and automation engineering in a wide range of industrial sectors. He has gained a unique knowhow of cross-cutting technologies and applications bringing the organization to reach a new industrial value chain era. George’s expertise includes applications ranging from reception and storage of raw materials, pneumatic and mechanical conveying, sieving, weighing and dosing, mixing, up to bagging and final product dispatch. Behind George there is a dedicated team of engineers who like him are constantly striving to improve design and performance of all plants Acmon systems has been delivering all around the globe for the last 30years on a turnkey basis.
Read more
Russell Grotto serves as the Director of Operations for the Toll Processing sector of Elcan Industries’ sieving business. He graduated from Union College with a BA in Managerial Economics. His father, Bob Grotto, is the founder of Elcan Industries and served on the board of PEMA for over a decade. Russ works closely with customers to help them develop catered sieving solutions to their specific products and needs. Before becoming the Director of Operations, Russ served as an operator in the toll processing plant and has hands on experience running screening machines. Russ also works closely with the manufacturers of the sieving equipment Elcan sells and was an integral part in bringing their newest line of equipment, the Hi-Sifter, to the US market place.
Read more

Promoted video

Upcoming events